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The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners and Weight Gain


If you’re trying to lose weight, switching to an artificial sweetener may sound like a great idea. It’s something that both dieters and non-dieters alike do every day to cut down on their sugar intake. In fact, today over 40% of U.S. adults and 25% of children use these sweeteners daily. With this type of widespread use, it’s imperative that we understand the health consequences associated with these “non-sugars.”

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A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal does just that. And it suggests that these artificial sweeteners may have a negative effect on both your health and your weight loss efforts.

Why Fake Sugar is a Bad Idea

To better understand the long-term effects of these fake sugars, a research team reviewed the results of 37 studies that followed over 400,000 people for an average of 10 years. And some people may be shocked to learn what the scientists discovered.

The combined results showed a definite link between artificial sweeteners and relatively higher risks of weight gain, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues.

In particular the analysis found that when compared with people who consumed the least artificial sweeteners, those who consumed the most had a:

  • 14% increased risk of type 2 diabetes
  • 14% increased risk of stroke
  • 12% increased risk of high blood pressure
  • 31% increased risk of metabolic syndrome

Additionally, people with higher intakes of artificial sweeteners had a slight increase in BMI, obesity and waist circumference.

An All-Natural Zero Calorie Sweetener

Artificial sweeteners come in many different forms. Some of the most popular include Equal and Nutra-Sweet, which both contain aspartame, an artificial sweetener considered unsafe for many years. There’s also Splenda (sucralose), Sweet’N Low (saccharin) and Sweet One (acesulfame K).

If you value your health and wish to maintain a healthy weight, it’s best to avoid these fake sugars. Instead, opt for a natural alternative like stevia. Stevia is a plant-based, zero calorie sweetener that has a noticeably positive effect on blood sugar and insulin levels when compared to other sweeteners. When these metabolic markers are in balance, it greatly reduces the risk of diabetes, weight gain and other health issues.

This natural sweetener is typically about 200 times sweeter than sugar. So use it sparingly when it comes to sweetening up your foods and beverages.


Sylvetsky AC, et al. Consumption of Low-Calorie Sweeteners among Children and Adults in the United States. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017 Mar;117(3):441-448.e2.

Azad MB, et al. Nonnutritive sweeteners and cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2017; 189 (28): E929

Benefits of artificial sweeteners unclear. PubMed Health. Jul 2017.

Anton SD, et al. Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Appetite. 2010 Aug; 55(1): 37–43.

Dana Nicholas is a freelance writer and researcher in the field of natural and alternative healing. She has over 20 years of experience working with many noted health authors and anti-aging professionals, including James Balch, M.D., Dr. Linda Page, “Amazon” John Easterling and Al Sears M.D. Dana’s goal is to keep you up-to-date on information, news and breakthroughs that can have a direct impact on your health, your quality of life… and your lifespan. “I’m absolutely convinced that America’s misguided trust in mainstream medicine – including reliance on the government to regulate our food and medicine supply – is killing us, slowly but surely,” she cautions. “By sharing what I’ve learned throughout the years I hope I can empower others to take control over their own health.”

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