Are artificially sweetened drinks good for me?
Most of us love sweet foods and drinks. But after a short burst of energy from sugar, your blood sugar can affect your weight and your health. Have you switched to artificial sweetener drinks to control your weight and decrease your risk for at least 20 chronic diseases?
Drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners may provide fewer calories per gram than sugar. However, they may not be ‘sugar free’.
In order for drinks to be labeled as ‘sugar free’, according to the FDA, they must contain less than 0.5 g of sugars/serving.
Your drinks may not be sugar free because they contain sweeteners using sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols are typically about ½ the calories as sugar, but they tend to be sweeter than sugar. These alcohols are not ‘alcoholic’; they are called alcohols because of their chemical structures.
Examples of sugar substitutes with artificial sweeteners that contain sugar alcohols and calories include:
Equal and NutraSweet
Sugar Twin or Sweet’N Low
If you are drinking several ‘diet drinks’ per day, you are probably be getting more sugar calories than you thought.
Are artificial or low-calorie sweeteners bad for you? While most artificial sweeteners have few bad effects they can:
Cause bloating and diarrhea
Raise your blood sugar
Bottom line: Your best option for a sugar free drink is water.
If you chose to drink diet drinks, limit the amount you drink to one drink/day.
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