Fit 4 Mom- Los Angeles

Helping moms make strides in fitness, motherhood and life

Understanding Artificial Sweeteners

on September 28, 2012

By Lisa Druxman

It’s understandable that you might be drawn to diet foods or artificial sweeteners when trying to keep your weight down. Unfortunately, those foods may be doing you more harm than good.

Most of these are chemicals that replace the sweetness of sugar without the calories. Think about this – With real foods, when you eat something that’s very sweet, it’s also usually high in calories. Your brain knows this and does its best to use those calories efficiently. When you eat something that is sweet and does not have calories, your brain is confused and your body will not metabolize those calories as it should. Basically, if you eat something that tastes like it should have calories and doesn’t, it will have a negative impact on your body!


  1. “Sugar Free” does not always mean low in calories.
  2. Recent studies have shown artificial sweeteners can actually increase your appetite.
  3. Artificial sweeteners can still spike your blood sugar and lead to additional cravings

Just because it’s on the market does not mean it’s safe. Saccharin has been linked to cancer. Sucralose (also known as Splenda) is associated with both liver and kidney enlargement. It can also cause skin rashes, headaches and stomach pains. Aspartame (also known as NutraSweet, Equal and others) has been associated with everything from hallucinations to brain tumors.

Turn to natural sweeteners when you need something sweet. This can be honey, maple syrup and date sugar. As with any sugar, keep it in moderation as it has no health benefit.  Sugar is sugar, regardless of color.

Natural Minimally Refined Sweeteners (the best for you)

•Fruit juice

•Unrefined maple syrup

•Raw honey

•Date sugar

•Molasses (blackstrap or barbados)


•Brown rice syrup

•Barley malt

Refined Sweeteners (second best)

•White sugar

•Brown sugar

•Refined maple syrup

•Corn syrup





•Processed honey


Artificial Sweeteners (avoid!)

•Aspartame (a.k.a. NutraSweet)





L Druxman, (2011, July 18).  Understanding Artificial Sweeteners

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