Artificial Sweeteners and Pregnancy

Before Pregnant Me (BPM), I essentially refused to consume liquid calories.  The only exceptions were alcoholic drinks and even then I would only drink light beer or liquor with diet sodas.  I primarily consumed diet sodas, sugar free kool-aid (a childhood vice I simply can not seem to give up), Powerade Zeros (LOVE them), and water during the day when I'm at work.

When I found out I was pregnant I was immediately concerned about what I could drink.  Since we were about to head off on our mini ski vacation and that usually involves at least a bit of drinking.  It's not like I was a huge drinker, but I am definitely a social drinker, and going to a bar or being around others who are drinking and partaking as well is fun for me.  One minute I was allowed to drink, and suddenly the next I could not.  I think it was probably like quitting smoking cold-turkey - I was angry, sad, confused, resentful, depressed, jealous, and a whole range of other emotions.  I guess I can blame my moodiness on the pregnancy - god knows I have been extremely emotionally sensitive the past few weeks - but let me tell you, I was not pleasant to be around.

Anyway, where was I going with this? Oh yeah, artificial sweeteners.

So before embarking on our trip I decided that I needed to stock up on tasty, flavorful beverages that would hopefully help me to feel less sad about the fact that I couldn't drink.  I bought a bunch of my favorite flavored, carbonated waters, the Sierra Mist Free Cranberry flavor, Powerade Zeros, and a couple of other things.  It wasn't until after purchasing all of these things that DH and I realized we had absolutely no idea whether or not I was allowed to drink artificial sweeteners, which all of these beverages contained.

I had checked out a book from the library called Pregnancy Do's and Don'ts and it's basic recommendation was that artificial sweeteners were fine during pregnancy as long as they were consumed in moderation and as long as they did NOT contain saccharine, which has apparently been proven to cause cancer in rats.  Saccharine is the main ingredient in Sweet and Low, so if you current use Sweet and Low I would highly recommend that you switch to something else.

I did a lot of online research as well, and found an article written by the American Pregnancy Association to be the most helpful.

Stevia and Splenda - Both have been deemed as "safe" for all people, including pregnant women.  Stevia can be found in products such as Truvia, Stevia in the Raw, and Sun Crystals.

Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet) and Acesulfame Potassium (in a product called Sunett, I've never heard of it) - Both have been deemed to be safe for pregnant women in moderation.  The in moderation piece is apparently key.

Right now, I use Sun Crystals or Splenda in my morning coffee, so I'm good there.  I currently drink a soda at lunch time and will consider purchasing Diet Coke with Splenda if they still sell that, since it would be better than consuming aspartame.  I'll still get a little aspartame in the evenings when I have my glass of Kool-Aid with dinner, but only one instance of aspartame per day is moderate, right?

So, although I am by no means an expert on pregnancy or sweeteners or anything really, that's what I found in my research and that is the information that I am using to make informed decisions about what I should and should not consume during this pregnancy.


Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

I deleted my previous comment because I put the wrong link... Here is the comment with the correct link...

I would do a little more research on aspartame. It's not good for anyone. Here is a link with a list of side effects...

I've never read anything good about it.

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