Artificial sweeteners are often more demonized than their far more dangerous and evil brother, sugar, for daring to fake the sweetness of the real thing.
But artificial sweetners — even despite their lack of calories and fat — are often pegged as nutritional no-nos due to the fact they’re comprised largely of synthetic materials, a chemical cocktail that is oh-so-good in a cold Diet Pepsi on a hot morning.
In fact, just recently we posted about the impact of artificial sweeteners, as well as the ongoing debate over whether their use contributes to weight gain or somehow interferes with metabolism. To wit, some research has discovered that “individuals who drink a diet soda two or more times a day had a five times increase in waist circumference over a period of 10 years compared to individuals who did not drink any diet soda.”
Artificial sweeteners are often cited as a contributor to weight gain, for myriad reasons. But a new joint statement from the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association indicates that use of artificial sweeteners “smartly” could actually inhibit weight gain — which is great news for those of us that enjoy the odd Diet Coke or twelve with dinner.
Although the two groups “didn’t look at safety,” they did explain that when used thoughtfully, the main sweeteners — including sucralose (Splenda), aspartame (Equal) and even Stevia can be a tool for those managing weight and diabetes to eschew sweets.
The artificial sweetener industry group Calorie Control Council approves of the AHA and ADA’s statement, adding:
“The Calorie Control Council is pleased that the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association have confirmed that substituting non-nutritive sweeteners for sugars may help people reach and maintain a healthy body weight and that for people with diabetes, non-nutritive sweeteners can aid with glucose control.”
No specific guidelines for artificial sweetener consumption were cited by the groups in the statement.