Sugar free diet has been trending for quite some time now. People are switching over to sugar free products due to various reasons like health issues, weight loss etc. However, there are certain myths about side effects associated with such diets. Here are some of the most common myths.
1. Dry mouth
2. Frequent urination
8. Muscle cramps
Before we examine the myths surrounding sugar free foods, let's define the term 'sugar free'.
How would you define sugar free?
Sugar free means no added sugars. It's the absence of any kind of sweetener. The term "sugar free" is used when referring to food products.
The term "sugar free", however, is also used to refer to beverages such as diet sodas. This is because these drinks contain artificial sweeteners, which do not provide any calories or carbohydrates.
Are artificial sweeteners harmful?
Artificial sweeteners are not good for you because they contain no calories or nutrients. They may also affect your body differently from sugar. For example, some people who use them report feeling hungrier after eating foods with added sweetener. They have been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, liver damage, kidney failure, and even cancer.
Let's look at some common artificial sweeteners.
Sugar alcohols are used in place of sugar in many foods, beverages, and baked goods. However, these substances contain calories and should be avoided by those who want to lose weight.
Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, and Canderel) has been approved by the FDA. This synthetic substance is often added to diet sodas and other products that claim to help people lose weight. Despite its widespread use, there is still much controversy surrounding this ingredient. Some studies suggest that it may increase your risk of breast cancer, while others show no connection at all. Some people claim that aspartame causes diseases like MS, Parkinson’s disease, Diabetes, Asthma, Alzheimer’s and even cancer.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup is known to make you gain weight, and it shows in the body. When you eat foods containing high fructose corn syrup, you produce insulin, and insulin makes you put fat around your middle. You don’t lose weight, you just store it somewhere else. Foods that contain HFCS also cause heart issues, and patients who take HFCS show higher blood pressure than those who don’t. Basically, HFCS is a big problem. Do you think I’m being dramatic? Let’s look at the numbers. In 2010, the FDA declared that HFCS is “generally recognized as safe.” And in 2013, the American Heart Association recommended limiting consumption of HFCS.
Saccharin was first introduced in 1879, and it is still being produced today. It is known as “sweet” no matter what its actual taste is like. There are concerns about saccharin causing bladder cancer, leukemia, and birth defects.
Allulose is an α-D-glucopyranoside that can be found in honey, maple syrup, and some fruits and vegetables. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat coughs and colds. FDA does not any more consider Allulose as sugar. It does not behave like sugar in our body. Consuming more than 54 grams of allulose per day may cause digestive issues, such as bloating, gas and abdominal pain.
Acesulfame potassium (E950) is an artificial sweetener that has been in use in food products in some countries. It is 200 times sweeter than sucrose, but only about half as sweet as saccharin. Acesulfame K contains methylene chloride, which is a carcinogenic chemical. It causes headaches, depression, nausea and mental confusion. It also affects your liver and kidneys. You should avoid this product if you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Cyclamates are organic compounds that contain two nitrogen atoms joined together by a single carbon atom. They are used in foods as sweeteners. Cyclamates are artificial sweeteners that were used in many foods until they were banned in the US in 1970. They are still widely used in Europe, where they are considered safe. However, studies show that cyclamates may be harmful to humans. In fact, some people who consume large amounts of cyclamates experience symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Mogrosides (monk fruit)
Monk fruits are the fruits of several species in the genus Phyllanthus. They are native to tropical Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. Many European countries do not permit use of Mogrosides as a sweetener. As long as you consume it as a fruit and not as an extract, monk fruit can be good for you. It has no side effects. It contains powerful antioxidants. However, if you consume Mogrosides, the extract of the fruit, you are removing the fiber and antioxidants from it and can be harmful for you.
Steviol glycosides (stevia)
Steviol glycosides are sweet tasting compounds that have been extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant. They are used in many foods and beverages because they provide an alternative to sugar without any calories. Steviol may be harmful for your kidneys, reproductive system, and heart. Consuming stevia is known to drop your blood pressure. It may interaction with medications that lower blood pressure, too.
Sucralose (trade name Splenda) is an artificial sweetener that has been approved for use in food products in the United States since 1999. It is produced by combining two naturally occurring sugars, sucrose and glucose, into a single molecule. Sucralose causes insulin resistance in healthy people who consume it with carbs.
Which Sugar Substitute is the safest?
Dates are the safest sugar substitutes.
Dates are a fruit that has been used for thousands of years. They have been eaten and enjoyed since ancient times. Dried dates are still popular today throughout the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. There are many different types of dates, but they can be divided into two categories - sweet and dry. Sweet dates include Medjool, Deglet Noor, Barhi, and Zahidi; while dry dates include Khalas, Zebri, and Goobneh.
Sweet dates are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds. Dry dates contain high levels of iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, copper, and manganese. These benefits make them a great addition to any diet.
Nutrition Value of Dates
Health benefits of Dates as a Sugar Substitute
- Dates contain Essential Vitamins
- Dates are very nutritious
Helps in irregular bowel movement
Knows for their high concentration of antioxidants
Reduces interluekin 6 and risk of Alzheimer's
Higher chance of delivering by natural labor
Promotes Anti-Tumour activity
Beneficial against microbes such as E-coli and pneumonia
Increases natural production of insulin
Phenolics and flavonoids in dates reduces inflammation
Helps kidneys to stay healthy
Flavonoids and Amino acids in Dates Improves sperm count and sexual libido
Micronutrients in Dates help in development of bone health
Potassium in Dates is Beneficial for neurological health
Low Sodium in dates reduces risk of hypertension
Vitamin C and D in dates nourishes skin
Maintains melanin in skin
Stops hair fall
Iron in dates improves blood flow
Tribals use date palm extracts to reduce intoxication effect
Great natural alternative to Vitamin supplements
Vitamin A in dates reduces risk of night blindness
Versatile food to add in a wide variety of recipes
High Iron in dates helps with anemia