Mention of the word “sweet” always conjures up visions of goodness, happiness and joy. Honey, sugar, or sweethearts are often used as expressions of affection. Sweet-tempered and sweet-tempered people are always preferred to bitter people. However, we all know that sugar is believed to be responsible for many diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. ) was first used and called Sakara (gravel). The word sugar itself comes from Sakara.
With increasing awareness of the harmful effects of sugar, especially for diabetics, the quest to satisfy the sweet taste without causing harmful effects has accelerated. It’s a common misconception that it’s safe, even though it has the same calories as sugar (1 gram of sugar has 4 calories). Similarly, many people feel that fruit juice is a substitute for cola, but actually has about the same calorie content.
Therefore, natural resources do not give us many healthy options to satisfy our sweet cravings. A 500ml can of Coke has about 12 spoons of added sugar and is almost 220 calories. Diet Coke has zero calories! In theory, therefore, sugar substitutes are a very attractive proposition.
Types of sugar substitutes
There are two types of sugar substitutes: artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols. Artificial sweeteners are synthetic substitutes and include saccharin, cyclamate, aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame, and neotame. Stevia is another category called “natural” sweeteners because it is derived from plant sources.
Other types of sugar substitutes include plant-based sugar alcohols (alcohol-free) such as erythritol, mannitol, and sorbitol. In addition to sweetening, it adds texture to foods. The sweetness of sugar alcohols is 25-100% compared to sugar. Eating large amounts of sugar alcohols can cause bloating, loose stools, or diarrhea.Over time, a tolerance to these effects usually develops.
Sugar substitutes are widely used in processed foods such as soft drinks, jams and dairy products. Some, like sucralose, can be used in baking and cooking. It is important to check the types of sweeteners contained in the product. The “sugar free” label on the product is misleading. We tend to consume excessive amounts of it thinking it is completely safe and not realizing that it may contain fat or sugar alcohols. A sugar chocolate bar contains about 60% the calories of a regular slab.
Can Sugar Substitutes Cure Diabetes?
Despite their commercial popularity, sugar substitutes have always been controversial.Aside from improving dental health, replacing sugar in the diet with artificially sweetened products has been associated with increased sugar intake. It remains unclear whether health effects (such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease) can be reversed.Several studies have shown that artificial sweeteners increase the risk of diabetes and obesity. However, other studies have found no such evidence. The WHO 2022 report on the health effects of artificial sweeteners found a link between consumption of beverages containing artificial sweeteners and cholesterol abnormalities and hypertension. A slight association of was observed.
Using artificial sweeteners can cause feelings of complacency and encourage you to eat other high-calorie foods more freely. I’m paying close attention to it. It has been suggested that these very sweet substances may alter the way our brain responds to signals, making less sweet substances such as fruit less appealing to our senses. Some scientists feel that using these products may make you crave more sweets.
At one time, saccharin was linked to cancer in rats, and aspartame was linked to brain tumors, but there isn’t much evidence. Hmm. It has also been suggested that the use of these sweeteners may alter the intestinal flora, increasing the risk of weight gain and diabetes. Alcohol concentration rises, increasing the chances of intoxication.
A French population-based study of more than 100,000 participants, published in September this year, found that intake of artificial sweeteners (particularly aspartame, acesulfame, and sucralose) was associated with heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Since this is a related study, it is not conclusive, but it does suggest that caution should be exercised in using the product.
Children should not consume sweeteners for long periods of time as this may increase the risk. Adults who consume large amounts of sweetened beverages can temporarily use artificially sweetened beverages and gradually reduce their consumption and replace them with water. It is only useful if the amount is reduced. It should also be avoided completely by people with intestinal disorders and those undergoing obesity treatment.
How to control sweetener intake
So what should those of us who are trying to lose weight or control diabetes do? Cut out sugar altogether. If sweet cravings persist, it’s safe to consume small amounts of sweeteners. Adding sweeteners to your morning tea or evening coffee, or the occasional low-fat dessert, is kosher.
Below are some popular sweeteners in India and their intensity of sweetness compared to sugar.
Saccharin – 300-600x
Sucralose – 600 times
Stevia – 200-400x