There is nothing wrong with sugar free products of course. But none of those sugar substitutes are good for you. Aspartame, Saccarin, Sucralose and even Stevia all seem to be bad for you. I just got through doing a lot of research on all this crap.
The main problem seems to be that this stuff paradoxically leads to weight gain, increased BMI, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This was always a mystery to me? Why in God’s name would these sugar substitutes, which have zero calories, cause all of these problems associated with weight gain? It made no sense.
There is now a solution to the puzzle. I discovered it yesterday after doing research on this stuff most of the day. Most or all of these products somehow cause changes to the microbia flora in your gut or intestines. In one case, they seem to neutralize a chemical that suppresses weight gain in your body. In other cases, they mess with chemicals that have to do with insulin resistance. Somehow whatever changes they make to gut bacteria lead to weight gain and all of the associated problems.
This is a logical solution to the problem.
Aspartame seems to be one of the worst ones of them all. I had a girlfriend who nearly died from that junk. She was one of those people who cannot metabolize the stuff and it built up in her body to the point where it almost killed her. I think she was even medically dead for a short while before she was revived.
Lab studies have been finding problems with this aspartame forever. For one thing, studies keep showing that it causes cancer. The problem is that these studies are typically not replicated well. However, we have still been finding cancer in aspartame lab studies for decades now. The link to brain cancer is especially frightening. An elegant new 20 year study by a medical group linked aspartame to various cancers in lab rats. The usual critics have been out in force to challenge this study on the usual suspect grounds, but the group is holding their ground and sticking to their findings.
It is definitely a fact though that all this junk is associated with the weight gain-associated problems above.
Sugar is probably better for you than this junk, but sugar has its own issues. My main problem with sugar is that it causes cavities in me quite readily. At one point, I pretty much cut out of cut back severely on sugar. Since then, I have had few to no cavities. If you hardly eat any sugar, you will get few to no cavities no matter what your oral health is. Sugar is pretty much the only thing you can eat that will reliably cause you cavities. Anything else you eat is unlikely to do so.
I was drinking the lower sugar ice teas until I was appalled to discover that they had high fructose corn syrup in them. The evidence seems to suggest that this junk is actually worse for you than sugar in terms of weight gain and associated problems. It’s almost literally poison. Avoid at all costs. The tea that did not have the HFCS in it had a sugar substitute called Stevia. Although this is one of the better ones out there, it may also be associated with weight gain risks. I know that it also alters gut bacteria in a similar way that the other sugar substitutes.
I finally found one that has nothing but sugar in it at a fairly low level. It is called Gold Peak Iced Tea and I very much recommend it. In particular the Arizona brand of iced teas which have swamped the marketplace are simply awful.