As many of you know I am continually touting “real” foods. All artificial sweeteners, note the name, do not fit into this category. There are problems with all artificial sweeteners, especially going back to the oldest of the artificial sweeteners, saccharin, the cancer causing one. The newer ones like Splenda, Equal, etc. all have issues of theoretical brain toxicity due to the methanol by-product. Interestingly, these will negatively affect sugar metabolism by fooling the body into thinking it is getting sugar, triggering an insulin response which helps you lay down fat.
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A STUDY THAT SHOWS THESE SWEETENERS HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT!!
Most research shows people gain weight or at least do not lose weight on these sweeteners.
From a health standpoint, the best sweetener that does not seem to cause adverse reactions is the plant product, Stevia. I have grown some and it looks like a mint, although I think it is a member of the mulberry family. The leaves do taste sweet. However, some people do not like the flavor, as it may have a bitter aftertaste.
Some of the alcohol sugars like xylitol (contained in sugar-free gum) and erythritol may not be as bad. Nevertheless, they can cause digestive upset like gas in higher dosages. Xylitol gum has been shown to decrease cavities.
The goal is to eat a variety of natural products and keep all sugars low in the diet.