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Artificial sweeteners safe for people with diabetes?

Question: Are artificial sweeteners safe for people with diabetes?

Answer: Yes, and they can decrease your calorie and carbohydrate intake significantly. For example, a can of regular cola has about 140 calories and 35 grams of carbohydrate. That's about nine teaspoons of sugar! Compare that to a soda with artificial sweetener with no calories, no sugar, no carbohydrates at all, and you can see how artificial sweeteners can help you manage both your weight and your blood glucose.

The Food and Drug Association (FDA) declares that artificial sweeteners are safe. They have established an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for each artificial sweetener. The ADI is the maximum amount considered to be safe if it were consumed daily for an individual's lifetime. This amount is really far more than anyone could consume. Now, just because they are safe doesn't mean that you should consume them all day everyday. Foods with artificial sweeteners aren't often nutritionally redeeming. You are better off adding fruit to unsweetened yogurt than eating artificially sweetened yogurt. Water and plain tea are better choices than diet soda, and oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon is more wholesome than artificially sweetened instant oats.

About Jill Weisenberger

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RD, CDE is the author of Lose Weight with Diabetes Week by Week (American Diabetes Association, 2012). She serves as contributing editor of Environmental Nutrition. A recognized speaker and consultant, Jill is recognized for her practical advice and desires to help others improve their eating habits, to lose weight and to live healthier lives.

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