General Question

lanahopple's avatar

How do you feel about no calorie artificial sweeteners (Truvia, Ideal, Splenda...)

Asked by lanahopple (455points) June 17th, 2011

Are any of these sweeteners really bad for you, or do people give them a bad rep just because it’s “too good to be true”?

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32 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I try to use stevia as I do believe artificial sweeteners are bad for you.

snowberry's avatar

Do a search for toxins in Aspartame, and be educated. This stuff is nasty.

I will not use ANY artificial sweetener.

Over the years I have noticed how many things that the FDA grants, and then pulls from the shelves, and quite a few art. sweeteners are in the list.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Just an amusing aside. I recently found out (no I can’t link it) that the big fuss about saccharine in the 70s causing cancer in black Norwegian rats was just that, a fuss about cancer in black Norwegian rats. It didn’t cause cancer in any other mammal.

lonelydragon's avatar

I try to use Stevia, but the taste is actually too sweet for me. Other sweeteners, like asparatame, I generally try to avoid because of their reputation for being carcinogens.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I think they’re even worse than sugar, which also causes cancer (or feeds it, rather).

Facade's avatar

I feel like most of them are poison.
The whole Diet Coke thing is such a trap. As @incendiary_dan said, the artificial stuff is worse than sugar.

tedibear's avatar

I don’t like the taste of any of them. I really wanted to like stevia, but the one thing that I tried with stevia in it – YECH! I may look for another product with stevia just to give it a chance, but that drink really put me off.

gailcalled's avatar

I wouldn’t touch any of them. I teaspoon of sugar contains 16 calories.

Soubresaut's avatar

The debates aside, the way I look at it is this: everything that goes into your digestive system, [save fiber] is broken down, absorbed, and used. When you start giving your body things it doesn’t normally use, it’ll still use them, because you gave it them, but chances are not in the most ideal way.

So weird chemicals designed for the tongue to taste sweetness, not unlikely they’re doing weird things once in your system, since they don’t have a productive function.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I use Truvia. It’s suppose to be all natural, yet is not sugar.

gorillapaws's avatar

Regular sugar is only better for you if you are willing to work off the extra calories it adds. I don’t mind the taste, and it’s worth the calorie tradeoff.

Kardamom's avatar

I don’t particularly like sweet tasting drinks, and I stopped adding sugar to my tea when I was about 8 years old and I became accustomed to not adding sugar or any other kinds of sweetners. I would never even consider putting sweetner on fruit, that defeats the whole purpose. If you just stop adding sugar or other sweetners to things, you will eventually acquire a taste for less sweet things. The idea of consuming artificial sweetners horrifies me.

gailcalled's avatar

I add sugar to nothing also. Tea with a splash of skim milk is fine. If I eat ice cream, I eat ice cream.

tinyfaery's avatar

Yuck. I hate the taste of all of them. I can taste any artificial sweetner in anything. Give me real sugar. Mmm…sugar.

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KatawaGrey's avatar

Honestly, they skeeve me out. I took a nutrition class last year and we had a whole section on artificial sweeteners. The reason why many of them are “zero calorie” is because your body simply can’t digest them. They pass through your system and come out the other end in the same condition. I don’t think particles that small would do damage to your system, but it still kind of freaks me out.

Bellatrix's avatar

I try not to use them at all. I would rather do without sweeteners and I have found I will get diarrhoea if I eat too much of things with these sweeteners in. If I have to use a sweetener, I would use sugar.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Well, when you’re not suppose to use real sugar… !

zenvelo's avatar

I avoid them too. And Dr. Mercola is against agave as a substitute, although I am not sure why.

I don’t drink soft drinks very often, when I do I only drink something with cane sugar in it, like Mexican Coca Cola or Fizzee.

lillycoyote's avatar

I use real sugar. I like the taste and I only put it in my coffee; which I have with half and half in it. That’s the way I like it and that’s that. Well, and occasionally on unsweetened cereals. I try to avoid artificial things if I can except for when I don’t feel like and then I don’t. The thing that really scares me are things in the orange junk food category like Doritos and Cheetos. Somewhere along the line I decided that orange food other than orange fruits and vegetables, particularly “Cheeto colored foods” probably aren’t good for you at all but sometimes I eat them anyway.

seekingwolf's avatar

@CaptainHarley Truvia (which I too have tried) is stevia. It’s considered natural because it comes from the stevia plant. So it’s not actual sugar.

I hate sacchrine and aspartame (spelling?). They taste badly to me. I really like Splenda though. I put it in my coffee and on my fruit sometimes. I don’t like stevia very much. Something about the taste.

Ah well. Life is full of risks and this is one that I take I suppose.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I only use it in my coffee, of which I allow myself two cups ( or one large mug ) each day, and I only use one teaspoon, so it’s kewl. : )

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t add sugar to anything, and I don’t like using fake sugar, either.

drdoombot's avatar

I avoid artificial sweeteners. There seems to be some evidence that they actually make you gain weight because they don’t trigger the brain chemicals that make you feel full (real sugar triggers these chemicals).

As @gailcalled said above, one teaspoon of sugar is only 16 calories, so just limit yourself. I make a big 16oz glass of iced tea every day and sweeten it with one teaspoon of sugar. 8 calories per cup isn’t too bad compared to Coca-cola. Of course, I used to take three teaspoons per cup, but I slowly reduced the amount over several weeks to get used to it. For the past few years, most soft drinks taste way too sweet for me.

Many years ago, before most people had even heard of stevia, I ordered a jar the powdered form off eBay. It was supposed to taste better than artificial sweeteners, but I hated it. It was so sweet that it was bitter. Adjusting the amount to tiny portions didn’t seem to help. I dislike the taste of aspartame, but I thought stevia was worse.

downtide's avatar

They’re nasty. I also intensely dislike the taste of them (most of them taste bitter to me) so I don’t have them at all.

There are 15 calories in one teaspoon of sugar. That’s all. I’d rather have that in a cup of black coffee than a can of soda any day.

CaptainHarley's avatar


For those of us who are diabetics, it’s not just the quantity of sugar-related foods that is critical, it’s how rapidly those foods are assimilated into our bloodstream. Sugar, especially processed sugar, is absorbed very rapidly and can easily, when combined with other sources, send us into a very high level of sugar. This is not a good thing, so whether we like the taste of sugar substitutes or not, it’s either use them or do without.

laureth's avatar

I am not a fan of the artificial sweeteners. However, I’m also insulin resistant, so using things with sugar (or any other high-glycemic sweetener) is very bad for me.

My first reaction is to just not sweeten things. Since I have to be careful with carbs, I eat them when I feel like I’m getting the most bang for my buck (so to speak), so sugar in tea loses, while real maple syrup on the occasional waffle, wins.

When I do sweeten, I go for something relatively natural and low-glycemic. The first thing I tried were the malt syrups, but they just don’t do it for me, taste-wise. My current favorite is crystallized sap from the coconut tree, which tastes somewhat (but not exactly) like sucanat or brown sugar. Another good one is Xylitol, which actually has some health benefits. They both have a lower glycemic index than sugar. (Xylitol is 7, coconut crystals 35, white sugar 68, HFCS 100)

lillycoyote's avatar

@laureth I have to be really careful with sugar alcohols like Xylitol because, as your Wikipedia link so nicely puts it, one doesn’t want to indulge in “consumption in excess of one’s laxation threshold.” :-)

laureth's avatar

@lillycoyote – That is a very good point. I am not affected by it the same way. Either that, or, after the new food had been introduced, my body and its various residents adapted to the change.

seekingwolf's avatar


I haven’t tried truvia in coffee. I’m sure there it’s fine. The problem that I ran into with truvia was with fruit. I love grapefruit but I want to put a little sweetener or sugar on it before I eat it. Sugar or splenda absorbs nicely into it but I found that the truvia didn’t dissolve in the juice and made my grapefruit “crunchy”. Yuck! lol

cazzie's avatar

Real sugar for me. I drink coffee with a teaspoon of sugar. It adds 16 calories. Easy to work off when I don´t eat other junk and I walk and bike everywhere. If you are trying to lose weight, forget the diet products with artificial sugar and just get your arse moving and eat as natural and low on the food chain as possible. (I´m a size 36 and over 40 years old.)

SomeoneElse's avatar

I cannot see the point in replacing a natural product (sugar) with a chemical product (artificial sweetener).
I think it is a sad state of affairs when calories are counted so religiously – it takes a lot of the fun out of food and let’s face it, what is considered ‘good; one week is then ‘bad’ the next.

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