As we become increasingly aware of the negative effects of high levels of sugar within our diet, it is easy to become confused on what we should be doing and what is right for our health. We all know that too much sugar increases our blood sugar levels and can result in a diabetes related condition.
But what about artificial sweeteners that are ‘sugar-free’?
Artificial sweeteners are low-calorie or calorie-free chemical substances. Sweeteners are used in the place of sugar to sweeten many foods and drinks in the UK.
All Sweeteners within the EU must take part in a rigorous safety assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), before they can be incorporated into any foods or beverages. The additives listed above can be currently found within soft drinks, desserts, ready meals, cakes, chewing gums and even toothpaste.
Despite previous speculation the Cancer Research UK has publicly stated that “artificial sweeteners do not increase the risk of cancer”.
As a nation that is partial to a sweet treat, limiting your daily intake of sugar is defiantly the right direction to head in. When you take into consideration that the average ‘full-fat’ can of cola contains nine cubes of sugar, you can begin to see the appeal of swapping that caloric treat for one that contains little to no calories.
Various food manufacturers claim that artificial sweeteners help prevent tooth decay, control blood sugar levels and generally reduce our calorie intake.
Although many artificial sweeteners are synthetic, there are sweeteners that are made from naturally occurring substances. For example, the Stevia based sweeteners are made from the leaves of a plant.
Reducing the calorie intake you receive from sugar can help with weight loss, but it is not the only defining factor. The weight you lose is completely dependent on your overall diet and how often you exercise, as well as your genetic make-up and metabolism.
There is no guarantee that consuming low-sugar/ low-calorie products will result in keeping you slim and healthy, but it is a good place to start when looking to reduce your overall sugar intake.