Q:

Is there a link between aspartame and diabetes?

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Quick Answer

Aspartame is a safe artificial sweetener for diabetics because it doesn't raise blood glucose levels and provides no extra calories or carbohydrates, reports the American Diabetes Association. Aspartame is safe for everyone except people with the rare genetic disorder phenylketonuria, advises the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A single study in Israel linking aspartame with glucose intolerance leading to diabetes has not caused the American Diabetes Association to cease supporting its use as of late 2014, states the Washington Post.

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Full Answer

Normal sugars are carbohydrates, and eating them raises blood glucose levels, which can be harmful for diabetics, explains WebMD. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are foods that diabetics can consume freely without the risk of a blood sugar spike. Because aspartame is a high-intensity sweetener, only a small quantity adequately sweetens food, and limits to safe levels of consumption are far higher than amounts most people use, assures the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Aspartame is present in diet and sugar-free beverages and foods such as candy, puddings, baked goods, soft drinks and canned foods.

Although aspartame is safe, diabetics should be aware that other ingredients in foods labeled sugar-free or reduced sugar may contain carbohydrates, cautions the American Diabetic Association. Diabetics should always check the nutrition facts label on foods when shopping.

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