If you’re looking to control your weight it’s more than likely you’re using some form of artificial sweetener in place of sugar.
These substitutes are low in calories and, gram for gram, much sweeter than sugar so it takes a much smaller quantity to create the same sweetness. This means they’re actually negligible in calories.
The sweeteners commonly used, both sold as table sugar substitutes and found in a range of “sugar-free” processed foods, are saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low), aspartame (Nutrasweet), sucralose (Splenda), neotame, acesulfame potassium and stevia.
But do these sugar substitutes really aid weight loss? And what are the long term health implications of using them? These are debates that have been raging for many years. Lets look at both sides.
Some scientists have said that artificial sweeteners do nothing at all for weight loss. They claim that our bodies can’t distinguish between such sweeteners and actual sugar. They suggest that artificial sweeteners behave in a similar way to sugar, activating sensors in the gut which are linked to the absorption of glucose. This means the body processes extra sugar. And that means piling on the pounds.
But commonly, cutting out sugar and using sugar replacements does lead to shedding weight. Anyone who has previously taken 3 spoons of sugar in their coffee but has switched to a sugar replacement will tell you the same. So isn’t this evidence in itself?
The other controversy surrounding artificial sweeteners is that they’ve been linked to cancers, from bladder cancer to brain cancer. However, these findings come mainly from experiments on rats. And we aren’t rats! Our bodies behave very differently. In fact, the studies involving humans have shown that sweeteners don’t have an effect on the occurrence of cancer.
To take one example . . . . Doubts over the safety of aspartame were raised by a report in 1996 in the United States. The report looked at the increase in the number of people with brain tumours between 1975 and 1992. The suggestion was that this increase might be due to the introduction of aspartame in the United States during this period.
But crucially, a deeper look at the statistics showed that the cases of brain cancers actually began to increase in 1973 – eight years before aspartame was approved for consumption in the United States.
In fact, overall, the studies on humans have failed to show a clear link between using artificial sweeteners and cancers of any kind.
So, is the jury out? It seems to me that artificial sweeteners are OK in moderation.
As with anything, it’s probably not a good idea to consume these sugar substitutes to excess. For successful weight loss and overall health we should all be eating more natural, unprocessed foods and reducing our portion sizes so that we’re not eating to the point of being stuffed but are just satisfying our hunger.
The key to consistent, permanent weight loss lies in re-acquainting ourselves with what our bodies really need — learning to listen to our bodies rather than overriding the messages they’re sending us. Once you’re truly in tune with your body you’ll find that the pounds drop off naturally and you’ll even find that no foods are off limits.
Successful weight loss isn’t to do with obsessively watching every single mouthful. It’s to do with addressing the triggers that cause you to overeat. While aids like artificial sweeteners are useful, long term successful weight loss begins in the mind.
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About The Author:
Judi Chambers has written a powerful complimentary report on how to think like a slim person, to help you reach the right mindset to slim down consistently, without hunger, and keep the weight off for good. To access it instantly, please visit http://www.secretstoeasyslimming.com There’s no cost. You have nothing to lose but that extra fat!