Sugar has been touted time and again as the worst enemy of weight loss plan. Those who cannot forgo sugar are widely using artificial sweeteners to limit their calorie intake.
Aspartame, Acesulphame K2, Saccharin, and Sucralose are the four commonly used artificial sweeteners used in India which are approved by FSSAI. These high-intensity, non-nutritive, artificial sweeteners are marketed under various brand names. These sugar substitutes are used in a variety of products like instant breakfasts, tabletop sweeteners, cereals, gelatin desserts, soft drinks, beverages, laxatives, sugar-free chewing gums etc.
Several studies over the years have shown that usage of artificial sweeteners are capable of causing more harm than good. Even from a weight-loss perspective, the usage of artificial sweeteners can be counter productive. This is why doctors recommend herbal weight loss products to those who are serious about losing weight.
Here are 5 reasons why you should be cautious while using artificial sweeteners.
Sugar-Free food may not be free of calories
Contrary to popular belief, the food products that claim to be “sugar-free” may not be low-calorie or carbohydrate free. As per government policies, manufacturers are allowed to say a food is “sugar-free” if a single serving contains less than sugar-free 0.5 gram of sugar. This means that if you’re eating a lot of that “calorie-free” snacks, you could be taking in as much as 20 to 30 calories.
Human brains reaction to sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are more potent than table sugar and corn syrup. For example, Acesulfame K is 200 times sweeter than table sugar (sucrose). The frequent use of these hyper-intense sweeteners may cause over-stimulation of sugar receptors and limit our tolerance for more complex tastes. In the long run, you may find fruits, less appealing and unsweet foods, such as vegetables, downright unpalatable.
You can easily fool yourself
The sugar-free label often induces us to drop our guards and eat more than one serving. Some doctors are concerned that people who use artificial sweetener may replace the lost calories through other sources. You may end up craving more food and become susceptible to addictive eating habits like binging or overeating.
Artificial sweeteners can be addictive
Artificial sweeteners can cause sugar craving. Repeated exposure to artificial sweetener encourages sugar craving and sugar dependence. These sugar-substitutes can reset your taste buds and increase your tolerance.
Higher risk to certain diseases
A 2014 study shows that artificial sweeteners can alter the gut flora. Ingesting more artificial sweeteners than the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) can have several side effects like chronic fatigue, brain tumor, and bladder cancer. Artificial sweeteners could possibly increase the risk of diabetes mellitus by messing with the insulin sensitivity.
Sugar isn’t too bad after all. If you are not sure about table sugar, you can try out natural sweeteners like cane sugar, palm sugar, honey, jaggery, maple syrup etc.