Healthy Sweetener Exchanger to Stay Disease Free

As concerns over the health effects of traditional sweetening agents like sugar and artificial sweeteners continue to grow, there has been a notable shift towards exploring alternative sweetening options. This trend is driven by increasing awareness of the potential adverse effects of excessive sugar consumption, including obesity, diabetes, and dental issues, as well as growing scrutiny surrounding the safety of artificial sweeteners. In response, consumers and food manufacturers seek natural, low-calorie alternatives that offer the sweetness they crave without the drawbacks. This has led to a surge in research and innovation in the realm of sweetening agents, focusing on discovering new, healthier options derived from plants, fruits, and other natural sources.


People who are concerned about their weight often turn to artificially sweetened products for a low or no-calorie sweet fix, but is that strategy helping with weight management?

 It appears that a new study suggests this may be possible. The research, known as the Sweet Project, found that people who had rapidly lost weight and then replaced sugary foods and drinks with those containing sweeteners and sweetness enhancers (S&SE) continued to lose weight for a year without much difficulty.

Researchers, who will present their findings at the European Congress on Obesity in May, also discovered a link between sweetener consumption and positive mood, increased diet satisfaction, and reduced cravings for sweets.

Furthermore, ingesting sugar alternatives didn’t appear to increase the risk of type-2 diabetes or heart disease.

These findings are contrary to the World Health Organization WHO systematic review of 2023, which concluded that artificial sweeteners increase the risk of developing these chronic conditions and that replacing sugary products with artificially sweetened products does not help with long-term weight control. The Agency has recommended that the consumption of Artificial Sweeteners should be avoided for weight loss, based on its research.

A professor in the University of Copenhagen’s nutrition department, who led the new study, said in a statement that “weight maintenance after weight loss is difficult to achieve, and our findings support the use of Sweeter & Sweetness Enhancers found in many foods and beverages worldwide as alternatives to sugar-sweetened products to help manage weight control in adults with overweight.”

If you want to lose weight, and if these products are safe for consumption, here is what else you must know about replacing sugar with sweeteners.


How Sweeteners Can Impact Weight Loss

350 adults and 40 children were considered for the study that fall in the category of obesity for the one-year trial.

The team told adult participants to follow a reduced-calorie diet designed to help them lose up to 5% of their body weight in the first two months of the study. They told the children participants to maintain their weight during the study.

Then two groups of participants were split up. One group followed a healthy diet where less than 10% of calories came from foods and drinks with added sugar, which could not include products that contain artificial sweeteners. The second group followed the same dietary pattern but was allowed to consume artificially sweetened products.



  • Weight management without increasing the risk of disease can be helped by using low-calorie or no-sweeteners in place of sugar after weight loss.

  • Improved mood, reduced cravings for sweets, and increased diet satisfaction were observed in people using sweeteners.

  • The results of this study are promising, but they do not match other studies looking at the safety of sweeteners.

Questionnaires on different aspects like nutrition, diet, physical activity, and quality of life were completed by participants in this study. They were also followed by researchers for weight, body measurements, and signs of diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

The scientists found that, after 10 months, adults in the sweetener-consuming group lost weight, were more satisfied with their diet, had a more positive mood, and had fewer cravings than those in the other group. Adults in the group that couldn’t consume sweeteners also lost weight, but not quite as much as their sweetener-ingesting counterparts.

“The use of low-calorie sweeteners in weight management has been questioned, in part because of the link between their use and apparent weight gain in observational studies,” co-author Jason Halford, Ph.D., head of the University of Leeds’s School of Psychology and president of the European Association for the Study of Obesity, said in the statement. ‘It is increasingly clear that, in longer-term studies, no such results are achieved.’

The only finding for children participants was that replacing sugary food and drinks with other sweetened products was beneficial for children with high levels of uncontrolled eating.

In either group, the analysis did not show an increased risk of diabetes or heart disease.

Some limitations of this study, including a small number of children taking part and the fact that sweeteners are tested collectively irrespective of their types, have been noted by researchers. The general ability of the results is also called into question, given that a large proportion of participants were women with high educational attainment.


Sweetener Safety

Previous studies have suggested that fake sugars could cause cardiovascular problems and diabetes. While researchers don’t know how this might happen, some people think they might stimulate sugar cravings or change the gut microbiome in a way that negatively impacts metabolism, Rekha Kumar, MD, an endocrinologist and former American Board of Obesity Medicine medical director, told Health.

Raben, who led the study, said in his statement that a large number of studies on sweeteners’ safety have been carried out by animals with higher doses than normal human intakes.

The US Department of Agriculture has not changed its position on sweeteners despite the World Health Organization’s recommendation. According to Sarah Hormachea, a registered dietitian at Nourish, the Agency has discovered that sugar or GRAS is widely regarded as harmless.

According to the experts interviewed, the benefits of sugar substitutes outweigh any potential drawbacks at this stage.

“There are many more health risks associated with being overweight or obese than there are with consuming artificial sweeteners,” Kylie Bensley, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and owner of Suluni Nutrition, told Health. “If temporarily substituting sugar-sweetened food and beverages helps a person lose weight that is preferable.”

Other Options for Weight Management

According to Kumar, it’s not a one-size-fits-all process when it comes to managing or losing weight. It’s going to require a personalized, holistic approach,” she observed. However, she pointed out that metabolic health can be consistently supported by strategies.

She recommends at least 150 weekly minutes of moderately intense physical activity, such as cycling or brisk walking.

 It’s also important to understand how many calories and carbohydrates you need every day, depending on your body type and lifestyle, so that you can take care of what you eat.

A plant-forward diet filled with lean proteins, a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats from foods such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, fatty and fish, is recommended by a registered dietitian and associate professor at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, Lauri Wright, PhD, RDN. Ultra-processed foods are also recommended not to be consumed.

Finally, Bensley suggests that you develop easy ways of satisfying your sweet tooth by eating natural sugars. She’s a big fan of apple slices with caramel or a “Reese’s” apple with peanut butter and chocolate chips.

“We’re satisfying our sweet tooth in our family by saying we’re allowed to eat sweet food once a day,” she said.

Image Source: Freepik

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