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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Are sweeteners better than sugar?

    Related Topic
    I saw stevia the natural sweetener advertised.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3


    Maria Nguyen

    HealthShare Member

    Sweeteners are not necessary better than sugar, but have certain health benefits such as weight control and diabetes. If you are trying to lose weight or have diabetes, it is a good option to limit sugar intake and take sweeteners instead, However, some scientists are concerned that sweeteners might cause cancer. This, however,  sweeterners intake=cancer has not been proved by any official study. 

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  • 3


    Samantha Ling

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Samantha is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD), consultant and food and nutrition enthusiast. Samantha works in a private practice on the Central Coast, NSW, Rostant … View Profile

    This is a very controversial question! Personally, I think everything has a place in our diet in moderation.

    There's actually a new article that was released last week in the Daily Telegraph which highlights the link between artificial sweeteners and an INCREASED risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and weight gain.
    Basically, when we eat sweet foods a psychological response is triggered which signals the arrival of nutrients in our stomach which is an important part of energy regulation. However, research is suggesting that artificial sweeteners give no such trigger AND actually weaken the body's natural
    response to sweetness over time, impairing our energy regulation and thus body weight regulation.

    Read the full article at

    One of the leading health care professionals in nutrition, Dr Alan Barclay (Chief Scientific Officer at the Glycaemic Index Foundation and Head of Research at Diabetes Australia) actually recommends a limit of 13-14 teaspoons of sugar per day (~55g).

    But think ADDED SUGAR - not the sugar found in fruit, vegetables, dairy products or grains. Why? These foods provide us with MANY essential nutrients that should make up part of a healthy, balanced diet.
    Instead focus on not over-indulging in foods with very high concentrations of ADDED SUGAR such as chocolate, biscuits, energy drinks etc

    Bottom line - scrap the artificial sweeteners and enjoy softdrinks on special occasions. Enjoy a teaspoon of sugar in your coffee or on your breakfast cereal but limit the amount of biscuits etc you consume. Stevia is a natural sweetener - but it's perfectly normal, and healthy to enjoy up to 13-14 teaspoons of added sugar every day.

    Samantha Ling
    Rostant Nutrition
    (Find us on facebook at

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