You will hear MANY different opinions on this. I think it's best to only have them in moderation, just in case. I remember a thread about a poster who ate hundreds of packets of Splenda per day. I would be concerned about this! There have been studies on artificial sweeteners that suggest they can cause cancer, but keep in mind that these are not 100% proven and often are tested with very large amounts of splenda. Most people would never eat that amount.
I try to avoid too much sugar and if I do have splenda, it's only 1-2 packets for the whole day, or none at all. Sugary things make my energy level crash and feel awful. I don't like regular soda, so if I have some, I have diet. I just limit how much I have and try to drink mostly water anyway. Water is always a good choice
! I can safely say that artificial sweeteners don't make me gain weight and do NOT make me crave sweets. In fact, I am not a big sweets person at all. Some people do have side effects from them though and end up craving more sweets, thus gaining weight.
I'd limit any kind of sweetener, even regular sugar. I just try to have things in their natural form without adding too much bad stuff to them. If I want something sweet, I'll get some fresh berries. I know some people who like to use honey for sweetener.
Just remember, MANY things out there can make you sick, give you cancer, etc! It's nearly impossible to avoid them all. I think it's really funny when some people I know personally are so against artificial sweeteners, yet they will eat junk food! Just keep it all in moderation and aim for mostly healthy natural stuff
PS, I refuse to give up sugar-free gum though. Gum with sugar?? Yuck! Talk about not having a fresh feeling!