Pregnancy is one period during which one has to be extremely careful about the diet and also the time when one gets so much of advice about what to eat and what not to that it is bound to make anyone all the more confused. One of the main concerns is on the subject of artificial sweeteners and whether they are actually recommended during the pregnancy period. Majority of women are aware that they require cutting down their sugar intake and thus binge on artificial sweeteners instead. However how safe these artificial sweeteners are needs to be discussed in detail.
Artificial sweeteners play an important role in adding sugar to your food. They are an important ingredient in juices, cakes and pastries. You first need to be aware of the fact these sweeteners are of two kinds, non nutritive (which have no calories) and nutritive (which contain calories). If you by any chance have developed gestational diabetes, there is every chance your doctor might advice you to go in for artificial sweeteners which will avert a hike in the blood sugar level. However you need to be knowledgeable about the various artificial sweeteners and how safe they are for you during this crucial period.
Nutritive sweeteners contain what we know as ’empty calories’, and in moderate quantities, these sweeteners are considered safe during pregnancy, unless they do not contribute to unnecessary weight gain. Table sugar is the most common example of nutritive sweeteners. Sugar alcohols are also classified as nutritive sweeteners that are often found in foods labeled as “sugar free.”
Non nutritive sweeteners are used as sweetening additives in foods and drinks in very less quantities. They provide fewer calories as compared to sugar, because they are not fully digestible by our bodies. However, their safety during pregnancy has not yet been fully ascertained owing to limited research.
Given below are some wonderful guidelines about these sweeteners which will help you to make the right choice and ensure you breeze through your pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. The most common among them are Sucralose, Saccharin and Aspartame.
Some artificial sweeteners have been seen to be safe for humans as such, but linked to certain complications during pregnancy. Saccharin is one such example, which has been linked to an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Cyclamate is another such artificial sweetener which has been in question regarding its safety for consumption during pregnancy.
One of the major issues around pregnant woman consuming artificial sweeteners is that they are actually forgoing quite a big quantity of the much required nutrition which is an absolute must during this period for a healthy baby. Drinking huge amounts of diet soda for instance may deprive you of the necessary amount of milk, water or juices which are required during pregnancy.