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Are artificial sweeteners safe? 

Although some research in the 1970’s linked some artificial sweeteners to cancer, the American Cancer Society, along with other health agencies now says that current scientific evidence does not back this claim and that FDA approved artificial sweeteners are safe to consume.

FDA approved artificial sweeteners include the following:

• Acesulfame potassium (Sunett, Sweet One)

• Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet)

• Neotame

• Saccharin (SugarTwin, Sweet'N Low)

• Sucralose (Splenda)

Because artificial sweeteners contain almost no calories, compared to sugar, which contains 4 calories a gram (about 25 calories a teaspoon), theoretically substituting them for sugar can help to control weight. From a calories in, calories out perspective that is true.

However, some research links artificial sweeteners to increased weight. It is not known if artificial sweeteners actually contribute to increased weight or if the association is due to other factors.

Artificial sweeteners can be a healthy option for diabetics because they do not raise blood sugar levels.

For more information on artificial sweeteners and healthy eating or to schedule an appointment with an East Jefferson General Hospital dietitian, call HealthFinder 504-456-500 at or go to www.ejgh.org.

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