"I went to the bank and asked to borrow a cup of money," quipped standup comic Steven Wright. "They said, 'What for?'"
"I said, 'I am going to buy some sugar.'"
He should take heart from the fact that he was rejected for that loan.
Over the course of a 15-year study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, people who consumed 17% to 21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who got just 8% as added sugar.
And it turns out that for pregnant women and their newborns, the sweet alternatives may not be any better.
A new animal study from the University of Calgary found that when a pregnant female consumes food and beverages made with low-calorie sweeteners such as aspartame and stevia, it disrupts her offspring's gut microbiome and predisposes the newborn to obesity.
Other studies have shown that maternal consumption of low- and no-calorie sugar substitutes is associated with large birth size and early menstruation in girls under age 10 — a known risk factor for chronic disease.
In addition, it seems that some of the low-cal sweeteners get passed from Mom to infant through breast milk — increasing the risk for childhood obesity.
So if you're a mom-to-be, what should you do if you're feeling thirsty?
Opt for water (though you should stay away from plastic water bottles when you can), tea, or club soda. And get your sweets from fruits and whole grains.
You'll feel better — and in the long run, your child will thank you.