Artificial Sweeteners

  • Author:
    Betty Kovacs, MS, RD

    Betty is a Registered Dietitian who earned her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is the Co-Director and Director of nutrition for the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Quick GuideDiet: Food Frauds That Can Wreck Your Diet

Diet: Food Frauds That Can Wreck Your Diet

Can you get something for nothing?

Our innate desire for sweetness may be interfering with our ability to judge right from wrong. There is nothing in our diet that we can consume without a cost. The cost can be excess calories, fat, protein, or carbohydrates. It's even possible to consume excess water. We see calorie- and sugar-free sweeteners and believe that there isn't a cost, but maybe there is. Unfortunately, the research that has been done is failing us. With two sides battling over the safety of these sweeteners, it's imperative that we get the answers from the "gold standard" of research studies: independent, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled studies. It's our responsibility to be aware of what we are consuming and to protect our safety.

Acceptable daily intakes have been set for each nonnutritive sweetener for a reason; we can't ingest unlimited quantities of these additives. If you believe that you are experiencing any of the symptoms from the consumption of a nutritive or nonnutritive sweetener, then eliminating them from your diet is the best way to determine if it's so. Sweeteners are not essential nutrients in our diet, so they exist to nurture our sweet tooth, not our bodies.

Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American board of Surgery


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