Verdict Still Out on Artificial Sweeteners...Best to Avoid

Fox News Lifestyle page interviewed two Dietitians about artificial sweeteners in "Are artificial sweeteners unhealthy? 5 things dietitians want you to know". While the facts are fuzzy on artificial sweeteners, they don't contribute to better health. As dietitian Ashlea Braun of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center points out "newer research may suggest artificial sweeteners could still affect our appetite, weight, or microbiome (the gut in our bacteria, which studies have linked to the state of our overall health)".

The article goes on to suggest how to use artificial sweeteners as a part of a healthy diet. I'm sorry ladies, I'm going to have to disagree with a few of your suggestions here. Here's my point/counterpoint (bold is from the article above and my responses are in italics):

1. Use artificial sweeteners to help you eat healthy food. Healthy food doesn't contain artificial sweeteners. Eat real food.

2. Swap sugar-rich foods for artificially sweetened versions.
While Braun thinks "it’s fine to swap out sugar-rich foods and drinks — such as sodas — with diet versions that are artificially sweetened...to help cut down on overall sugar consumption", I recommend people train their taste buds to enjoy iced tea or flavored water instead. Soda is a can of sugar (or artificial sugar) water with chemical flavors and colors...is that really a part of a healthy diet?

3. But make sure you’re not replacing healthy drinks with ones with artificial sugar.
Yes, I agree! Avoid artificial sweeteners and sugar by choosing water, milk/alternative, juice sparingly, and alcoholic beverages (for adults) in moderation.

4. Don’t exceed the acceptable daily intake.
Who knows the daily limit? Just avoid them...that's how you know you are not getting too much.

5. Avoid them if you are pregnant or have certain pre-existing conditions.
Yes, I agree. 

In summary, I do not see a role for artificial sweeteners in a healthy diet. Eat good food.