Since artificial sweeteners first rose to prominence in the 1960s, they’ve been touted far and wide as a much healthier alternative to sugar. Substitutes such as aspartame and sorbitol have been marketed as a virtual godsend for dieters, too – not least because they contain very little in the way of calories. But are artificial sweeteners all that they’re cracked up to be? Well, the results of a 16-year study into these additives make for some pretty alarming reading – particularly when it comes to our well-being. And when you read exactly what the research has found, you may want to leave that diet soda on the shelf for good.
Initially, though, these synthetic counterparts to sugar were considered to be an all-round better choice than the white stuff – especially when it came to their caloric content. For example, while a sugar-laden 12-ounce can of regular Coke boasts a whopping 140 calories, the same amount of Diet Coke contains no calories at all.