WHO Advises Against Artificial Sweeteners for Some

If you have followed a low-carb diet for over a week, you know about artificial sweeteners. Low-calorie and noncaloric sweeteners are staples of low-carb baking and treats.

There have been concerns about the safety of artificial sweeteners for years, and we have written about some of the controversies. However, every single one of our dessert recipe blogs has called for the use of sweeteners.

Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended against using non-sugar sweeteners (NSS). A review of studies found that NSS don’t help long-term weight loss or fat reduction. They also may increase the risk of heart disease, blood sugar concerns and death.

This advice was only for people without preexisting blood sugar concerns. For people who already have blood sugar concerns, they didn’t make any recommendations. Their review did not include enough research about people with blood sugar concerns to draw any conclusions for them. It might seem absurd not to include the people most likely to use NSS. But, the review wasn’t looking at how safe they were.

This recommendation is not meant to comment on safety of consumption,” said Francesco Branca, director of WHO’s department of nutrition and food safety. “What this guideline says is that if we’re looking for reduction of obesity, weight control or risk of noncommunicable diseases, that is unfortunately something science been unable to demonstrate. It’s not going to produce the positive health effects that some people might be looking for.”

As it doesn’t offer guidance for people with blood sugar concerns, it’s hard to say if this new research impacts our customers. Eating fewer chemicals is generally better for you. That was already known. We always say that desserts are treats, not daily food. Cutting back on all sweeteners is always a good idea. You’ll crave sugar less.

You can train yourself to enjoy healthy food more and desire unhealthy food less by eating a good diet with fiber and protein. Having fruit for dessert and adding sliced fruit to sparkling water can help you cut out sugar while still getting something sweet.

The bottom line about the new guidelines is that they might not impact you at all. We’ve been seeing alarmist headlines everywhere. When you cut through the shouting, the WHO said that NSS don’t aid long-term weight loss and may raise the risk of heart disease, blood sugar concerns and death. It was nothing groundbreaking. We have heard these results before. But if you already have blood sugar concerns and want to bake, there aren’t many options.

Banner image: Liam Hunter via Unsplash

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