Friday, August 12, 2011

How To Lose Weight: Can Artificial Sweeteners Help Me To Diet?

Most folks who are dieting to lose weight are looking, to some extent, to artificial sweeteners to cut sugar out of the diet without sacrificing sweetness. Food items which have been sweetened without natural sugar are usually designated as "sugar free", "diet", or "artificially sweetened".

What are the pros and cons regarding sugar substitutes?


- They are calorie-free (or extremely low) so they will not cause you to gain extra weight.

- Most doctors approve of the use of artificial sweeteners for diabetics since they don't raise blood sugar levels.

- Dentists approve of them because they don't cause dental decay.

- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved them.

- They are between 160 and 13,000 times sweeter than sugar so a considerably smaller amount is needed.


- Can cause bloating, intestinal gas, and diarrhea.

- May indirectly cause one to eat too much of a food item just because it is "sugar free". Remember, unless labeled otherwise, the item is not fat free and so can be very high in calories whether or not it contains natural sugar.

- They contain a chemical which is dangerous for people with the rare condition called phenylketonuria (PKU)

- Some experts are cautious about giving their complete sanction to unbridled use of artificial sweeteners. The cause for their concern is that the "sweetener police" have not provided ample proof, especially with regard to the newer products, of their long term safety.

Overall, however, it appears that foods containing artificial sweeteners pose no particular risk to health. They have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Cancer Institute, the American Dietetic

Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association for use among the general population including those with diabetes, pregnant women and children.

Artificial sweeteners can be an important tool in weight management.

If you decide you are comfortable using sugar substitutes, read the product label and ascertain that the sweetener is one of thoseapproved by regulating agencies. These are:

• Aspartame

• Acesulfame K

• Saccharin

• Sucralose

• Stevia

• Sugar alcohols (sorbitol, xylitol, and Maltitol)

A repeat reminder...don't make an assumption that if a food item is labeled as being "sugar free" that is is also calorie free. Many sweet items, such as cookies, may use an artificial sweetener and can legitimately claim to be "sugar free".

Check the label however to determine how many calories are in each serving. They may be high-fat even though they are sugar free. Fat is an even more concentrated form of calories than sugar. The last thing you want to do is gain weight from eating sugar free cookies!

Article Source: