Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad For You

By | June 28, 2016



Many people favour sweeteners instead of sugar for losing weight, but what most people want to know “are sweeteners bad for you”

There are so many foods and drinks containing the artificial product and even more contradicting information to go along with it. Do they cause cancer? Do they ruin your gut? what about rot your teeth?

I want to uncover the myth from the truth in this post and see why most of the nation still choose sugar, and to find out if there safe.

One of the biggest problems researching this product is they tend to talk in gobly gook (scientific jargon) luckily for you I am going to decode their big words that mean nothing to the average person and tell you in everyday language

are artificial sweeteners bad for you

I don’t understand this either

Is There A Difference Between Sweeteners And Sugars?


Although sweeteners are labelled “artificial” they can be natural as well, coming from plants and this is where the similarities stop! we are going to focus on the artificial type as this what you commonly find

Regardless of if there natural or artificial they tend to be the hell of a lot sweeter than sugar, in fact, they can be up to 450x sweeter!

Also, note for diabetes patients that sweeteners are a much better option for you as the don’t interfere with blood sugar levels. the reason being is they usually hold no-calorie content.

Although sugar in itself doesn’t lead to diabetes it does break down into carbohydrates and this does play a part in blood sugar levels, unlike sweeteners there not broken down into anything as they have no nutritional value.

Sugar has a direct link to obesity, this can lead to all sorts of problems such as heart disease, stroke, arthritis and diabetes although there is speculation of the sugar substitute leading to weight gain it’s not proven to be a direct link, this is something I’ll cover later!

Another thing to note, sugar never needs any regulation or testing done on it and all sweeteners need to be approved by a governing board such as FDA and some substitutes are even banned in the US but allowed in other countries.

You have to wonder why the US banned it and other countries haven’t.


Different Types Of Artificial Sweeteners.

Currently on the market there 5 approved and 4 not approved for consumption the 5 that are approved are these-

  • Neotame – Not widely used as of yet it is chemically similar to aspartame , rapidly broke down and isn’t known to store in the body.
  • Aspartame – Highly studied food ingredient and deemed perfectly safe 200x sweeter than sugar and is found in a lot of your food and drink products.
  • Saccharin -This has had the biggest controversy and was banned, tests on rats indicated it caused bowel cancer, later tests proved that it has no cancer inducing effects on humans and is back on the market.
  • Sucralose – ever heard of Splenda? that’s sucralose. The body can’t digest it so it’s none calorific, also quite popular for manufacturers
  • Acesulfame-K – Has been approved in the US and EU, however, some speculation around it causing cancer and affect pregnancy and more tests should be done on it, also blended with sucralose to avoid the bitterness displayed by aspartame.

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Are They Safe?


Depending on your age you may remember a massive controversy in the 70s regarding sweeteners, it was believed that saccharin was carcinogenic (cancer causing) due to testing that what performed on rats.

The rats that it was tested on developed bladder cancer, however, this was only in male rats and after further testing concluded it had no carcinogenic properties.

There has also been speculation that Sweeteners can cause MS and effect pregnancy no test have proved this to be true either although many professionals are calling for more tests to be carried out.

There is also conflicting evidence of tooth decay as it is widely thought it doesn’t cause tooth decay like sugar does, in fact, it’s thought ONLY sugar can cause tooth decay, whilst others argue the acid will damage your teeth.

If the experts can’t seem to agree what chance do we have? there is evidence to suggest that sweeteners are bad for your gut high doses and if you have ever had too many sweets such as mints you have probably experienced diarrhoea.

One thing is for sure if the experts can’t seem to agree what chance do we have?

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Will Sweeteners Help Me Lose Weight?


This is a tough one to answer as well because it’s all about moderation, as we know it’s overeating that causes weight gain, not sugar or sweeteners.

A good example would be this, let’s say you ate 2 cakes with sugar and they were 100 calories each thats a total of 200 calories.

Now let’s say you over eat a non-sugar option and you have 5 cakes and they have 75 calories, you have now consumed an extra 150 and this is typical of Non-sugar products.

When something is labelled as non-sugar we tend to eat more because we are led to believe its the healthy option, yes it maybe if you weren’t too over eat as you would be saving calories.

Another classic example is Coke and diet Coke, you would assume the diet coke is the healthier option and it probably is, however, neither are particular healthy, one just has no calories in and the other does.

The law doesn’t require food or drinks to state what sweeteners or additives on the front of that product, only requires the sugar content so we walk around grabbing the “healthy” option when really it may not be that healthy.

If you were to swap your sugar for sweeteners then yes this would help in losing weight as long as you didn’t over eat as there is no direct link to weight gain from sweeteners as there is sugar.



You are going to find extremely difficult to avoid sweeteners completely as there in so much food and drinks, however, are artificial sweeteners bad for you? not really but there not good for you either.

Between the both, I would go artificial, but even better look for proper fresh food and avoid processed and packaged food as this is where you’re going to find them the most, and sugar seems to be in or added to everything anyway.

Look at the labels front and back to see exactly what’s in your items, a good way tip for you is this if you don’t understand what the ingredient is then your body won’t either.

Extremely confusing subject and so many contradictions that even experts don’t fully agree with everything, if you have any questions drop them below and if you liked this article then share it on social media



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If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

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12 thoughts on “Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad For You

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  2. Josephine Crawford

    Steven, a lovely, informative and well-researched post. Thanks for the detailed look at sugar and the alternatives, but I must add, I am for a no sugar world. I, however, appreciate how difficult this would be for some and I struggle myself some days, so I have adjusted to “moderation.” Thank you, Steven.

    1. Steven Varley Post author

      Its very difficult for most but for some it has to be done as it’s more difficult being overweight or ill. I love sugar but like with everything it has to be moderation to keep enjoying it

  3. Mike

    Hello Steven, nice article. I like the way you are honest with us and explain why it is hard to just classify both of them as “black and white”. Each one has it’s possible benefits and negative sides, like you said, if even experts can’t agree how will we?! As for me, I always prefer the natural option: Sugar, butter, anything that avoids chemicals as much as possible. But we need to be careful with sugar though! Greetings and keep up the great work.

    1. Steven Varley Post author

      Absolutely see your point it seems like we can’t win on this one, as you say there are chemicals in one and the other is calorific natural is normally better in my eyes, neither being great options.

      Imagine a life without sugar it would be awful I guess it’s best to either cut them both out or have in moderation

  4. john Savage

    I abs-solutely (forgive the bad joke) love two heaped spoons of sugar in my coffee……….. well I just did love two heaped spoons of sugar after reading this article.

    Although I’m naturally slim with a good body (vegetarian btw) I don’t seem to be able to get rid of the smallest belly fat. I think I now know why!

    Looking in the Sugar pot is not going to be full of your advice. Sweetners all the way.

  5. Matt

    Interesting, I always thought artificial sweeteners was just another name for sugar. Looks like you really did your research here. I had no idea artificial sweeteners may also effect pregnancy. I feel like that’s something most moms should know about!

  6. Chris

    What you make a great case here. However, I definitely love my sugar. I was introduced to Coca Cola that is made in Mexico with real sugar and I have never went back. Great insight.

  7. Deanna

    Enjoyed your site very much. You certainly did a good job of informing the public of so many pros and cons. I especially liked your post on sugars and the differences. Thank you.


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