Monday, July 09, 2012

New research backs sweeteners as diet aid

Well, well, well...not to say, "I told you so!" or anything, but yet more research has come out to support the role of non-nutritive sweeteners like sucralose in maintaining or losing weight. Two major health organizations - the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association - have endorsed sugar substitutes as a dietary aid.

"There may be a benefit to people who use them smartly and who don't compensate later in the day and negate the benefit," said Christopher Gardner, lead author of the new scientific statement.

According to the research, which is being published in the journals Circulation and Diabetes Care, there is also some evidence that consuming products with low-calorie  sweeteners can help people with diabetes monitor their sugar intake, a key component of managing diabetes.
"Picking diet sodas over sodas or even picking foods with non-nutritive sweeteners can have a direct impact on sugar intake and [can be used] as a viable tool to get people to monitor their sugar intake," said Gardner.

Are sugar substitutes a magic bullet? No. A person who drinks 12 diet sodas a day or regularly consumes a gallon of sucralose-sweetened ice cream should not expect to lose weight. However, low-calorie sweeteners are another tool to incorporate into an overall healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a balanced diet. So my advice is, ditch the regular soda and grab a diet version. With that change alone, you will cut 150 calories a day from your diet, which could ultimately result in a 15-pound weight loss over the course of a year.

You can utilize calorie savings calculators like this one to help shrink the waistline, remembering that weight loss and physical fitness will not happen overnight and require a lifelong commitment.

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