There’s been a debate on whether or not artificial sweeteners are as healthy as sugar. Though some feel they are, others don’t agree. Many foods and beverages are believed to be unsafe for pregnant women, however. Pregnant women are advised to stay away from or limit the amount of fish, caffeine, deli meats, or cheese they eat. Are artificial sweeteners safe for pregnant women to consume? Here are some of the things that all women should know about using artificial sweeteners during pregnancy.
Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe During Pregnancy?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, artificial sweeteners in moderation are considered safe during pregnancy. There are a few concerns to take into consideration, however. Drinking or consuming foods which are high in artificial sweeteners can lead to unnecessary weight gain. The American Pregnancy Association also recommends women with gestational diabetes to limit their intake of artificial sweeteners.
Which Artificial Sweeteners are Safe During Pregnancy?
There are many artificial sweeteners which are considered to be safe for pregnant women. These artificial sweeteners include Stevia, Sunett, Equal or NutraSweet (Aspartame), and Splenda, according to the American Pregnancy Association. All of these artificial sweeteners are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for pregnant women to safely consume, as they are not thought to be linked to any birth defects or pregnancy complications.
Which Artificial Sweeteners aren’t Safe for Pregnant Women?
There are two artificial sweeteners that women will want to avoid during pregnancy. Sweet ‘N Low (or saccharin) is not thought to be safe for anyone. Research has shown that this artificial sweetener can cross the placenta and remain in fetal tissue, so it is not generally recommended for women to use during pregnancy. It is thought that this artificial sweetener could lead to birth defects. Cyclamate is not recommended for pregnant women or anyone, for that matter, because it has been linked to cancer.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that artificial sweeteners are generally safe during pregnancy. Though it is best for all pregnant women to only consume them in moderation, those who have gestational diabetes will want to be extra careful about the amount of artificial sweeteners that they are consuming. While most artificial sweeteners can be enjoyed safely, the FDA advises pregnant women (and people, in general) against consuming Sweet ‘N Low and Cyclamate, as they may be linked to birth defects or may lead to cancer.
American Pregnancy Association, “Using Artificial Sweetener During Pregnancy.”