Why should I avoid artificial sweeteners?

Kate Geagan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Thousands of beverages, desserts, food products and online recipes that claim to be sugar-free still deliver an intensely sweet taste experience. These types of products are technically sugar-free but still lean on ingredients such as artificial sweeteners; all-natural, zero-calorie sweeteners (such as monk fruit or stevia); or sugar alcohols (malitol, sorbitol and erithyrol) to deliver their signature sweetness.

The question is, did you bargain for that sweet surprise, or are you trying to pull back from sweet taste all together? While this is still an area of intense debate and research, many on the leading edge of functional medicine believe that these types of ingredients still drive an intensely sweet palate, and may still interact with our biology by changing insulin response, hunger and satiety hormones, the brain’s pleasure and reward centers and more.

Whatever decision you make, it’s a reason to check the fine print (and the ingredient list) when you see the sugar-free claim on the label.

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.
Elizabeth Boham, MD, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics

You should avoid artificial sweeteners because they don't help you lose weight, and they may put you at risk for diabetes and heart disease. Watch functional medicine expert Elizabeth Boham, MD, explain why you should stay away from these products.  

Continue Learning about Artificial Sweeteners

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.