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How To Cut Down Artificial Sweeteners?

How To Cut Down Artificial Sweeteners?

New studies showed that artificial sweeteners can actually increase cravings because it activates the brain’s pleasure center without satisfying it, which causes an increase desire for sweets. That is probably why people who consume diet beverages are not slimmer. On the contrary, one report showed that people who drink diet beverages are more prone to be obese or overweight compared to the people who consume the regular soda.
While certainly not recommending the consumption of the regular soda but I do believe that getting rid of the diet habit is necessary for sustainable weight control and optimal health.
People become worried that they’d never be able to give up the artificial stuff, or that doing so would lead to weight gain, but the outcomes showed fewer cravings for sweets, a higher ability to tune into hunger and fullness cues, and far more effortless weight loss. Here are some steps to quit artificial sweeteners.

1.Start writing cravings journal
In addition to writing down what and how much you eat, record your observations related to your cravings, whether physical or emotional. Your post-artificial sweetener observations can be pretty remarkable. One was shocked by the realization that when she stopped adding artificial sweetener to her morning coffee, she no longer felt like nibbling all morning on office treats.

2.Go cold turkey and make sure to uncover the hidden sources!
In addition to the little colored packets and diet drinks, artificial sweeteners may be found in foods that you don’t suspect such as yogurt, flavored water, protein shakes, gum and even cereals. That’s why you have to read every ingredient list carefully and search for the names such as sucralose,aspartame, acesulfame potassium, or Ace K, and saccharin. Even though stevia is marketed as natural, avoiding it as well is a good idea since it is 100 times sweeter than sugar which also increases the desire for sweets.

3.Satisfy sweet cravings with fruits
Research shows that fruits can satisfy a sweet tooth, and it’s a better option than sweeteners because the naturally occurring sugar in fresh fruit is rich with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fluid, and fibers, key nutrients that nourish your body and support your overall health. Studies show that fruit eaters weigh less, even more so than veggie eaters, probably because fruit tends to replace sweets .You can also get creative with fruits by adding a little mashed fruit to your ice water, bake fruits in the oven seasoned with spices like cinnamon, cloves, or ginger, or you can also sauté your favorite fruits.

4.Use sweet spices
Even though they are not sweet themselves, spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg give natural sweetness and can take the place of some or all of the sugar in many dishes. Sprinkling cinnamon and nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice into your morning cup of coffee or to foods like whole-grain cereal, nonfat organic Greek yogurt and baked sweet potato, allows you to forgo sweeteners all together. Additional benefit: they’re rich source of antioxidants, which protect our cells against premature aging and diseases; one teaspoon of cinnamon contains as much antioxidant power as a half cup of blueberries.

5.Enjoy real sugar carefully
According to the American Heart Association, the daily recommendations for added sugar which is the sugar you add to your coffee or the sugar added by manufacturers to sweetened yogurt and baked goods Should be no more than 6 teaspoons for women, and 9 for men that is for both food and beverages combined. If you are avoiding processed foods that often contain hidden added sugar such as canned soup, salad dressing, and tomato sauce, in this case you can add small amount of sugar into your healthy diet.

In conclusion, avoiding artificial sweeteners tends to limit sweet cravings overall, but when the cravings hit you, indulging in a small amount of the real thing is the best way to satisfy your needs and move on.

Christelle Bedrossian
Beirut, Lebanon




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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian