SUNDAY SHUTDOWN #15 Sweeteners

I blogged on this last year which is useful for further reading, however wanted to write up a short summary for anyone who just wants to know the facts. Now.⠀

Low calorie sweeteners (LCS) come in a few different forms, artificial or a little more naturally from plants, you’ll know these as things like aspartame, saccharin or stevia. They are typically used in food manufacturing to replicate the taste of sugar without the calories or the damage to teeth. Many consumers now prefer the taste of the products made with LCS over their sugary counterparts.⠀

The current research base tells us that artificial sweeteners are not harmful to human health. The majority of studies showing any negative effect or link to disease have been done on animals and the initial cause for concern started way back in the 1970’s. Needless to say research has come on a fair bit since then. There are some observational studies which show that consumers of sweeteners tend to have a higher BMI, however, a meta-analysis conducted by Rogers et al (2016) found that sweeteners may aid weight loss. Given that this period of time (during weight loss) is not life long, consumption during this short term period while behaviour change is discussed may be a worthwhile consideration.⠀

There was once a school of thought that using artificial sweeteners meant you were more likely over eat at other occasions throughout the day. However, a recent randomised controlled trial by Fantino et al (2018) showed that short or longer-term consumption of LCS beverages with meals does not affect appetite and hunger or overall calorie and food intake.

And practically from a coaching perspective, if you are trying to lose weight and you can cut circa 150 calories from swapping a sugar sweetened beverage to a “diet” variety then you should. Done.⠀

Kate Taylor

Author Kate Taylor

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