When it comes to sweetness, real food is best

"A treat is not a treat if you have it every day," a family medicine doctor notes.

Media Contact: Barbara Clements - 253-740-5043, bac60@uw.edu

UW Medicine family medicine physician Dr. Debra Bell has a clear message about artificial sweeteners: No amount is good for our health. 

“For people who don't have diabetes or some kind of significant blood sugar dysregulation, I recommend that they don't use artificial sweeteners,” Bell said. “There's really no reason to be substituting that in.” 

Bell advises patients to avoid products that contain artificial color or flavors as much as possible. She considers organic sugar to be a healthier alternative as long as the context of consuming it is still considered a treat.

“The focus is to eat real food and whole food. And so, if that involves a sweetener that is actually real food, in moderation (and) combined with other healthy foods, that would probably be my advice for having something sweet,” she said. 

Read more of Bell’s strategies on sweeteners in a blog post.

Download broadcast-ready soundbites on avoiding artificial sweeteners.

UW Medicine