Trying to lose weight? Then you definitely have to stay away from sugar calories like soda, cake and other pastries. This is where artificial sweeteners come in play as they have virtually zero calories. Read my sugar free experience below. You may click the link to directly skip to my experience part.
The below photo shows the brands ‘Sweet N Low’ and ‘Splenda’ which i got from the US.
Types Of Sugar
Sugars are classified in to four types. they are,
Naturally found sugars are those seen in dairy products in the form of lactose, in fruits as fructose and even tube vegetables like sweet potatoes. Apart from being sweet, these foods provide us with essential nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
They are available in the market in various forms as granulated sugar, Maple syrup, Jaggery, Brown sugar, Honey, Molasses, Raw sugar.
Not all of them are healthy and they contain carbohydrates too. One teaspoon of maple syrup contains 52 calories. 🙁 These when taken in large amounts lead to weight gain and other health problems.
The healthy recommended limit per day is 6 teaspoons of sugar for women(100 calories) and 9 teaspoon(150 calories) for men.
Side effects – Weight gain, Tooth decay, High triglyceride levels(Cholesterol)
Sugar Free Supplements
These are available in the market in various brands like, Splenda, Sugar free natura, Sugar free gold and Wipro sweet n healthy. They are chemicals that have virtually no calories.
They are also used in sugar free products like pastries, baked products and diet sodas.
These are low calorie sweeteners that are hard to digest by our body. They are mentioned as Sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, erythritol, maltitol, mannitol on the ingredient list. They cannot be bought in the market.
It is commonly used in chewing gums and not so soft candies. These sweeteners are difficult to digest and may cause stomach problems.
Artificial Sweetener Types N Brands
The sugar free composition differs depending on the brand. The most common types of sugar substitutes available in India are,
Saccharin (300 times sweeter than sugar)- Sweet N Low (Imported and hence is costly)
Unlike the other 3, Stevia is made from a herb and is easy to digest. It is the healthiest and better choice of all the sweeteners with no side effects
The price range falls between 170 – 350 as you may find in the above links. You may get it on ‘Buy 1 get 1 free’ offers too. 🙂
How To Use Artificial Sweeteners?
Most of the artificial sweeteners are heat unstable. In simple words, they degenerate in to other chemical compounds and the left over product is just toxic in nature. So it is better not to add it to boiling tea/coffee or any other drink for that matter.
Do not use Aspartame based sweeteners like below for baking as the sweetness gradually reduces once heated.
How Are Artificial Sweeteners Beneficial?
The three main benefits of using sugar free supplements are,
Artificial sweetener brands like ‘Splenda’ are commonly used by those struggling with any type of diabetes. Unlike granulated sugar, These sweeteners do not affect your blood sugar levels at all. This is due to the fact that these sweeteners are not carbohydrates and hence cannot be broken down in to other smaller compounds like glucose.
Natural sweeteners and carbohydrates are broken down in to glucose and fructose during the digestion process. These are what our body uses as energy and help us get through our day. Apart from being many hundred times sweeter than normal sugar, artificial sweeteners do not provide any significant health benefits.
Aids Weight Loss
Artificial sweeteners have practically zero calories or very few calories. Hence they are widely used in diet foods and drinks. They certainly help reduce the total calorie intake. With a proper calorie intake and 30 minute exercise, it is possible to lose weight consistently.
- One Teaspoon of sugar – 16 calories
- one sachet of Splenda or similar sweeteners – 0-2 calories
Although they are safe, Make sure not use more 2-3 sachets a day.
Prevents Tooth Decay
Artificial sweeteners are not broken down by the bacteria in our mouth and hence they do not cause cavities or tooth decay.
Sugar Free Side Effects
Most people do not face any health issues or side effects from using these artificial chemical sweeteners. But everyone’s different. So if you experience any of the below symptoms, then discontinue using it and switch to natural sweeteners instead.
Although those suffering from Diabetes may have to avoid all kinds of sugar in order to regulate their blood sugar levels and reduce Insulin resistance.
- Affects gut bacteria
- Stomach cramps
- May cause cravings for sweet food
- Increases heart rate
- Trouble sleeping
- Overuse may cause diabetes in the future
My mom has controlled diabetes and she uses Splenda without any problems. None of my immediate family members have ever had a negative experience from using these either.
Why Did I Eliminate Sugars from Our Diet?
Both my husband and my family have hereditary diabetes risk from our mother’s side. 🙁 🙁
I did have gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar levels that develops any time during the pregnancy period and usually disappears after delivery. My doctors did warn me about checking my blood sugar once a year as there is a chance of the being diabetic in the future.
And hence, i cut out all the sugars from our diet and went for healthy replacements instead. They include granulated sugar in tea/coffee, desserts, cakes and sweets.
Experience With Artificial Sweeteners
My husband and i did not have any problems with the artificial sweetener brand(Splenda,Sweet N Low) we got from the US. One sachet was enough for a cup of coffee too.
But I did have problems like headache and disrupted sleep when i used an Indian brand. 🙁 The product name was Sugar Free Gold. We need two sachet to get the same amount of sweetness too. My husband does not have any problems with it though.
The reaction may differ depending on each individual and brands. I would recommend using Stevia as it is the healthiest of them all. 🙂 Choose accordingly and discontinue if you are having side effects using it.
Is It Healthy To Use Sugar Free For Diabetic Patients?
My mother’s diabetician strictly advised against using any kind of artificial sweeteners. So maybe it depends on your health condition and blood reports. Check with your doctor before using any supplement.
Healthy Diet Changes
We switched to green tea with honey/Lemon in the evenings and black coffee with palm jaggery in the mornings. It really has been more than 5 years since then. My husbands has been really supportive while making all these dietary changes. So i did not find it troublesome at all. 🙂
Once a week, we do have chocolate milk coffee or hot chocolate which is a favourite for both of us and i use artificial sweetener sachet instead of regular sugar. I use 90% dark chocolate for this recipe. It taste absolutely delicious. After one week of intense workout, a cup of hot chocolate or chocolate coffee is all we need to relax and unwind. It is really worth it.
I even made oats banana muffins with artificial sweeteners and it tasted good. I liked honey better though. 🙂 When my husband goes on a weight loss regime, i usually make healthy muffins with banana and oats using zero calorie sweeteners. Weight loss diets are usually bland, tasteless and boring when compared to junk foods. 🙁
Remember, Artificial sweeteners do not work when added to bread. The yeast does not react the way you would want it to. So while making whole wheat bread., i usually added one tablespoon of honey instead of sugar to 360 gram of flour.
Aspartame based Wipro sweet n healthy, Sugar free gold are not suitable for baking.
We do indulge in a slice of cake for our birthdays and anniversary. 🙂 and have kheer/Payasam twice a year. But that’s it, Really.
I got it on buy 1 get 1 offer. It contains 200 sachets.
You can play around with different recipes but remember to keep things in a limit like using only 1-2 sachets a day.
Everything is fine when done in Moderation. So do not over indulge in artificial sweeteners thinking it is healthy and that too with zero calories.
At the end of the day, it is a chemical that works by deceiving our taste receptors. There are no long term studies to prove its effects on our body.
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