- Sweeteners During Pregnancy
- Benefits of Sugar Substitutes
- Artificial Sweeteners Allowed during Pregnancy
- Artificial Sweeteners You should Avoid
Artificial Sweeteners During Pregnancy
Artificial sweeteners are low-caloric or non-caloric compounds, which are sweeter than sugar in 30-8000 times (the caloric value of sugar is approximately 4 kcal/g). Artificial sweeteners are added to foods and drinks in small amounts in order to reduce the energy value of the products.
Benefits of Sugar Substitutes
Is it safe to use artificial sweeteners during pregnancy? First, let us consider the reasons for using sugar substitutes instead of sugar by pregnant women.
- The first and the strongest reason is the fear of excess weight gain and becoming obese during pregnancy.
- Another reason is the necessity of maintaining stable blood sugar levels. It is required if a pregnant woman suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cardiovascular diseases or brain diseases. In these cases, taking honey, maltose, fructose and sucrose may cause harm to a woman and her baby.
- It is important to know about the benefits and threats of artificial sweeteners not only for a pregnant woman who gets the doctor’s recommendations of taking sugar substitutes, but also for everyone. Now, almost all products in the supermarkets contain artificial sweeteners. Therefore, before buying a chocolate bar or cupcakes, produced by a foreign manufacturer, it is advisable to read the label of the product.
However, synthetic sweeteners are safe for teeth. The use of artificial sweeteners does not influence the formation of the bacterial plaque on the enamel.
Artificial Sweeteners Allowed during Pregnancy
Aspartame is considered safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding in limited doses. However, this sweetener is forbidden for women suffering from phenylketonuria (PKU) – a genetic metabolic disorder. Aspartame is contained in soft drinks, chewing gums, breakfast cereal, and some dairy products. Aspartame is produced under the well-known brands "Equal" and "NutraSweet".
American specialists consider Acesulfame potassium safe in taking during pregnancy. This artificial sweetener is contained in pastry, frozen desserts, drinks, puddings, and sugar-free gelatin. Acesulfame potassium is produced under the brand name "Sunett".
This sweetener is non-caloric and does not affect sugar levels in blood. Sucralose is safe for pregnant and lactating women. This sweetener is found in soft drinks, bakery, confectionery and vegetable fats. Sucralose is produced under the brand name "Splenda".
Artificial Sweeteners You should Avoid
Some sweeteners are toxic and can produce negative effect on health of a pregnant woman and the baby.
Stevia is advertised not only as a sugar substitute, but also as a dietary supplement. Despite the fact that this sweetener is vegetable-based and has a number of useful properties, it has not been approved by the specialists. It is advisable to avoid stevia during pregnancy.
Cyclamate is considered not safe in use, as it may cause cancer. Therefore, it is prohibited in USA and some other countries. Due to its toxicity, cyclamate may produce negative effect on the organism, especially in pregnancy period.
Saccharin is another artificial sweetener to avoid during pregnancy. Specialists consider that saccharin can penetrate the placenta and cause damages to the fetus. People consuming saccharine are at a high risk to get bladder cancer.
Pregnancy Fitness Video: Are Sweeteners Safe in Pregnancy?