What the Mayo Clinic Has To Say About Sweeteners Today

Sugar substitutes, also known as artificial sweeteners, taste sweet like sugar but have fewer calories, sometimes no calories. If you replace added sugar with sugar substitutes, it could lower your risk of getting tooth decay and putting on weight, but what about its safety? Over the past few years, there’s been plenty of talk about artificial sweeteners and their safety. Now, the Mayo Clinic is breaking it all down, starting with clarifying that sugar substitutes don’t cause serious health problems and they're not linked to a higher risk of cancer in people. Studies dating back to the 1970s linked the artificial sweetener saccharin to bladder cancer in rats. Since then, research has shown that those findings don't apply to people. Some research on long-term, daily use of artificial sweeteners suggests a link to a higher risk of stroke, heart disease and death overall, but other things people do and the healthy habits that people don't do may be the cause of the higher risk. In general, sugar substitutes are best taken in small amounts, so try to cut back if you use them. Artificial sweeteners can help some people enjoy sweetness without excess calories, and if used in moderation, they can be part of a healthy diet.