If you think that substituting sugar for a calorie-free sweetener will help you lose weight and get healthier, reconsider.
Years of research only provide minimal evidence that no-cal sweeteners actually have benefits, according to German researchers who analyzed data from 56 studies.
The researchers looked at health outcomes such as heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, blood sugar and weight.
“Most health outcomes did not seem to have differences between the non-sugar sweetener exposed and unexposed groups,” concluded the team led by Joerg Meerpohl of the University of Freiburg.
I used to believe that using artificial sweeteners versus regular sugar would make a difference in health because they did not have calories. Now, I do realize that much of the research that has be done does not show a huge significance in health benefits or weight loss. I also believe that just by eliminating sugar from your diet will not help you lose weight.
There is also no evidence of any effect of non-sugar sweeteners on obese or overweight adults or children who were trying to lose weight.
One nutritionist in the U.S. was not surprised by the findings.
“No matter how they are marketed, [non-sugar sweeteners] are still chemicals or a sugar modified from its natural form to serve a functional purpose for flavor,” said registered dietitian Sharon Zarabi.
“There is no health benefit to flavor. Flavor merely enhances a food or beverage to increase consumption,” said Zarabi, who directs the bariatric program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
There was one group who represented the sugar-free sweetener makers that challenged the findings.
“Despite the authors’ claims to the contrary, the highest quality scientific evidence shows that the consumption of low- and no-calorie sweeteners results in reductions in body weight, does not lead to weight gain and does not cause cravings,” the Calorie Control Council said in a statement.
I will not just rule out that no-cal sweeteners do not have some sort of health benefits at all. I believe more research needs to be done to see if these sugar alternatives are really a good choice for your health and weight loss. God bless.
Source: Calorie Control Council, statement, Jan. 2, 2019; Sharon Zarabi, R.D., director, bariatric program, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Jan. 2, 2019,BMJ, online
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