Sugar alternatives - are they any better for you?

sugar alternatives

In my life time there has been a diet culture of “we must eat low fat”, and many modern day diet schemes focus on removing dietary fat in a bid to educate us that fat is bad for you. 

I still to this day cannot get my head around this-  is it really encouraging people to eat a balanced diet?

By removing the fat from the food, it has to be replaced with something so that flavour is still present to some degree…... In comes the additional sugar, or sugar alternatives.

The point of my blog today is to try and explain the effect of sweeteners on the body and why they may not be the best alternative in the long run, especially for fat loss.

When you eat something sweet, your body releases hormones from the brain and into the digestive system.  This appetite regulating hormone is called leptin. This hormone also tells your body when its full, when enough calories have been ingested.

When you eat or drink something that tastes sweet but doesn’t actually have any calories in it, its tricking your body, as your hormones are still activated. However, as there are no actual calories going in to your body, it then starts to crave more sugar and carbohydrate. As you can imagine, this can lead to weight gain rather than weight loss and a recipe for disaster. 

Excessive consumption of diet drinks and foods can have a detrimental effect on your fat loss attempts by interfering with your blood sugar and hormone responses, potentially causing a number of unwanted health issues, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Here are some some commonly used sweeteners in the uk.  Next time you are checking a food label, remember if the ingredient is within the first three listed it means its content is high.

Asparatme, Phenlaline, Acesulfame Potassium, Xylitol, Saccharin, Sucralose

Sugar in its natural form or in its processed form is bad in high quantities, however, you are getting some calories from it and not tricking your brain and your digestive system into thinking its getting food when its not!

By balancing your diet, keeping sugar to a minimum, fat to the correct ratio and eating protein at every mealtime you will keep your diet and blood sugar level balanced without gaining weight or giving yourself health problems.

 For more in depth information on this controversial subject have a read of these:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/08/the-4-best-and-3-worst-sweeteners-to-have-in-your-kitchen.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/07/sugar-substitutes.aspx

At Limitless and Crossfit we offer nutritional coaching alongside structured meal plans to give you a kickstart and help you understand how to balance your diet, have more energy and lose weight safely.