Healthy hearts: low calorie sweeteners helping you live a sweet and healthy life

Posted: 29 September 2014

World Heart Day on 29th September 2014 focuses our attention on creating heart-healthy environments. The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) supports healthy heart choices where people work, live and play. Low calorie sweeteners, when used as part of a balanced calorie controlled diet, can help people maintain a healthy weight, which in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer. It is responsible for 17.3 million deaths per year – and by 2030 this figure is expected to rise to 23 million.1 But, with the right diet and exercise choices in place, people have a better chance of avoiding heart disease.

Making some small but important changes to diet and lifestyle can have a huge impact on health. For example, choosing low calorie sweetened foods as part of a calorie controlled diet can help reduce weight. Incorporating fresh fruit and vegetables in your meals and using smart swaps mean that you can enjoy sweet treats without the worry of calories.

Obesity is one of the factors that may lead to the development of heart disease. Alarmingly, more than half of the European population is overweight or obese according to the OECD.2 A new study published in the Journal Obesity3 supports an overwhelming existing body of evidence45678 and confirms that low and no-calorie sweetened (LNCS) beverages, when used consistently, are a reliable option that can help people lose weight.

The study, co-led by researcher Prof James Hill, Professor of Paediatrics and Medicine at the University of Colorado (US), is the first to directly compare the weight loss properties of LNCS beverages with those of water.

Low calorie sweeteners are just one part of living a healthy life picture. Ensuring you lead an active lifestyle also plays a role in keeping you healthy. Try walking or cycling to work at least two days a week and try swapping to low calorie sweetened beverages or foods, and feel the difference.

By ensuring that people are able to make heart healthy choices wherever they live, work and play, World Heart Day 2014 encourages us all to reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease and promotes a heart healthy planet for those around us. Low calorie sweeteners, by providing sweetness without the calories, can also make a useful contribution to a healthy heart diet.


  2. Health at a Glance: Overweight and obesity among adults. OECD iLibrary, 2012.
  3. The effects of water and non-nutritive sweetened beverages on weight loss during a 12-week weight loss treatment program, Peters et al., Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Jun;22(6):1415-21. doi: 10.1002/oby.20737.
    More References...
  1. Intense sweeteners, energy intake and the control of body weight, Bellisle et al., Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;61(6):691-700. Epub 2007 Feb 7.
  2. Nonnutritive sweetener consumption in humans: effects on appetite and food intake and their putative mechanisms, Mattes et al., Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):1-14. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26792. Epub 2008 Dec 3.
  3. Beverage intake, diabetes, and glucose control of adults in America, Mackenzie et al., Ann Epidemiol. 2006 Sep;16(9):688-91. Epub 2006 Feb 2.
  4. Sucrose compared with artificial sweeteners: different effects on ad libitum food intake and body weight after 10 wk of supplementation in overweight subjects, Raben et al., Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Oct;76(4):721-9.
  5. A trial of sugar-free or sugar-sweetened beverages and body weight in children, de Ruyter et al., N Engl J Med. 2012 Oct 11;367(15):1397-406. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1203034. Epub 2012 Sep 21.
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