What are Nonnutritive Sweeteners?
The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association published a scientific statement about nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS) on July 9, 2012. By definition, NNS, or very low-calorie sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, noncaloric sweeteners, and intense sweeteners, have a higher intensity of sweetness per gram than caloric sweeteners such as sucrose, corn syrups, and fruit juice concentrates.
Which Foods Contain Nonnutritive Sweeteners?
NNS are commonly used in beverages and other food products, such as diet soft drinks, candies, yogurts, desserts, and gum. Six NNS—aspartame, acesulfame-K, neotame, plant –based sweeteners (stevia), saccharin, and sucralose—are regulated as food additives by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and therefore had to be approved as safe before being marketed.
At this time, there are insufficient data to determine conclusively whether the use of NNS to displace caloric sweeteners in beverages and foods reduces added sugars or carbohydrate intakes, or benefits appetite, energy balance, body weight, or cardiometabolic risk factors.
Summary: The evidence reviewed suggests that when used judiciously, NNS could facilitate reductions in added sugars intake, thereby resulting in decreased total energy and weight loss/weight control, and promoting beneficial effects on related metabolic parameters. However, these potential benefits will not be fully realized if there is a compensatory increase in energy intake from other sources.
1) A/ADA Scientific Statement: Nonnutritive Sweeteners: Current Use and Health Perspectives: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association