10 Myths About Sugar

Artificial Sweeteners Are Healthier Than Sugar
Artificial sweeteners like Splenda are not necessarily better for you. Sometimes they can encourage you to eat more high-calorie foods. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Many health-conscious people favor artificial sweeteners for their food, figuring they're a better bet because they don't contain any calories. It's true you're avoiding calories when you stick with artificial sweeteners, but the jury's out on whether they're healthier for you. The FDA deems artificial sweeteners safe, but experts say their long-term effects still aren't known. Further, there are numerous studies that raise red flags. For example, one study performed by researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine found that if you eat artificially sweetened foods that are low in calories, it may cause you to down high-calories foods later in the day, especially if you ate the artificially sweetened stuff when you were tired or hungry. Artificial sweeteners don't signal "energy" to the brain the way regular sugar does [sources: Alpha Galileo, Gupta].

Additionally, many people who rely on artificial sweeteners knowingly eat a little more throughout the day because they feel like they can afford to do so. After all, they've saved calories by opting for Splenda or Equal in their coffee or plain yogurt, so it's fine to have that extra hamburger or serving of potatoes. In the end, it may be best to simply eat less real sugar than swap it out for artificial sweeteners [sources: Gupta, Trant].