Artificial sweeteners tend to give people pause—are these things really safe?—and with good reason. A growing number of medical practitioners, nutrition scientists, and health organizations have expressed concern with society’s collective (and overwhelming) reliance on artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose.
There have not been proven human links between artificial sweeteners and cancer, but in rats the heavy consumption of artificial sweeteners has resulted in health issues including cancer, destruction of good bacteria, and, ironically, increased weight gain.
There are also people with specific medical issues who may have to avoid certain artificial sweeteners. For example if you have PKU (Phenylketonuria), ingesting some artificial sugars can have dangerous side effects and can seriously affect brain function.
Take a look at the ingredient list on the foods you regularly purchase. Popular name brands for artificial sweeteners include Nutrasweet, Splenda, and Sweet-n-Low.
Choosing organic sugar, maple syrup, and honey are natural ways to avoid the unknown and unintended negative health consequences of artificial ingredients. Moderation is key; eaten in mass quantities any sugar can have negative health effects.
Avoid foods in which any sugar (including high fructose corn syrup) is listed as one of the first three ingredients.