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Unable to reduce fat and potential obesity crisis Zero calorie substitute sugar increases the risk of death

Unable to reduce fat and potential obesity crisis Zero calorie substitute sugar increases the risk of death

Article Zhang Shumei, Chen Zhenji “Ming Pao”

Sugar-free sodas, low-calorie desserts, zero-calorie drinks, etc. use high-sweetness, low-calorie sweeteners instead of sucrose, which used to be a “gift” in the minds of many people who control weight or blood sugar.

but. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued the latest guidelines, pointing out that non-sugar sweeteners (NSS) are not helpful for weight loss and fat loss, and long-term use may also increase health risks!

Dietitian Li Zhenyang

Nutritionist Chen Keer

(Hong Kong News) Eating too much sucrose is harmful to health, and sweeteners are not recommended. How to add sweetness to life?

Packaged Potato Chips Contain Non-Sugar Sweeteners

Non-sugar sweeteners (NSS), commonly referred to as sugar substitutes, refer to sweeteners that have no nutritional value. Common examples include:

◆Acesulfame K/Acesulfame K

◆Aspartame/asparagine (aspartame)



◆Stevia (stevia)




Unfamiliar with their names? In fact, we often meet them in our daily diet. Zero-calorie sodas, low-calorie fruit drinks, low-sugar chocolates, and even packaged potato chips with a salty taste can all be found in NSS.

The latest WHO guidelines recommend against using NSS to control weight or reduce disease risk. After reviewing 283 studies, WHO pointed out that NSS not only does not help in weight control or fat loss, but may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and even death in the long run.

Sweeteners affect gut microbiome

Sugar substitutes have always been regarded as a good helper in controlling calorie and sugar intake. Li Zhenyang, project director and registered dietitian of the Jockey Club Cancer Comprehensive Care Center of the University of Hong Kong, explained;

“NSS has different levels of sweetness,

For example, aspartame or sucralose are 200 or 600 times sweeter than sucrose,

Use a small amount to achieve the desired sweetness, so the amount used is less than ordinary sugar.

NSS refers to some sweeteners that can provide sweetness, but are not fully absorbed by the body and do not contain calories. “

NSS was once regarded as helpful for weight loss, but the WHO pointed out that it has a potential risk of obesity. Chen Keer, a registered dietitian at the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said that sweeteners are high in sweetness, and frequent consumption will reduce the sensitivity of taste buds. heat”.

In addition, when eating foods containing sweeteners, the body expects sugar intake due to the sweet taste in the mouth, which will stimulate insulin secretion; but the sweet taste is only limited to the taste buds, and the stomach does not have real sugar metabolism, so it will continue to crave sweets , “When sweeteners can’t meet the body’s needs, we will find other things that really contain sugar and calories to replace them.”

In addition, desserts and cakes made with sweeteners only reduce the sugar content, which does not mean that other ingredients such as butter and flour have no calories. If you mistakenly think that you can eat more, you will increase your obesity crisis. Studies have also pointed out that sweeteners affect intestinal microecology, change intestinal flora, or increase appetite.

High chance of developing insulin resistance

“Recent studies have found that people who eat sweeteners have a higher chance of developing insulin resistance.” That is, the body is not sensitive to insulin and needs to secrete more insulin to transport blood sugar to different organs.

Chen Keer explained that when there is insulin resistance, that is, long-term high insulin and blood sugar in the body, it may lead to a series of chronic diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary disease, etc.

Excessive intake of sugar can lead to obesity and increase the risk of diabetes, so people naturally want to seek alternatives. Li Zhenyang believes that the emergence of NSS has given the public a right to choose, after all, they can help reduce calorie intake in a short period of time, “But whether it is the sugar in the food itself, NSS or sugar alcohol, in fact, it is necessary to control the amount and consume in moderation.”

See ingredient list and sweetener number

Chen Keer reminded that many people think that sweeteners are only used in sweet foods, and that they can avoid sweets. “Sweeteners are actually full of different prepackaged foods.”

The University of Hong Kong has reviewed about 20,000 prepackaged foods on the market and found that 15% to 20% of salty snacks such as potato chips and puffed snacks have one or more sugar substitutes.

“Everyone should learn to read the ingredient list and pay attention to the number of sweeteners, such as aspartame E951, sucralose E955, stevia E960, maltitol E965, etc.”

Smart choices – Foods that replace sucrose with sweeteners are not necessarily low in calories. You should learn to read nutrition labels and make smart choices.

Contains sweeteners – sweeteners are not only used in sweet foods, the University of Hong Kong has found that many salty snacks such as potato chips have added sweeteners.

Monk fructose – Luo Han fructose is extracted from Luo Han Guo, which has relatively high sweetness, and because it has zero calories and low glycemic index, it is suitable for most people, including diabetics.

plant-derived sweeteners

sugar friendsAppropriate amount for those who lose weight

Sweet and afraid of fat, NSS is not recommended, what other options?

There are many options on the market for products that can replace sugar to provide sweetness. Among them, plant-derived sweeteners such as monk fruit sugar, inulin sugar, rare sugar, etc., and coconut sugar, which is a natural sugar like sucrose, are good for weight control. People with blood sugar and blood sugar can use it in moderation.

Lo Han FructoseZero Calorie Zero Glycemic Index

Monk fructose is extracted from Luo Han Guo, and its sweetness comes from mogroside, which is 100 to 250 times sweeter than sucrose. “Mogroside can resist oxidation and inflammation. It is suitable for most people, even diabetics, because it has zero calories and zero liters. Glycemic index, will not cause blood sugar to spike.”

Nutritionist Chen Ke’er pointed out that there is currently no research showing that Luo Han fructose has obvious disadvantages, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies it as a food generally recognized as safe; it is also a food in China, Japan, Canada and other places. Deemed safe for consumption.

“However, monk fruit sugar itself is very sweet, and it is rarely used alone. Most of it is mixed with white sugar or other sweeteners (such as stevia, erythritol) to balance the sweetness.” She reminded to look clearly when using it The ingredient list and nutrition label may not necessarily be low-sugar and low-calorie after mixing.

InulinSupports gut flora

Inulin sugar is extracted from the root of South American inulin, which is a relatively new plant-extracted sweetener in recent years.

Chen Keer pointed out that inulin contains 45% to 50% dietary fiber oligosaccharides (FOS), which is a prebiotic; other sweeteners have been studied to reduce the number of good bacteria in the gut, but inulin has FOS can support the intestinal flora.

“Inulin yam sugar has one-third of the calories of sucrose, and its glycemic index is only 1. It can be eaten by diabetics. However, it will be fermented and decomposed in the large intestine to produce gas, which is prone to gastrointestinal discomfort or those with irritable bowel syndrome, so it is not suitable to eat too much. “

rare sugarSmall fluctuations in blood sugar that are not absorbed

Rare sugar was developed in Japan. Registered dietitian Li Zhenyang pointed out that it can be found in natural foods, but the content is not much, so it is called rare sugar. The sweetness is about 70% of sucrose. Absorbed and then excreted, so the glycemic index is lower and the blood sugar fluctuations are smaller.” Taking allulose as an example, it is a kind of rare sugar, which is naturally found in figs, wheat and other foods. It is a good sweetener for diabetics or people with unstable blood sugar because it is also low in calories. , only 0.2 to 0.4 kcal per gram, which is one-tenth of sucrose (4 kcal per gram), can be used for hot and cold drinks, baked cakes or daily cooking.

Palm sugarLower glycemic index than sucrose

Coconut sugar and sucrose are both natural sugars and belong to carbohydrates; however, the glycemic index of coconut sugar (54) is lower than that of sucrose (65), and it also has a little more minerals than sucrose, so it is relatively suitable for diabetics, but it is still necessary to pay attention to control consumption quantity.

Chen Keer emphasized that no studies have shown that plant-extracted sweeteners have obvious disadvantages. It is possible to replace sucrose occasionally and in a moderate amount, but it is still unknown whether long-term research will find its disadvantages in the future, and it is unknown how natural the extraction process is. The ideal is to reduce the amount of sugar used step by step. “If sugar is used every day, I would rather use sucrose, but reduce the amount, such as slowly reducing from two packs a day to one and a half packs or even one pack, rather than long-term use of sugar substitutes.” . The WHO recommends that adults and children should consume 5% to 10% of their daily energy intake from sugar.

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