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Calories in Artificial Sweeteners

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Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad for You?

Although artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, Sweet ‘N’ Low, and Equal may seem like a good alternative to pure sugar in your tea and coffee, one must question the health effects of artificial sweeteners. Although they are much sweeter than sugar, are not completely absorbed by the body, and thus provide less calories, there have been links between sweeteners such as aspartame and the development of cancer, as well as aspartame and negative effects on people with PKU. One may also question: do artificial sweeteners cause weight gain? Although there were studies that showed that artificial sweeteners may cause weight gain, there have also been recent studies that show that they don’t. It is best to consume them only once in a while.

What Is In Artificial Sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners are “artificial” because they are made in a lab rather than being found naturally. These include sucralose, found in Splenda, aspartame, found in Nutrasweet and Equal, and saccharin, found in Sweet ‘N’ Low and Sweet Twin. They provide basically no calories (or a negligible amount, as in the case of aspartame) because the body cannot digest them. There are also reduced calorie sweeteners, such as xylitol and sorbitol. These are considered sugar alcohols, and they have about half the calories of sugar. These sugar alcohols are what you consume when you eat sugar-free candy or chew gum.