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Artificial Sweeteners

by Latisha Porter (follow)
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Artificial Sweeteners (2)     
So, do you have a preference between using sugar or artificial sweeteners? Research shows that artificial sweeteners were created as a healthier option to replace added sugar. In addition, artificial sweeteners are marketed in society as weight loss friendly since they are calorie-free. There are many different types of artificial sweeteners. The most common ones are listed below:

a sliced strawberry and a spoon of sugar

Most Common Artificial Sweeteners

• Acesulfame-K Brand Name = Sunett, Sweet One

• Aspartame Brand Name = NutraSweet, Equal

• Saccharin Brand Name = Sweet’nLow, Sweet Twin, Sugar Twin

• Sucralose Brand Name = Splenda

As you may or may not know, sugar-sweetened foods trigger the release of brain chemicals and hormones part of what is known as the food reward pathway. The food reward pathway concept is crucial to feeling satisfied after eating and involves some of the same brain circuits as addictive behaviors. Many researchers believe that the lack of calories in artificial sweeteners prevents complete activation of the food reward pathway which may increase your appetite and cravings for sugary foods.

On the other hand, there are some researchers who feel that weight gain does not occur when consuming artificial sweeteners. In fact, replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners may be helpful in reducing body weight. Just like anything else, researchers suggest using artificial sweeteners in moderation. If you seem to be losing weight or maintaining your weight, are healthy, happy, and satisfied, there’s no need to change anything. However, if you experience food cravings, poor blood sugar control, or other health problems, avoiding artificial sweeteners may be one of many things to consider.

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