Stevia, Monk Fruit Extract, or Aspartame – Healthy or Not?

The Popularity of Artificial Sweeteners

We are all becoming more educated about reducing the total quantity of sugar in our diet for our better health, but are the sweetener-alternatives any better?  According to EatingWell.com, the artificial and sugar substitute industry is growing, topping $18 billion in 2019!  But do the artificial alternatives to sugar cause more sugar addiction and health problems?

sugar and sweetenersYou will find artificial sweeteners in the most inconspicuous packaged products. You expect them added to diet sodas, flavored yogurts, low-calorie ice cream, and diet candies. But would you expect them in fat-free salad dressings, high-fiber cereals, ketchup, or bread? When you add it all up in this product, that lunch, this snack; the quantity accumulates real fast.

Identifying Sweeteners in Your Food

sweetener ingredients supermarketIt’s important to know the names that artificial sweeteners go by:

  • aspartame,
  • acesulfame potassium,
  • saccharin,
  • supra lose, and
  • neotame.

You should also know the names of ‘natural’ sweeteners:

  • stevia leaf extract,
  • monk fruit extract,
  • and sugar alcohols such as erythritol,
  • and xylitol.

When looking at the ingredient listing of a product, look for these ingredients. All of these sweeteners have been FDA-approved, but there is some controversy from organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) which question the impact all these additives on a body’s long-term health.

So Are Sweeteners Healthy or Not?

sugar alternatives verdictDo sweeteners help you lose weight or crave sugar even more? One study will prove that in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle they do help you reduce your overall sugar intake. Then there are opposing studies that say that those who consume sugar substitutes aren’t leaner, and are sometimes heavier!  What’s the solution?

Many nutritionist recommend utilizing sugar for sweeter swaps moderately and include more whole, unprocessed foods to your diet. Many people with gut sensitivity may increase their health symptoms if they consume aspartame, sucralose or saccharin. I personally had a doctor recommend this to me to improve my chronic digestive symptoms.

According to Joyce Hendley, Americans ingest a staggering 140 pounds of sugar substitutes annually. Any effort to improve reducing that number is health-beneficial.


Paula MaierI began Paula’s HealthyLiving.com to share my passion for staying fit, eating healthy and scheduling rest time.  As a 50 year old mother of 3, I understand that it can be difficult to make healthy meals, exercise and carve out time for you, while constantly doing this juggling act called, life!

Healthy eating and exercising on a regular basis gives me self-confidence and personal satisfaction.  I encourage my readers to eat whole foods instead of processed foods that are not as nutritious because that processing removes the nutritious elements in the food.  They do not help you achieve your body-shape or long-term health goals. When I cook my families’ food, I’m in control of the sugar, salt, and the type of oils used.

It is difficult to resist temptations of fast foods, desserts, soda pop, and skipping workouts, but by making a commitment to your ‘best health’, you can be successful! Change your view toward healthy foods as fuel for all your systems. Take control.  Educate yourself your family.

I don’t believe any ONE PERSON has all the answers.  Be open minded but critical.  Be logical, but have wild-abandon.  Know that baby steps begin before a sprint…and love yourself for trying!!!

8 thoughts on “Stevia, Monk Fruit Extract, or Aspartame – Healthy or Not?

  1. I think supralose is supposed to be sucralose? Also sucralose is better publicly known as Splenda. I’m a vegetarian and been reading labels for 20 years — definitely a wise habit. I’m against the use of artificial sweeteners, for a number of years, however I will use some types of gum if I’m low or out of my natural stuff, as I don’t have a natural food store across from/near me….I got Walmart, go figure. I think they definitely should be avoided when possible and have read that they could be linked to neurological issues.

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