Do you top up your fries and burger with diet coke, thinking that it is less fattening than the regular coke? If yes, this article would serve you just about right.
Considering the impact of sugar on weight gain people have now switched their preferences towards various artificial chemicals to replicate the flavors of sugar. These chemicals are known as “artificial” sweeteners. They are sweet and are often added to foods and beverages that are labeled as weight loss friendly.
Here’s the catch: there is no best artificial sweetener that can help you lose weight in a healthy and safe manner. You would be better off considering natural sweeteners like honey to cut down on sugar and stevia. Drinking cola drinks and relying on junk food won’t do you any good either!
Merely thinking of sugar as something harmful is erroneous. The human body needs a certain amount of stored energy to do its regular tasks properly and this substance is one of the best sources of glucose. It is the amount and the rate of its breaking down that makes a difference to our health.
There is no difference in the way the sugar content in fruits is broken down as compared to a spoonful of sugar. Our bodies cannot make out the difference between the two, though their aftereffects can be vastly different. Our brain needs about 130 grams of glucose (mainly as sugar) to keep functioning properly, though this amount may be affected by one’s lifestyle and other dietary preferences.
A deficiency of sugar can have the following effects:
1. Depleted energy levels
2. Higher blood pressures
3. Lower blood sugar levels
4. A loss of feel-good hormone
5. Lowered rate of protein synthesis
6. Lesser storage and release of energy
Apart from weight gain, an overload of added sugar can lead to liver disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, high cholesterol, heart disease, and many other health problems. We already have enough to deal with in our lives, why add these problems to the mix?
You should note that every time you consume an excess of sugar, it pumps more insulin into your bloodstream through the arteries in your heart. This broadens and inflames them, and a persistent habit of eating sweets makes them thicker and stiffer.
Your heart is then forced to work harder to pump the same amount of blood to your body and may cause untimely damage to it. You should note that eating too much sugar and sweets may cause all types of heart-related illnesses and may well culminate in heart attacks.
Abruptly cutting down on these sugars out of your diet would be challenging and it would be thus best to start slowly. You can start by saying no to desserts and rather choosing a fruit-based diet that is rich in natural sugars and it helps you decrease sugar craving.
After you have defeated the dessert craving, it’s time to gradually cut out all sugary drinks. You should get all out on having fruit juices (you may add some raw honey or agave to make them sweeter). You would always be welcome to replace that can of soda with a glass of water with probiotic-heavy kefir.
Here is a sample no-sugar diet food list:
Fruits like mangoes, oranges, avocado, and coconuts
Animal proteins (chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish)
Large amounts of sugar can make you feel fatigued and when you are tired, you’re more than likely not to exercise. Going for a sugar-less diet can change your body for the better and boost your weight loss process dramatically. You will also shed some extra pounds faster and your energy levels will soar.
It’s a vicious circle that doesn’t end until you decide to change your diet. This is not to say that you cannot treat yourself to some delicacies every week, but just make sure that you don’t overindulge. Binge eating is a bad habit.
Sugar is enticing but the benefits of eating it less are tremendous. However, please note that cutting out all sugar abruptly would make you ill in a few days and you would be left to experience headaches, irritability, thirst, and brain fog. You may even find it difficult to operate and carry around yourself properly. Staying away from sugar is only advised when you do so sensibly and incrementally.
Caution: There is a big misconception that artificial sweeteners can help you reduce weight and lower blood sugar. The fact is that these sweeteners can abruptly increase your calorie consumption, appetite, and ultimately weight. This could be worse if you are diabetic and/or obese.
The main aim of artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose is to satisfy your sweet craving without loading you with calories. However, recent studies have explicated some detrimental effects of its consumption that significantly outweigh any benefits that these sweeteners may have for weight loss. One may also experience far-reaching health implications with prolonged use.
Following are some of the severe side effects of artificial sweeteners:
When people consume foods with artificial sweeteners, they tend to rate them as healthy food items. People forget that though it low in sugar, it still contains calories in the form of carbs, fats, and proteins- and they can together create havoc on their diet plans.
Many studies have shown that the number of calories consumed from foods with natural sweeteners and foods with artificial sweeteners is almost the same. It simply means that there is no calorie reduction merely by switching from one source to another.
Mostly these sweeteners are used in bakery items that have high carbohydrate content. It is important to note that while insulin stimulated from carbohydrates is important for energy, any excess sugar or starch is converted into fat and cholesterol. This could potentially be dangerous.
Sweet flavors sizzle the taste buds and increase the appetite, regardless of their source. Sugar substitutes taste just as sweet and they increase your temptations for sweet and carbohydrate products. You may eat fewer calories when you have them.
Also read: Best Tips To Crush Cravings And Beat Anxiety
If you consume sweets or starches, you should exercise to burn them off, or else they can result in weight gain. The good thing is that you can start from some easy no-equipment workouts at your home to negate this threat over a while.
Your body does not get fooled by the sweet taste without the associated calories. The scientific reason is that your brain release dopamine when you eat something sweet. It is a hormone that releases appetite-regulating signals and activates the brain’s rewards system.
This plays an important role in informing your senses that you are full now. Since you try to trick your body with artificial sweetness, the brain gets activated but does not receive the associated calories. This results in overall metabolic confusion and excessive eating.
Studies highlight that artificial sweeteners may stimulate appetite, increase cravings for carbs, and lead to metabolic dysfunctions related to fat storage and weight gain. The study does not support the use of artificial sweeteners to lose some extra weight and to stay in shape.
Though artificial sweeteners may benefit people suffering from diabetes or high blood sugar levels, their inappropriate use can pose severe health-based challenges. Instead of using natural or artificial sweeteners, you can go for other natural alternatives like fresh fruit juices or honey.
Did you know? Taking sugar substitutes like aspartame and sucralose for a long time can have severe side effects like headaches, seizures, dizziness, mental fog, migraine, blurred vision, allergy, nausea, multiple sclerosis, and even Alzheimer’s disease!
The ill-effects of eating sugary foods for a longer period of time can be best termed unwelcome. We recommend checking with your fitness trainer, healthcare expert, and nutritionist to figure out what works out best for you. Depending on your lifestyle pattern and hereditary reasons, they can suggest a better diet plan.
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