November 12, 2012

Don't Over Compensate If Using Artificial Sweeteners

This article does point out what some people think they can do if they use artificial sweeteners. I even have some friends that do just what they should not do. They have their morning cup of coffee and use artificial sweeteners. Then they order a stack of waffles or pancakes and say they can do this because they did not use sugar in their coffee. What a mistake they make. Granted they do not have diabetes, but they knew I did. When I had steak and fried eggs, they said I was overdoing the protein and fat. I was not the fattest and probably near the lowest weight of the group that morning.

We did have a lively discussion about carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Except for one other person, all of us generally eat more protein and fat than we do carbohydrates, however, I am the only one slowly losing weight. Nothing to brag about as I am still overweight and need to lose a lot of pounds. For my height, I was the shorty in the group of six of us as they were all over six feet tall. Yet, they will do just what is advised against – overcompensate for using artificial sweeteners.

It is understandable why the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) were hesitant to approve using artificial sweeteners. They have issued a joint scientific statement giving a cautious recommendation to the use of non-nutritive sweeteners to help people maintain a healthy body weight and for diabetics to aid in blood glucose control.

The American Diabetes Association stated that for diabetes patients, using artificial sweeteners on their own or in foods and drinks may help aid glucose control if "used appropriately".” Emphasis is mine.
"While they are not magic bullets, smart use of non-nutritive sweeteners could help you reduce added sugars in your diet, therefore lowering the number of calories you eat. Reducing calories could help you attain and maintain a healthy body weight, and thereby lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. But there are caveats."

Both associations stressed that their statement permitting the use of artificial sweeteners is not to be understood as declaring them safe ingredients. This can only be determined by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The authors also state that human studies about the specific, practical, and public health aspects about artificial sweeteners are needed.

The authors also stated that people often compensate or overcompensate, making it necessary to state that they need to be used wisely to be successful. Consider the artificial sweeteners like a nicotine patch; they are much preferable than real sugar, but not part and parcel of an optimal diet. The authors concluded that the artificial sweeteners on the market today are safer than consuming large amounts of sugar, which is definitely harmful when consumed in large amounts.

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