Hey you, what’s your take on no-calorie sweeteners?
do they help you or do they kill you?
do they make you lose weight or gain weight?
do they reduce cravings or do they produce cravings?
But first, if “kill you” was your answer to the first question, there is one thing you should know: There is no solid evidence that artificial sweeteners are harmful to humans.
Just a kind reminder, we aren’t rats! We are NOT rats! The studies that suggested that artificial sweeteners to be harmful were conducted on animals.
Are artificial sweeteners healthy? Well, I guess it depends on your definition of health. If you struggle with the issue on how to define “health” (I know, it is a highly philosophical question that concerns some pubmed warriors after reading thousands of abstracts), there is one thing you can be sure of; some sweeteners are definitely healthier than sugar for your teeth.
Erythritol, I love you, my sugar baby…..oh sugar baby….
As I write for my macrosorcery blog and not my sciencestrength blog, I don’t want to dig deep into research literature and do a scientific discussion about health effects of various sweeteners. There is plenty of info available on no-calorie sweeteners (however, choose your sources carefully, no woo pages, please).
Here I want to explain some real-life related no-calorie sweetener issues.
So let’s start:
I am sure you have heard before that no-calorie sweeteners make you gain weight, right? Hmmm….but most artificial sweeteners have no calories. Where does the weight come from?
Now think hard. When was the last time you have taken a big spoon, dug it deep into a container with sweetener, have taken a big heaped spoon out, put it delightful into your mouth and enjoyed it to the full?
So, when was the last time? You can’t remember? Oh, you have never done it before? – That’s it!
Most of the time you don’t eat plain sweetener. You add it to food, and food is what adds calories to your budget. Even if the food you choose is not high in calories, stuff adds up!
Many small pieces make up a big piece, many, many crumbles make up a cake, many, many low calorie food portions add up to lots of calories.
The psychological issue many people have is that they assume that if something has fewer calories, they can eat more of it. But at the end, it cancels out:
a small amount of high calorie food = a lot of low calorie food
But what about sweetened drinks, such as artificially sweetened soft drinks? They have basically no calories.
And this when the craving issue becomes important. Do no-calorie sweeteners reduce craving or do they produce cravings?
Does this sound familiar to you: When you eat a lot of sugar, you also crave sugary food. Then you decide to reduce or to eliminate all the sweet junk from your diet (new year resolutions *wink, wink*), then, after a few days of suffering and painful withdrawal you suddenly stop craving sugar.
The majority of people love the sweet taste, that’s the way we evolved, that’s what we got used to growing up (just think of kids rewarded for good behavior with cookies) and that’s what signals “REWARD” to our brains.
No-calorie sweeteners are sweet (I know, it’s obvious). Why should we stop loving the sweet taste just because it comes from a sweetener that has a different chemical structure than sugar?
You crave what you eat! If you consume a ton of sweet stuff, you carve sweets. If you don’t like it, break this habit.
As with everything in life – common sense is the key.
“The dose makes the poison”…
… or the dimension of your sweet cravings.
Enough blablabla? You want to see what sweeteners I use for my recipes? Here we go, enjoy in moderation 😉