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Are Artificial Sweeteners Really Healthy?

Are Artificial Sweeteners Really Healthy?

If you’re a diet soda fan, it may be time to rethink what you drink.

One 2017 study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that “consumption of nonnutritive sweeteners was associated with increases in weight and waist circumference, and higher incidence of obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events.” Whew!

A study of sucralose, a common sweetener in diet sodas, shows how. Researchers from George Washington University analyzed fat samples from 18 obese and healthy-weight participants and found those who reported eating more sucralose had greater expressions of genes related to fat creation. In other words, their metabolism was altered, increasing their risk of metabolic syndrome, heart attack and stroke. Sucralose consumption was also linked to higher LDL cholesterol levels.

So, if you’re a diet soda fan, it’s time to rethink what you drink. If you’re craving sweet, try adding a squeeze of orange to water and work on phasing out all added sugars, real and fake (although stevia leaf looks like it may be different, but we need more data), from your diet.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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