Approximately half of the adult population today prefers to use low-calorie sweeteners on an average of once daily. However, the presence of these sweeteners is not always obvious in the food and beverages that we consume, as companies usually advertise products with terms like “sugar-free”, “light” or “low –calorie”, when they contain sugar substitutes. Despite the appeal of such phrases, however, sugar substitutes have a dubious reputation, and here is why!
Six kinds of sugar substitutes have been approved by the FDA to be used as additives. These are Sucralose (Splenda), Acesulfame-potassium (Sweet One, Sunett), Saccharin (Sweet N Low), Neotame (Newtame), Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet) and Advantame.
It is also interesting to note that while artificial sweeteners are required to be listed as an ingredient on the food label if they have been used as an additive in the food or beverage, natural sugar substitutes such as stevia, which is extracted from the ‘Stevia rebaudiana’ plant, does not need any kind of approval from the FDA, as they are usually considered safe.
According to a recent study, a person who consumes beverages that are low in calories and containing sugar alternative sweeteners are more prone to consuming fast food. So, in some ways, sugar substitutes are actually responsible for health problems that are caused due to lifestyle habits, or even conditions like obesity and heart trouble.
Furthermore, there are numerous other studies that have succeeded in establishing a connection between low-calorie sweeteners and a greater risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Additionally, it has been observed that sucralose has a tendency to affect the body’s ability to get rid of blood sugar by reducing its response to insulin.
The aim of this article is not to condemn all sugar substitutes, it is merely to inform you of all the possible risks so that you can make an informed decision. Sugar substitutes can most commonly be found in jams, syrups, cereals, yogurt, bread, cookies, milk, candy, and ice-cream. Shifting to low-calorie sweeteners is advisable for those who tend to have a very high sugar intake, in terms of food and beverages, but you must keep in mind that there are better options with well-known health benefits like switching out the jam in your peanut butter and jelly sandwich with crushed berries or slices of apple or banana.
Another thing that a lot of us tend to do is that we fail to look at the bigger picture in terms of our overall diet. For instance, instead of worrying about the sugar content in your yogurt or coffee, you should probably focus more on breaking that nasty habit of having an unhealthy sugary snack in the afternoon. It would certainly be more helpful in the long run.
Are you worried about your weight and the host of health problems that come with it? Are you looking to make proper and effective changes in your diet? Well, look no further.
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