There are a variety of artificial sweeteners on the market, with different chemical structures. There is a lack of data on their long-term health effects.

There’s no clear “winner” that’s best for you, said Joanne Slavin, a professor of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

In the spring, the WHO said that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, stevia, sucralose and saccharin may not help people lose body fat and that consuming them could be associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and total mortality. Erythritol, a zero-calorie sugar substitute, has recently come under scrutiny for its possible links to cardiovascular issues, although that evidence is inconclusive.

Some health experts recommend eliminating artificial sweeteners from your diet completely, no matter how hard that is. “If they do nothing good, and they are not required in the diet, and there is no real benefit – why bother with them?” said Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food and public health at New York University.

But sugar also comes with concerns. Anything that consistently raises your blood sugar can be a problem, especially if you have diabetes or another metabolic disorder. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention joined the frequent consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, such as regular sodas, with Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, obesity and other health concerns.

“There’s always a risk,” Dr. Slavin said. “Finally, if you can handle the calories, maybe a little sugar in lemonade is better than an alternative sweetener. That’s your call, depending on your health and what you want to do.”

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