REDUCING the amount of sugars consumed daily is important for maintaining health. But replacing coffee sugar with other sweetening substances is not as decisive as one might think. According to an analysis of 56 scientific research on the subject and published in the British medical journal , the consumption of sweeteners instead of sugar does not seem to bring health benefits.
• COMPARISON BETWEEN SUGAR AND SWEETENING
More and more people are aiming for healthy lifestyles, practicing more sports and reducing sugar and fat intake. Today it is common knowledge that a healthier life protects from the onset of any complications. The market for sugar-free and sweetened drinks containing aspartame or stevia is also on the wave of this attention. Even if they are authorized products, little is known about the actual benefits or possible risks of their daily consumption. According to the authors of the study, the literature that until now has been interested in the subject has often been the victim of partisan interests.
“Research on sweeteners is controversial. There are numerous studies that say they are bad for health, while others reassure. The latest news from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) tells us that they are safe. This does not mean that, like all foods, they must be consumed in moderation. – says Manon Khazrai , nutritionist and nutritional counselor – Sugar is not the most healthy food in the world. In recent years we have introduced it more and more strongly in our diets in the form of sugary drinks and juices, also taken as an alternative to fruit. In a balanced diet, simple sugars should not exceed 15% of total daily calories “.
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• THE ALTERNATIVE
To help us keep the calories under control without giving up the comfort of sweetness, we have therefore developed substances with a much greater sweetening power than sugar. “Sweeteners can be either natural, like stevia or fructose, or synthetic like aspartame. There are many, and they are generally used for a matter of taste, like covering the bitterness of coffee and tea. For someone else instead the aftertaste of sweeteners is even worse and remain faithful to sugar “.
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• RESULTS OF RESEARCH
From the results of an analysis of 56 independent studies evaluating the possible effects of daily consumption of sweeteners on weight, glycemia, oral health, tumors and other diseases, it appears that in general there are no significant differences in health status compared to those who instead consume sugar. Although perhaps, in some cases they could help those who are used to eating in large quantities. “Too many sugars in the blood cause the body to produce a lot of insulin, which eliminates it from circulation very quickly, pushing us to take even more. The more we introduce it, the more we need it, in other words.
Using sweeteners can help break this cycle, if we are used to drinking lots of sweetened drinks, instead of eliminating them completely, we can start by taking “light” ones. – suggests the doctor – Although it has been denied that sweetening substances can negatively influence the metabolism, they are not the solution to the problem of diets.
It is not just the intake of sugars that affects food health or obesity. We need to look at the lifestyle as a whole, move around, change the diet, educate the children for proper nutrition from the beginning, not make them associate some types of food with a prize for behaving well. At that point, if you occasionally sugar a little more, coffee does not happen “. We need to look at the lifestyle as a whole, move around, change the diet, educate the children for proper nutrition from the beginning, not make them associate some types of food with a prize for behaving well.