When you go in for a weight loss program, you are advised to avoid foods that contain high content of sugar. The only option that is left with you is to replace sugar with artificial sweeteners. However, there is a lot of conjecture over the use of such sweeteners, whether they aid in weight loss or are bad for your health.
Role of Artificial Sweeteners in Weight Loss
Even though most sweeteners use the word natural, it would be wrong to assume that they are natural. This is because sugar substitutes are either refined or they are taken out from sucrose, that is a form of sugar. Thus, it can be rather perplexing to use the term natural for these sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, acesulfame potassium or saccharin all help in losing weight. They do have a role in losing weight but is it safe to consume them for life? That’s the question that needs to be answered. Let us first understand the advantages of using artificial sweeteners:
For diabetes patients, artificial sweeteners help in controlling sugar levels. They could be used as a replacement for sugar products because of the fact that sugar level remains intact in the body. But you must consume it under the guidance of your doctor.
Compared to similar quantity of sugar, artificial sweeteners contain less or no calories at all. This is a benefit for people who undergo weight loss programs but again they must be consumed under the strict guidance of your doctor.
The other benefit of consuming a product containing artificial sweetener is that you can enjoy your favorite drinks or sweets without having to worry about your sugar levels going up. For example: People who have a sweet tooth love to eat sugar free ice-creams and sugar free sweets, all sweetened with artificial sweeteners.
Given the benefits, there has been a lot of controversy about the fact that artificial sweeteners are not healthy and in fact lead to multiple health issues in the long term. Let us have a look at these issues briefly:
Studies have shown that people who have drinks containing artificial sweeteners tend to feel hungry sooner than ever and thus, gorge on any snack or other food that comes their way, thus resulting in exactly the opposite of weight loss, which is weight gain.
Another health concern raised by a lot of doctors is that aspartame is very harmful and leads to loss of memory, thus, it must not be consumed at all.
Another psychological issue with eating foods containing artificial sweeteners is that you end up eating much more than what you are required to do, again resulting in a weight gain. You might be compensating a diet soda by eating an ice cream but in the end, you would be taking in more calories than usual.
Some results have also shown that consuming sugar substitute leads to cancer but the results have been ambiguous and there has been no concrete and distinctive evidence to prove the same.
Thus, all said and done, the key to losing weight is disciplining yourself and eating everything in moderation. If you control your sugar buds and eat only when you have done a good diet and exercise regime, then you would not even feel the need to turn to artificial sweeteners. Its best to consume natural sweeteners but only in small quantities that suit your system.