Whether you know it or not, you’re probably eating more artificial sweeteners than you used to. And it’s not just the Diet Coke you have to be concerned about, researchers from George Washington Universityfound that around three-quarters of packaged foods and drinks in the U.S. now have some kind of added sweetener.

Sure, the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says sweeteners can be safe as part of a balanced, healthy diet, but other research links artificial sweeteners to increased cravingsbelly fat, and a change in the way we taste food! And the problem is, labels aren’t clear, so we could be consuming fake sugars without realizing it. Here are some of the biggest culprits.

Ketchup - We knew this popular condiment has high-fructose corn syrup and other sugars, but registered dietitian Jessica Jones says some brands also sneak in sucralose to cut calories and sugar.

Whole-wheat bread - It’s not easy to find a healthy bread, and Jones says some loaves, English muffins and other baked goods also contain sucralose.

Salad dressing - Make sure you’re reading the labels, especially on low-fat bottled dressings. Jones warns to look out for Aspartame (Equal), Sucralose (Splenda), Saccharin (Sweet‘N Low), and sugar alcohols like Xylitol and Sorbitol.

Greek yogurt - We keep hearing how healthy it is, but you have to watch out for products combining regular sugars - like cane and fructose - with sugar substitutes, registered dietitian Maureen Callahan explains.

Granola and other cereals - It’s common for cereals to be sweetened with artificial sweeteners and even monk-fruit extract, registered dietitian nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix says. And she cautions that the newer, “so-called ‘natural’ sugar substitutes may not be made in a lab, but they’re less regulated too, so be careful.”

Source: Women's Health



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