I was having breakfast with a friend last week. I noticed him avoiding sugar substitutes and asked why. He didn’t know of any scientific studies but said he preferred food that doesn’t pretend. His reasoning went like this: Sweeteners mimic natural taste. This is dishonest and not the way we should treat our biology.
That was a more nuanced reasoning that isn’t the same as “natural is good, artificial is bad” (the natural-artificial reasoning is, IMO, luddite – a sorry excuse for being lazy). It is still not the same as conclusions drawn from scientific studies. Nevertheless, it strikes me as a good thumbrule; useful to navigate the world of food where giant corporations are squarely focussed on your tongue and your wallet.
Sweeteners have a history. It is well worth your time and health to know more about the stuff you consume.