When it comes to calories, we love to hear the number “Zero”.
Manufacturers love to position zero-calorie sweetened foods and drinks because they create a ‘guilt- free effect’ and therefore are more likely to fly off the shelf. The moment we read zero calorie or low calorie, it finds its way into shopping baskets, no questions asked. How correct is this?
There are two types of sweeteners: nutritive and non-nutritive
Have you ever wondered things like - how come the products with these artificial sweeteners taste so sweet? And these chemicals do not get digested in our body (hence no caloric load), then what happens to them once they’re past our tongues?
These sweeteners are mostly manufactured (the word ‘artificial’ is a giveaway) chemicals that are 1000 times sweeter in taste than naturally occurring regular sugar (or sucrose) that our bodies cannot digest or absorb. This puts a load on our organs to push them out. For years scientists are puzzled that non-caloric artificial sweeteners do not seem to aid weight loss, and some studies have suggested they may even have an opposite effect. Wondering how? Read on.
It’s that guilt free effect again – since the sweetener is supposed to be sugar-free, most of us tend to get a little trigger happy with the portions of sweetened food. What we need to understand is that a calorie from any source still counts and higher quantities of food will up the intake.
Artificial sweeteners rewire your brain chemistry and metabolism confusing the body into thinking it is consuming real sugar. Your body reacts and gets ready to receive the sugar by revving up production of the fat-storage hormones. Your metabolism slows down, you become hungry more quickly, you’re prone to eat way more food (especially carbs), and increased belly fat is the inevitable result.
I regularly see people who complain about not being able to kick their diet-soda habit. It isn’t just their imagination: Artificial sweeteners can quickly become addictive just like smoking. Research shows that non nutritive sweeteners and nicotine produce similar effects in the brain i.e. craving
It is imperative for people with diabetes to reduce stress on their organs by controlling blood sugar levels. And here we are, doing just the opposite by consuming highly processed food products laden with artificial sweeteners.
Don’t get carried away with what companies want us to believe in their glitzy ad campaigns highlighting their efforts to fight diabetes and obesity. Soda companies proudly promote the fact that their diet drinks have low or no calories and that they have cut sales of sugary drinks in schools by 90 percent. Is that a good thing? I don’t think so.
Just cut these sodas out of your lives altogether and you’ll be healthier and happier for it. And if you have a desire for something sweet just have a little sugar and make sure you walk or jog it off.
For more information on eating Guilt Free!
So my health Mantra still remains the same, eat natural, stay super!