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Are artificial sweeteners healthy and safe to eat?


Hi and thank you for your question!

Some artificial sweeteners have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be generally safe, including: 

  • Aspartame (NutraSweet® and Equal®)
  • Acesulfame-K (Sweet One®)
  • Neotame
  • Saccharin (Sweet’N Low®)
  • Sucralose (Splenda®)

The FDA reviewed numerous safety studies for each sweetener, and the results showed no evidence that these sweeteners cause cancer or carry any other health risks (1). However, these studies were done on animals and w respond to foods very differently compared to the animals from these studies. Therefore, we need more research to determine the lasting effects of artificial sweeteners on human health. 

Since artificial sweeteners have little to no nutritional value, I suggest treating it like regular sugar and using it sparingly. Most artificial sweeteners are extremely sweeter than regular sugar so you may only need a pinch of it! 

As long as you are making room for foods that nourish your body, artificial sweeteners can be part of a healthy eating pattern. They can also be helpful for people with diabetes who need to manage their blood sugar levels. Check out our Lifestyle pages on how to build a balanced plate and fit in more fiber.


Hope this helps!



Anna Ng, RD

1. "Artificial Sweeteners and Cancer" National Institute of Health. Updated August 10, 2016. Accessed Dec 18, 2020. 

2. "Non-Nutritive Sweeteners (Artificial Sweeteners)" American Heart Association. Updated March 18, 2014. Accessed Dec 18, 2020.


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Jennifer WeissmanRegistered Dietitian

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