There really is no such thing as a free lunch. The whole concept of an artificial sweetener is, in itself, misguided:
- It disrespects the wisdom of the body: a largely impossible-to-metabolise substance - it is actually low calorie because it is impossible to make energy from! If that's not a definition of an unbeneficial substance I don't know what is. Gives me the creeps - may as well eat plastic!
- It doesn't help to discontinue sweet-addiction behaviours - the root of many an overweight issue.
- A growing body of science is showing that these substances can have very negative impacts on health; whether from their indirect contribution to weight gain or by directly causing disease.
There is no short cut to good health - education, effort, trip ups, self forgiveness, self discovery and more are the way forward. And if you're eating tasty food, it's really not as hard as it seems.
The Ramazzi Institute (a respected independent - read not sponsored by those selling the substances - lab in Italy) has released some concerning data which indicated that the artificial sweetener Splenda (sucralose) caused lukaemia and related blood cancers in male mice. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has a great page where you can read more about the why's of avoiding (like the plague) certain substances in your diet. I love how they've entitled it 'Chemical Cuisine' :-) Link here: http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm
Disclaimer: Finding out that an artificial sweetener is unhealthy is not a confirmation that sugar laden drinks are better. They are not. They drastically increase disease risk when regularly consumed and are also an insult to the body-mind's needs. Those who have seen me talk know I'm a fan of Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: there are no chocolate rivers in nature as we see in the film and there are no streams of fizzy, body eroding, acidic drinks. There is no way out except to embrace the natural diet our health requires in order to keep us well and happy. We are mammals after all - chemicals won't cut it. And when consumed regularly, they remove the opportunity for better eating from our diet each and every time we have them: true dietary thieves.
If you're thirsty, drink water. If you're hungry eat food - not food like products.