How Does Sugar-Free Food Harm Health?
Sugar-free is often marked as a low-calorie alternative to the sugary treats. Those with sweet tooth often, if restricted sugar put it in most of their dishes where sugar is required or consume foods labeled as sugar-free. The artificial sweeteners give a sweet taste to food without adding calories(1)
But have you ever thought, whether these sugar-free foods actually benefit your body or harm it?
Some of the artificial sweeteners are calorie-free and some contain very little calories, which makes them an apt additive for those recommended sugar-free or a low-calorie diet.
Low calories artificial sweeteners are:
- Saccharin, which can be used both in hot and cold foods.
- Aspartame can also be used at both cold and high temperatures. It might lose some of its sweetness at high temperatures.
- Acesulfame potassium, used mostly in baking and cooking
- Sucralose, which is also used for baking and cooking
- Advantame used in baked goods, soft drinks, jams, and jellies
What Is Present In These Additives Which Help Replace Sugar!!!
No matter what brand you take and what they claim, artificial sweeteners are a hundred times sweeter than sugar. They are made by undergoing some type of chemical process before they reach you. Artificial sweeteners are actually nothing but synthetic chemicals which can sweeten up things without any extra calories. Also, being sweeter, a very little quantity of them is required.
The ingredient list of these sweeteners has aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, and rebiana in the list.
These chemically treated sugars are linked with adverse effects on the body including stomach upset, altering blood sugar control, and also cancer. Also, it would make you crave more for sugar which is a pullback for those moving towards losing weight.
Sugar-Free Food and Diarrhea
Sugar alcohol such as xylitol and sorbitol present in certain artificial sweeteners though touted to be natural are altered through a chemical process.
They can leave a laxative effect in the body causing gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
How Sugar-Free Products Affect Blood Sugar?
The sweet taste of artificial sweeteners in sugar-free foods, trigger cephalic phase insulin release which causes a small rise in insulin levels.(2) Regularly consuming such food can lead to a change in the balance of gut bacteria.
This makes the cells resistant to insulin leading to an increase in the blood sugar level.
One more study found that the folks given saccharine as an artificial sweetener over a week developed glucose intolerance.(5)
Artificially Sweetened Food And Cancer
There are various studies that show the possibility of artificially sweetened food increases the risk of cancer. These studies were done on rats.(3)
When done on a human it showed no evidence of cancer.(4)
Sugar-Free Foods And Weight Gain
Many people satiate their sweet tooth by eating food containing artificial sweeteners. It is a kind of free pass for them if they have sugar restricted in the diet.
Consuming desserts marked sugar free in large amounts, just because they are known to be low in sugar or low in calories, is not a reason to eat them more. Such desserts also contain fats which can make you gain around the waistline.
Options Available In Sugar-Free Foods
Sugar-free foods are available in large varieties.
With diet sodas, juices, cookies, and dressing everything is now available in an artificially sweetened variety.
Also, many foods using artificial sweeteners are not low in calories or fat when compared with their sugar-containing counterparts. The frozen treats, candies, and cookies contain a similar calorie count even though might lack sugar content.
Even though aspartame has been approved by the FDA but few studies have found it has about 92 side effects including heart palpitations, anxiety, headache, weight gain, depression, and neurological disorders.
Always be careful while choosing an artificial sweetener or sugar-free food. It should actually solve the purpose you are consuming it for not that it makes you suffer from ill health.
Always check with the ingredient list.
You can also switch the artificially sweetened food with something natural. There are various natural sweeteners available such as maple syrup, honey, molasses, and agave. These sweeteners also contain vitamins and minerals and can be beneficial to health.
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- 13 Reasons Why Sugary Soda Is Bad For Your Health