Holiday parties are now in full swing and the constant challenge for most Americans during this festive season is figuring out how to keep off the pounds while still enjoying their favorite holiday treats. According to a column in the South Strand News, low- and no-calorie sweeteners are an easy and safe way to cut calories during the holidays and all year long.

Some people may be reluctant to take advantage of low- and no-calorie sweeteners because of misinformation about their safety, but columnist and physical therapist Nick McClary says a hard look at the evidence shows they are a safe and effective weight maintenance tool.

In his column, McClary says that one of the most pervasive myths about low- and no-calorie sweeteners – that they cause cancer – is due to a “misinterpretation of scientific evidence.”

McClary cites examples in which the results of studies were either misconstrued or disproven, like a study claiming saccharin was linked to cancer in rats. “There was one problem, though,” writes McClary. “This was never proven in humans. In addition, some rats are just more susceptible to bladder cancer. If they get infected with a parasite, they are more likely to develop bladder cancer. If they eat too much vitamin C, they get bladder cancer.”

And if there were any remaining questions as to the safety of low- and no-calorie sweeteners, they have been answered by regulatory agencies around that globe – including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration - that have affirmed the safety of these ingredients. In fact, in 2013 the European Food Safety Authority reaffirmed the safety of aspartame after conducting one of the most comprehensive risk assessments of aspartame to-date.

So when you start to stress about maintaining balance this this holiday season remember that low- and no-calorie sweeteners are a worry-free way to trim some of those extra calories.

More information about low- and no-calorie beverages can be found at Let’s Clear It Up.