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Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 28, 2022.

If you're trying to reduce the sugar and calories in your diet, you may be turning to artificial sweeteners or other sugar substitutes. You aren't alone.

Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes are found in a variety of food and beverages marketed as "sugar-free" or "diet," including soft drinks and baked goods. Just what are all these sweeteners? And what's their role in your diet?

Moderation is key

When choosing sugar substitutes, it pays to be a savvy consumer. Artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes can help with weight management. But they aren't a magic bullet and should be used only in moderation.

Food marketed as sugar-free isn't calorie-free, so it can still cause weight gain. Keep in mind that processed foods, which often contain sugar substitutes, generally don't offer the same health benefits as whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

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