Artificial sweeteners are chemical compounds similar enough to sugar that the body registers them as being sweet. One of the most prolific artificial sweeteners is sucralose, often marketed as Splenda. Available research does not support claims that it leads to weight gain or negative health effects. Aspartame, also known as Equal or NutraSweet, is another major artificial sweetener. As with Splenda, available evidence suggests that aspartame is generally safe for moderate consumption, and does not contribute to weight gain.

Key Takeaways:

  • Artificial sweeteners may not contain many calories, but they may cause you to gain weight.
  • Sucralose is the sweetener used in the Splenda brand and is generally safe, except if you are baking at high temperatures.
  • Sucralose and aspartame are probably safe for most healthy people to consume in moderation.

“Artificial sweeteners are made in the lab and mimic the chemical structure of sugar, so they bind to sweet receptors.”

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