My Weekly DIET Club

My Weekly Special - - Fiction First Class Touching -

We are born with a pref­er­ence for sweet foods so re­duc­ing su­gar in­take isn’t easy. Yet ev­ery­one is be­ing urged to cut down to tackle obe­sity and prob­lems such type 2 di­a­betes and heart disease. The government has set re­duc­tion tar­gets for com­pa­nies and in­tro­duced a su­gar tax.

Di­eti­tian Dr Car­rie Rux­ton says, “We are all con­sum­ing too much su­gar. An adult’s max­i­mum daily rec­om­mended in­take is 30g, or 6 tea­spoons a day, but we ac­tu­ally con­sume 60g.” Could low or no-calo­rie sweet­en­ers help by sav­ing 16 cals per tsp of su­gar, or about 150 cals per 330ml can of sug­ary fizzy drink? Un­like su­gar, they don’t cause tooth de­cay, and avoid sud­den rises in blood su­gar lev­els.

Be­cause more over­weight peo­ple use them, it’s been sug­gested they may cause, or en­cour­age, weight gain. Long term stud­ies sug­gest this isn’t the case; sim­ply that peo­ple try­ing to lose weight are more likely to use them.

Nei­ther have sug­ges­tions that they stim­u­late ap­petite or in­ter­fere with sati­ety (feel­ing full) been proved. In fact, some stud­ies show slim­mers who use low calo­rie sweet­ened drinks get bet­ter weight loss results those who drink wa­ter in­stead.

Health scares claim­ing that ace­sul­fame K, as­par­tame and sac­cha­rin cause can­cer have been dis­cred­ited by on­go­ing safety re­views. The NHS, di­eti­tians and lead­ing di­a­betes, heart disease and can­cer char­i­ties agree sweet­en­ers are safe. The ex­cep­tion is peo­ple with phenylke­tonuria (PKU) who can­not break down phenyl­ala­nine, an amino acid in as­par­tame.

Other stud­ies have shown low calo­rie sweet­ener users can be more suc­cess­ful at keep­ing weight off a year after a diet than non-users. Wa­ter drinkers also re­ported hunger more of­ten than sweet­ener users.

Dr Car­rie

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