Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ARE “SUGAR FREE” SWEETS REALLY HEALTHY?

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“Sugarless”. “Too much light.” “With no remorse”. What do these – and all sorts of related – labels on provocative confections mean? The answer to this question also explains what place “sugar-free” sweets should have in a balanced diet.

In the times we live in, the urge to eat healthy has largely overwhelmed our daily lives. From the countless advertisements of new products on TV and the many and many “healthy recipes” that are “thrown” in front of us on social media, to the new healthy spots that open one after the other in the country, everything seems to be moving towards this “healthy” direction.

Very encouraging, one might say. And certainly effective, since indeed in recent years it has been observed that more and more people are looking for various alternatives, with the aim of eating healthier every day.

One of our most frequent searches, in fact, is that for “healthy sweets”, to be precise for sweets that do not contain sugar – because in our minds this is our real “enemy”: sugar!

Thus, store shelves are constantly filled with products that promise us that they combine healthy enjoyment with rich taste, without the burdensome addition of sugar. Nothing better;

But have we ever really asked ourselves: Are these “sugar-free” sweets really healthy?

sugar-free sweets

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Fact #1:

Indeed, excessive consumption of sugar is associated with many health problems, such as obesity and various cardiovascular and other diseases. That’s why “sugar-free” sweets are a particularly attractive option for people who want to watch their weight and at the same time their diet.

Fact #2:

We must understand that sugar-free does not always mean calorie- free ! In particular, if not all, most of these sweets may not contain the classic sugar, but they use other, “hidden” sources of sugar” to replace the taste. They generally replace sugar as we know it with another… sugar!

What do “sugar-free” sweets contain?

If we talk about sweeteners, we should know that the main categories of sweeteners are two: synthetic sweeteners (often also “sweeteners without calories”) and polyols (often also “sweeteners with calories”).

  • Synthetic sweeteners include: saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose and neotame.
  • Polyols (four calories per gram) include , among others: sorbitol, xylitol and mannitol.

 

sweeteners

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The above substances can be contained in a wide range of products on the market, such as soft drinks, cakes, biscuits, jams, chewing gum, yoghurts, fruit juices and even jellies, while there are not a few products that contain much more than one sweetener or even a combination of sweeteners with regular sugar!

In addition, many recipes for “healthy sweets” instead of granulated or brown sugar tell you to add stevia, honey, syrups, date sugar, natural fruit sweeteners and more, in order to “combine low calorie intake with the pleasant taste”. What they don’t tell you, of course, is that all these substances are recognized the same by our body .The point is that the excessive consumption of even these sugars or sweeteners is claimed to lead to several health problems , while there are not a few who doubt the actual replacement of sugar, emphasizing that  they rarely have added sugars , or that they rarely have fewer calories than classic sweets.

For this reason, the best way to find out what the product we wish to buy actually contains is to carefully read the label on the back of the package, no matter how “sugar-free”, “too light” or “no regrets” it may be. “appears” on the front of it!

After all, is “sugar free” really the catchphrase for a healthier life?

We have seen how important it is to be aware of the ingredients listed on the labels of seemingly “sugar-free” sweets in order to avoid any dangers. But the issue is not only the composition. Even more important is the way we see them and, above all, the way we choose to enjoy them.

 

chocolates

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There are many people who argue that the perception that we are consuming something healthy is very likely to lead us to overconsumption , that is, to enjoy “sugar-free” sweets in countless quantities and without any measure at all. In confirmation of this position, it is a fact that many sweeteners – like the ones we mentioned – can affect our appetite and make us eat more than we would expect.

Does true health lie in balance? The answer is yes!

A healthy diet is a balanced diet . It is one in which all foods have a place, none are considered “good” or “bad”, “healthy” or “harmful”, and none are forbidden. Where regrets don’t fit, when we enjoy something we like, it’s enough to do it with moderation and awareness . After all, nothing consumed wisely can really harm our body!

Finally, if our goal is to lose weight or control our weight, we should know that no sweetener will magically reduce calories . In order to get the desired results, it is necessary to consult a specialist, who will make us a balanced diet plan, based on our personal needs.

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