If something is presented as low sugar/sugar free then it must be better for us than its full-of-sugar counterparts…right?….. or so we’ve been led to believe.

During the 60’s sugar was replaced with artificial sweeteners in low calorie drinks and began to be marketed at dieters for weight loss and for those with diabetes.

Nobody questioned what the sugar had been replaced with and if these ingredients would have any negative health effects.

These replacements were mostly saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame-K and sucralose, which are present in thousands of products around the world.

Saccharin was banned due to lab rats developing bladder cancer. It was then reintroduced with warnings as it was discovered that this would not relate to humans and was eventually deemed ‘safe’ for consumption. Later all health warnings were removed.

Wonder whether the big business of diet drinks might have had something to do with that?

Aspartame is a man-made chemical compound, one of the E numbers, E951, that everyone talks about but don’t really understand.

Introduced as the brand NutraSweet in 1965, its medical controversies have been the subject of many discussions and studies. It’s 200 times sweeter than sugar and studies have found that rather than fulfill its objective of helping with weight loss, it actually can be linked to weight gain and heart disease risks.

Aspartame can cause neurological symptoms, tumors, seizures, headaches and mood changes, but the findings are not consistent enough to support this with controlling bodies denying the studies.

A Canadian Medical Association Journal report published a study which followed 400,000 people over a 10 year period and their controlled consumption of one or more artificially sweetened drinks per day. None of the subjects lost any weight or controlled their weight. The results showed they were far more at risk of weight gain obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Our bodies do better if we consume less sugar and artificial sweeteners. Processed foods and drinks are not good and are not the healthy option.


Regular exercise and a balanced diet, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is the only sure way to get healthy.

Scrutinize ingredients and choose food and drinks that are low in sugar and steer clear of artificial sweeteners.

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