Sugar-Free Products for Weight Loss- Myth or Fact?
31-08-2017 | Posted By: Chhavi | 1119 View(s)
When you try to lose weight, the first thing you do is cut sugar from your diet. But, the sugar cravings are hard to control, and hence you end up eating sugar-free products, thinking that these products won’t add calories to your diet. But, the question is how much truth is there in the fact that using sugar-free products for weight loss is a good thing?
People love to drink Diet Coke and eating foods which contain sugar substitutes to maintain their healthy diet, but does this really help? Well, it might and it might not! There are many types of research still going on to see whether using sugar-free products for weight loss is beneficial or not. Now, you might wonder how you will come to know if artificial sweeteners actually help you lose weight, or don’t work at all.
Well, the mystery is about to unfold, friends. Many studies have been conducted to know the impact of eating sugar-free products on weight, and there are mixed results on this concern. So, let’s understand if sugar-free products help you shed a few pounds or make things worse.
What are the Types of Sugar Substitutes?
When you know you are trying to save calories, you start drinking beverages or eat foods that have been sweetened with low or zero calorie sugar substitutes, instead of sugar. The research supports that eating sugar-free products help you lose weight, but the results are not highly in favour of sugar substitutes. So, you need to know the truth about sugar substitutes which I am going to tell you.
But, before that let us know what particular foods contain sugar substitutes. So, let me inform you that sugar substitutes are commonly found in foods and beverages like Soda, frozen desserts, pudding, jello, baked goods, jams, jellies, candy and chewing gum.
There are three types of sugar substitutes. You can check the label for the various names you’ll see:
|Category||Names (Brand Names)||What are they?||Do they Contain Calories?|
|Artificial sweeteners||1. Aspartame(Equal®, NutraSweet)
2. Acesulfame (Sweet One®)
3. Neotame (Newtame)
4. Saccharin(Sugar Twin®, Sweet’N Low)
|· These are synthetic sugar substitutes which are made from naturally occurring substances
· These are FDA approved
|They do not contain calories.|
|Sugar alcohols||1. Hydrogenated starch
|· These are naturally occurring compounds in plant products that are altered through a chemical process and have the same sweetness as sugar. These substitutes add bulk to food and are FDA approved.||Yes, they contain calories but, fewer than sugar|
|Purified natural sugar substitutes||1. Stevia extracts (Pure Via®, Truvia®)
|· These sugar substitutes are derived from food compounds or plants and they vary in sweetness.
· These substitutes are also FDA approved
|Stevia and trehalose contains no calories.
Tagatose contains calories.
Do these Sugar Substitutes Control your Calorie Intake?
It is hard to know these sugar-free products for weight loss work or not. It is because different studies conducted to find the link between sugar-free products and weight loss shows different results. In one study, it was found that teenagers who drank beverages containing artificial sweeteners consumed the same number of calories as the teenagers who drank sugar-sweetened beverage over four weeks. So, does it mean that sugar-free products do not aid in weight loss at all? Well, don’t conclude right now and let’s look into other studies as well!
Another study found that people who drank artificially sweetened beverages ingested fewer calories as compared to those who drank sugar-sweetened beverages. So, you see the results are mixed here!
So, what conclusion can we make of these results? First, sugar substitutes can decrease your calorie intake, but they are not a guarantee. The reason being that most sugar substitutes do not trigger the release of hormones that signal our brain to tell that the body is full, and so; as a result, we can end up consuming more calories than we expected. Animal studies found that the sweet taste of the sugar substitute with no calories does not signal the brain that it is time to stop eating which can lead to eating more calories later.
Second, foods which are sweetened with sugar substitutes are highly sweet, which increases our sugar craving and makes us eat more sugar than before.
Other study shows that it may be psychological also whether sugar substitutes help you lose weight or not. It is because a study was conducted in which participants were not aware that their diets included sugar substitutes, and then their calorie intake was reduced by 25%. On the other hand, when people knew that they were eating food with sugar substitutes, they took in more calories, because they had a perception that they are taking in lower-calorie of no-calorie sweeteners.
Do Sugar Substitutes help in Long-Term Weight Loss?
Many types of research claim that using sugar-free products for weight loss can be beneficial for a short term basis. But, if you talk about long-term weight loss, this might not help you much. According to the results of various studies, sugar substitutes may help people lose a slight amount of weight and also manage the blood sugar levels, but this happens only with other interventions as well such as eating calorie-restricted diet and doing regular exercise. Long-term observational studies suggest that even if you switch to sugar-free products, you will not get lighter over time.
Sugar-Free Products for Weight Loss- Is it Beneficial or Not?
So far we have understood that sugar substitutes do not help in achieving long-term weight loss goals. But, does that mean that sugar substitutes won’t help you lose weight? Well, no that is not what it is. Sugar substitutes can surely be effective in making you shed a few pounds, but that will only happen when you are taking a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
The blend of healthy lifestyle habits and taking sugar substitutes can be effective in making you achieve your weight loss goal for a long term basis. You know very well that there is no trick to lose weight. You have to work hard and stay focused if you want to get a fitter body.
You have to focus on your diet as well because eating low-calorie, and sugar-free food which lack nutrients may not promote healthy weight loss.
So, the bottom line is that sugar substitutes alone cannot make you lose weight. You must adopt healthy lifestyle changes so that you can maintain weight loss.
Here are some tips you can follow to use sugar substitutes in your diet:
Swap sugar-sweetened foods and beverages for sugar substitutes. But, when you do it, keep this in your mind always that you have no room for more calories.
Drink plenty of water, and instead of going for artificially sweetened beverages, you can add lemon to water and drink this to quench your thirst.
Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains foods.
Exercise daily for at least thirty minutes. Your workout should be an appropriate blend of cardio and strength training exercise.
Consult a Dietician so that he or she can make a perfect diet plan for you according to your health needs.
So, the bottom line is that using sugar-free products for weight loss can be a good thing for a short-term basis. But, to keep your weight in control, you must eat a healthy diet and do exercise daily.
‘Fitness is not about being better than someone else. It is about being better than you used to be.’