Are non-nutritive (diet) food and drink items healthy?

Many of us think zero-calorie food and drink items as healthier food options. In the journey of weight loss, we often switch to non-nutritive food and drink items and consume them without any hesitation. As a result, all the products in our local stores and supermarkets are gradually being replaced by diet or zero-calorie food items. But do you know there is no such thing as zero-calorie food?


Are you the one who believes no sugar- means reduced calories?

The reality is when sugar is moved from food there are new ingredients (commonly artificial sweeteners) that are needed to replace both the flavour and functionality of sugar. This often results in bringing in the same or even more calories to a product than sugar derived from the sugarcane plant.


Read the nutrition label and ingredient label both.

This presents a big concern as low or zero-calorie artificial sweeteners are making their way to most food items today. The local store and supermarkets are filled with such items with less or no information about these sweeteners on the nutrition labels.



You might have spotted “Zero Calorie” or “No Added Sugars” written on the front of the packaged food and drink items in big letters. You might have also found no mention of the quantity of sugars on the nutrition label. But have you ever read the ingredients on those food packets? If you have, you must have found something like ‘sweeteners’, ‘sucralose’, ‘zero calorie sweeteners’, etc.


Why one should avoid “Zero-Calorie” and Diet food and beverages?

Several studies have found that non-nutritive “Zero Calorie” artificial sweeteners lead to diabetes, cancer, overeating and weight gain. Studies have found that artificial “Zero Calorie” sweeteners confuse the brain’s calorie counter. Zero calorie sweeteners trick the brain into eating more thus resulting in consuming more calories overall. A long-term The NutriNet-Sante study initiated in 2009 by the Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team (EREN) found a link between some artificial sweeteners and cancer risk.


So, before you buy or order any zero-calorie food or drink items thinking you are making a healthier choice; stop and think twice as the long-term research study on non-nutritive artificial sweeteners are a major threat to your health.


References:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-artificial-sweeteners-may-cause-us-to-eat-more/

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003950

https://www.aninews.in/news/lifestyle/food/study-finds-link-between-artificial-sweeteners-and-cancer-risk20220325051014/

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