Are sugar substitutes bad for you?

It’s easy to get conflicting advice about sugar substitutes like Equal, Nutrasweet, Sweet ‘N Low and Splenda. What’s based on rumor, and what’s based on evidence?

So far, research shows that sugar substitutes are safe with moderate consumption. There is no conclusive evidence that they cause cancer. The most controversial sugar substitute, aspartame (Nutrasweet), should be limited.

Do sugar substitutes make you crave more sweets? The verdict is still out. Some scientists believe that consuming sugar substitutes may encourage you to eat more servings and crave more sweets. Basically, blood sugar does not increase, so blood sugar goes down, which can increase food intake. There is still much debate on this theory.

For people with diabetes, sugar substitutes are recommended to help control blood sugars. They do not contain carbohydrates and do not increase blood sugar. They’re not a magic bullet, but can help keep sugar intake, blood sugar and weight down in people with diabetes when used in moderation.

It’s important to remember to use these sugar substitutes in the place of sugar, not in addition to, for calorie savings.