Using foods and beverages with artificial sweeteners have varying recommendations. Currently, The American Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics discourages their use in pregnancy. (1) Other recommendations discuss that they may substitute for healthier food choices or beverages such as water, milk, therefore their use is discouraged in pregnancy. (2) Optimal nutrition would have every bite and sip you take contribute towards a healthy diet. Other resources encourage artificial sweetener consumption to be in moderation. Consider moderation as one serving per day. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States gives the following recommendations. (3)(4)
Acesulfame Potassium (Sunnet ®) is deemed safe in moderation during pregnancy
Aspartame (Equal ® or NutraSweet ®) is safe for use during pregnancy and lactation in moderation. Aspartame should not be used by anyone with PKU which is a rare metabolic disorder, or if you have rare liver disease or by pregnant women who have high levels of phenylalanine in their blood.
Cyclamate is currently banned in the United States. There is insufficient evidence that it is safe to consumer during pregnancy.
Saccharin (Sweet’N Low ® ) is considered safe to use for the general public, but for pregnant women questions remain, it is best to avoid saccharin at this time.
Stevia is a sweetener derived from a South American shrub. It is considered safe during pregnancy. It is on the FDA’s GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) List
Sucralose (Splenda ®) according to the United States FDA is safe for everyone to consume, including pregnant and lactating women.
- Position of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, Nutrition and Lifestyle for a Healthy Pregnancy Outcome, J. Acad of Nutr & Dietetics, 2014; 114:1101.
- Mahan, KL, Escott-Stump, S, Krause’s Food & Nutrition Therapy, 12th Edition, Saunders Elsevier, 2008, p 180-82.
- Artificial Sweeteners and Pregnancy, Accessed Sept 12, 2015. Available at http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/artificial-sweeteners-and-pregnancy/
- Artificial Sweeteners Approved by FDA, Accessed Sept. 12, 2015. Available at http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/foodadditivesingredients/ucm397716