Is a sweetener bad for you? Who can consume and what are the risks?

Despite generating doubts, especially because it is an industrialized product, the sweetener does not hurt . Even the artificial ones have no scientific proof that they cause damage to health, as long as they are consumed within the recommendations of maximum daily intake. And that goes for the supposed immediate harm, like heartburn , or in the long run, like diabetes .

There is a guideline for the acceptable daily intake (IDA) of different substances, which establishes limits for their daily consumption in a safe way. That is, respecting the indicated values, it is possible to use the sweetener without causing damage to the organism.

Despite this, the guideline is that sweeteners are consumed by those who really need them, such as people with diabetes or in calorie restriction.

Read more: Does sugar improve or worsen anxiety? Discover the relationship

What are the side effects of the sweetener?

If the maximum daily intake is respected, there is no evidence that sweeteners can cause more serious problems. It is possible that there are cases of sensitivity to a certain substance, causing consumption, even in recommended amounts, to generate headache or diarrhea , for example.

Regarding possible adverse effects, the endocrinologist Daniele Zaninelli advises that those who need to use sweeteners follow the recommendations of the Brazilian Diabetes Society, alternating between the sweeteners available on the market so that there is no continuous exposure to the same substance for long periods.

The doctor also points out that sweeteners are added to industrialized , ultra- processed foods , which can be aggressive to the gastrointestinal tract, especially if there is already an antecedent problem.

However, there is always the orientation of moderate consumption and good eating habits.

For the kidneys

The kidneys are often mentioned as organs possibly affected by the consumption of sweeteners.

Health organizations consider that people without kidney changes and who need to adopt sweeteners in their diet can make use, within the appropriate daily limits, without major concerns.

The attention, in fact, is on sodium, present in some types of sweetener, such as sodium cyclamate.

Therefore, anyone who has high blood pressure or restriction of substance intake should pay attention to the amount of sweetener and the type chosen.

For those who have diabetes

Sweeteners are mainly indicated for people with diabetes or on diets with calorie restriction. The aim is to exchange sugar for an equally sweet product, but that does not raise blood glucose or provide so many calories.

Each product can have different effects on the body, as there are different substances in the composition – some are artificial, others are natural.

But endocrinologist Daniele Zaninelli points out that none of them negatively affect the glycemic control of patients who make proper use.

Which sweetener is not bad for your health?

More than the type – or which sweetener – is not harmful to health, it is necessary to think about the safe amount of intake. This is because it is necessary to remember that every product released for consumption undergoes tests and safety assessment.

The sweeteners available on the market are therefore safe, as long as the maximum daily dosages are respected, as the doctor Daniele Zaninelli points out.

It is also possible to adopt the rotation suggested by the Brazilian Diabetes Society. Thus, the same substance is avoided for a long time.

The tip, then, is to know the acceptable daily intake (IDA) and keep an eye on consumption:

  • Aspartame : 40mg per kg;
  • Sodium saccharin : 5mg per kg;
  • Sodium cyclamate : 11mg per kg;
  • Sucralose : 5mg per kg;
  • Stevia : 5.5mg per kg.

Thus, it is easy to observe that the consumption of a few drops in the coffee – or of diet, light or zero products – is safe and hardly exceeded within a healthy diet.

For example, a diet soda, sweetened with sodium saccharin, has an average of 40mg in each can.

For a 60kg person, the IDA of the sweetener is 300mg, which means that the daily limit is equivalent to approximately 7 cans.

Thus, if the diet is balanced and healthy, with medical and nutritional monitoring, the consumption of sweeteners is safe.

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