There are a lot of people out there who are still under the impression that the no calorie sweetener, sugar substitute, Splenda is actually better for you than other artificial sweeteners due to the fact that is ‘made from sugar’ but without the nutritional side effects. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a free lunch…

Even the Cleveland Clinic dietitians agree that the best sweetener is no sweetener at all. “Sugar and artificial sweeteners are addictive and will hijack your health and metabolism,” says Brigid Titgemeier, MS, RDN, LD. They stimulate your appetite, encourage your sweet tooth and pack on the pounds. And they place you at risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and fatty liver (ClevelandClinic).

And since we’re only human, you more than likely will not be eliminating sweeteners from your diet anytime soon. Dieticians were polled and came up with a list of the worst and best sweeteners out there and it’s no surprise that artificial sweeteners (no brands listed) are the worst for your health. No only will artificial sweeteners cause you to crave more sweet and sugary foods, aspartame has caused cancer in three independent animal studies (ClevelandClinic).

As Dr. Joseph Mercola states, “consuming artificial sweeteners breaks the inherent connection between a sweet taste and high-calorie food, thereby changing your body’s ability to regulate your intake of calories. The end result is gaining more body fat than if you were to eat the same foods sweetened with regular sugar!”

Your gut flora consists of beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion, immune function and can manufacture the vitamins your body needs. Artificial sweeteners (and antibiotics) can wipe out this good bacteria tipping the balance in favor of the bad bacteria that cause serious health concerns with digestion, mental issues, skin conditions and autoimmune diseases to name a few. Many people are already deficient in good bacteria and artificial sweeteners only makes it worse.
Popularized in the 1930s and 1940s, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” is an adage meaning it’s impossible to get something for nothing. That also applies to nutrition. Next time you reach for a diet soda, fat-free snack, or symptom-relieving drug, think about the ingredients. Do you know what you’re getting? Or does it seem like a free lunch?

And if you’re curious to know what the Cleveland Clinic dietitians labeled as the best sweetener for you to consume: Fresh or frozen fruit. Nature’s true sweetener.