Side Effects Of Sugar Free Diet: Benefits, Uses, & Risks Of Sweeteners - Diabetes Blog
Home»Blog»Nutrition And Food » Side Effects Of Sugar Free Diet: Benefits, Uses, & Risks Of Sweeteners

Side Effects Of Sugar Free Diet: Benefits, Uses, & Risks Of Sweeteners

348 0
side effects of sugar free

Artificial sweeteners have become a crucial part of today’s regular diet, especially for those who want to reduce sugar intake and manage their weight or blood glucose levels. Here we have dived deep into the world of major artificial sweeteners to check how they are made; their common uses and side effects of sugar free diet.

IDC blog banner free doc consultation

How Do Artificial Sweeteners Work?

By interacting with the taste buds on our tongue, artificial sweeteners imitate the taste of sugar without its calories. Sweet receptors (T1R2 and T1R3) in the mouth communicate to the brain that a person has taken something sugary. Most artificial sweeteners are much sweeter than sugar so little quantities of them are required. Many do not undergo metabolism in the body like glucose does therefore, it adds no calories and does not affect serum glucose concentration making it suitable for people suffering from diabetes mellitus. The various temperatures at which they can be stable also determine their application such as baking or cold beverages.

Also Read:Top Picks For Sugar Free Ice Cream For Diabetic

Side Effects of Sugar Free Diet

1. Aspartame

Aspartame consists of two amino acids: phenylalanine and aspartic acid which form a dipeptide. It is synthesized by chemically bonding these proteins together to create a substance that is approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose.

It is commonly used in low-calorie and sugar-free products. It’s in diet sodas, sugar-free gums, yogurt, and other low-calorie desserts that you will find aspartame used due to its cold stability and unsuitability for baking but suitable for cold beverages and foods.

Potential Side Effects of Aspartame

Although the FDA considers it safe, some people claim to have headaches, dizziness and gastrointestinal problems as side effects of sugar free diet after consuming aspartame. Besides, phenylketonuria (PKU) patients with a rare genetic disorder must avoid this sweetener since they are unable to metabolize an amino acid called Phenylalanine which consequently leads to harmful levels of it in the body.

Also Read: 10 Sugarcane Juice Benefits You Might Not Know About

2. Sucralose

Sucralose is a derivative of sucrose and is produced by substituting three hydroxyl groups with chlorine atoms using several chemical steps. It is about 600 times sweeter than table sugar; meanwhile, it cannot be digested or absorbed by the human body because of this process hence making sucralose noncaloric.

Because of its heat-stability properties and also versatility under cooking conditions, sucralose is good for baking purposes. This artificial sweetener can be found in baked goods such as cakes, and cookies among others; drinks like carbonated ones, chewing gums, jellos and frozen desserts such as ice cream. This aspect has made many consumers accept it due to its ability to maintain sweetness even at high temperatures.

Potential Side Effects of Sucralose

The FDA has found that sucralose is generally recognized as safe (GRAS); however, this fact is under examination for possible health implications. There have been some studies that indicate it can change gut microbiota and affect insulin sensitivity in the body. Nevertheless, these findings are not definitive, and the use of sucralose remains widespread and endorsed.

3. Saccharin

Chemically, saccharin is synthesized from anthranilic acid, nitrous acid, sulfur dioxide, chlorine and ammonia. Saccharin was discovered by accident in the late 19th century when it was known to be about 300-400 times sweeter than sugar.

It is stable at high temperatures which makes it a good option for baking or cooking. It can often be found in tabletop sweeteners, soft drinks, canned fruit, and various pharmaceutical products.

Potential Side Effects of Saccharin

It was first noticed that saccharin could cause bladder cancer in rats through early research work leading to safety concerns. Later works proved that these effects were species-specific and did not apply to humans as well, prompting FDA to drop its warning label requirement on saccharin and declare it safe for human consumption in 2000.

Also Read:Best Sugar Free Energy Drinks Available In India

4. Stevia

From the leaves of the Stevia Rebaudiana plant stevia is obtained with sweetness extracted from it. Its main sweetening compounds are stevioside and rebaudioside A which are isolated and then purified to give a sweetener about 200-300 times sweeter than sugar is produced.

Stevia, as a natural sweetener, is utilized in drinks and also added in yogurts, baked goods or as a tabletop sweetener. With the ability to withstand high temperatures, it is mostly recommended for cooking thereby making it popular among those who want to opt for natural alternatives to artificial sugars.

Potential Side Effects of Stevia

FDA considers stevia safe when used as a pure ingredient however, concerns have been raised over raw stevia leaves and crude extracts which are not FDA approved due to health risks. At the same time, purified extracts of stevia found in commercial products are considered harmless and are consumed by the majority of people.

5. Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K)

The synthesis of Ace-K occurs from acetoacetic acid and fluorosulfonyl isocyanate. This leads to crystalline powder that is approximately two hundred times sweeter than sugar and remains unaltered under heat or acidic conditions.

Often used with other sweetening agents to enhance the syrupy taste and cover up bitterness, Ace-K is present in carbonated water, milk or fruit smoothies for bodybuilders, cookies, cakes as well as candies. It is used widely due to its steadiness and compatibility with other sugar substitutes.

Potential Side Effects of Acesulfame Potassium

However, it’s important for consumers to be aware of the potential side effects of sugar free products that contain Ace-K, as some individuals may experience digestive discomfort or other adverse reactions. By understanding these risks, you can make more informed choices about your consumption of sugar-free alternatives.

Also Read:7 Health Benefits of Eating Apples You Might Not Know

6. Neotame

Unlike Aspartame, Neotame has the same chemical structure but is far sweeter, up to 13,000 times in terms of sweetness as compared to sugar. It is a product of a synthesis process that resembles aspartame but adds more chemical modifications to increase its sweetness and durability.

Due to its intense sweetness, even small amounts of neotame are sufficient which makes it cost effective for manufacturers. It can be found in various processed food items Including beverages as well as general sweeteners.

Potential Side Effects of Neotame

However, according to FDA approval, neotame is considered safe. Additionally, it does not degrade into phenylalanine; this is a good thing for people suffering from PKU. Moreover, no dangerous side effects of sugar free substitutes like Neotame have been reported under normal conditions of consumption.

Which Sugar Substitute Is The Safest?

Dates are the number one sugar alternative as a sweetening agent and it doesn’t have any side effects of sugar free alternatives available today in the market. As a fruit it has been used for thousands of years and people have loved and consumed them. Even today, dried dates are still available in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Dates can usually be divided into two main categories: sweet and dry dates. For example, these include Medjool, Deglet Noor, Barhi and Zahidi among others for sweet dates; or Khalas, Zebri and Goobneh among others for dry dates.

Sweet dates are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants among others that promote good health whereas dry ones contain high amounts of iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, copper, and manganese which makes them suitable for every diet.

Also Read:Discover The Top 7 Popcorn Benefits For Weight Loss


Artificial sweeteners offer choices to individuals who want to reduce their sugar consumption but who still desire sweetness. Side effects of sugar free diet exist but each of these sweeteners has its own advantages as well. So you can choose one based on your tastes or medical needs. It’s best to consult your doctor if you have any underlying medical conditions or concerns relating to the use of these artificial sweeteners.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is compiled information from generic and public sources. It is in no way a substitute, suggestion, or advice for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. Beato App does not claim responsibility for this information.

Are you looking for the perfect glucometer to check your blood sugar level? Try out BeatO smartglucometerkit, affordable and easy to use.

Discover top-tier diabetes care with BeatO’s Chief Clinical Officer,Dr. Navneet Agarwal. His expertise in Diabetes ensures personalised guidance for overall health. Try out a smartglucometerand keep track of blood sugar levels now.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Akhil Taneja

Akhil Taneja

Health & Wellness Connoisseur and Growth Marketing Expert, I am a passionate health enthusiast and an advocate for holistic health. With my expertise in tech and love for helping others achieve optimal well-being, I am delivering insightful content to help readers achieve their health and fitness goals.

Leave a Reply