Artificial Sweeteners

Blog

Back
Article

Artificial Sweeteners

There is a great deal of confusion and controversy around artificial sweeteners, so I thought I would do my own exploration so I can get a better understanding.

I have sometimes used sweeteners, such as Agave Syrup or Date Syrup, believing they are a better 'natural' alternative to refined white sugar, or to 'artificial sweeteners such as Splenda or Canderel.

  1. The first thing I learnt is that there are two types of sweeteners; nutritive and non-nutritive. This means the former has calories and the later has no or reduced calorie content.
  2. The 'artificial' sweeteners fall into the non-nutritive band, and hence when added to drinks and food can be classified as 'no added sugar' because they do not add any calories to the drink and they are not regarded as sugar. Great idea! You can now enjoy the sweeteners of the drinks and food you like but without the added calories content that nutritive sweeteners have. It must be a win:win situation?  There has been some research which has shown that certain artificial sweeteners may cause side effects such as migraines, cause inflammation, particularity in the bowel or gut and effect how we metabolise food.
  3. However another side effect which has been explored in a study in 2017, has been their link to obesity. One of the suggestions is that because artificial sweeteners are not 'satisfying' in terms of calories but only in terms of taste, consumers compensate by ordering larger portions, thus increasing calorie in take.
  4. Artificial Sweeteners can also be 'synthetic' and 'natural'. Aspartame, Sucralose, Saccarain and Sorbitol are all in the former category and Stevia (plant), Xylitol (Birch Tree bark), Agave, Erythriol (sugar alcohol in certain fruits) and Yacon are in the later category.  Both these types can have side effects.
  5. The way the sweeteners work is to bind to the same receptors in the mouth and palate which cause the sensation of sweetness.
  6. There is also a suggestion that we can become addicted to them, because of their ability to make foods and drinks much sweeter than 'normal' sugars, in some cases up to 600 times sweeter, as in the case of Sucralose (Splenda)

By this point in my research I was gaining a bit more knowledge but I was till confused? I just wanted to have a clearer idea of what I should be looking to avoid and what I could use instead.

What to avoid

  • Refined Sugars
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Products containing Fructose Corn Syrups.

What products can I find these in? This is by no means an exhaustive list.

  • Children’s juices
  • Vitamin gums or jelly gum sweets
  • Chewing gum
  • No calorie waters
  • Frozen yogurts
  • Low fat products
  • Zero calorie or low calorie drinks and food
  • Children’s medication such as Calpol

What can I use instead?

The first thing to point out is there is no magic 'fix' to craving or for that matter reducing added sugar from our diet. It is about changing our palate and about having the knowledge to:

  1. understand labels and ingredients
  2. understand that your body treats ‘all’ sugars in the same way, whether it is naturally occurring in foods or added in the form of sweeteners
  3. understand that it will take time to change a habit of a lifetime and to work out how to circumnavigate around the maze of misinformation and ‘bad’ products available to us.

So taking the above into consideration, and for more information  read my article on sugar and I also have a few videos on my YouTube channel (click the icon in top right hand corner).

These are alternatives that can be used to add sweetness to foods or drinks, but be warned they do contain calories so be cautious:

  1. Raw, unpasteurised, honey
  2. Stevia
  3. Dates
  4. Maple Syrup
  5. Blackstrap Molasses
  6. Fruit purees; banana, apple, berries
  7. Cinamon
  8. Vanilla
  9. Coconut sugar

MEET OUR TRAINERS 💪

Meet our amazing fitness class trainers, delivering all of the classes on your timetable throughout the Monthly Rolling Plan.

Meera Bhogal
Active, knowledgable and experienced in fitness.
Currently studying to become a gym instructor.

Zahra Khimji
Level 3 personal trainer, Level 3 pilates instructor
Level 3 pre/post natal coach.

Ann De Jong
Yoga teacher, specialising in strength and mobility.

Damian Victory
PT Coach specialising in Calisthenics

Jon Bailey
Premiere Training Award Level 3, Gym Instructor Level 3 Advanced,
GP Referral Level 3, Disability Award, Boxercise and V Box

Meerasmadefromscratch.co.uk
...

21 1

What can our DNA tell us? 🧬

Did you know you can discover the perfect diet, training plan, and lifestyle routine to suit you, just through a DNA test?

But what is DNA?
How important is it to understand our DNA and what exactly can we learn from it?

Our Don’t Pause For Menopause Expert, Juliana, explores all of the above and more in our most recent podcast episode.

Listen now on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

——

Meerasmadefromscratch.co.uk
...

4 1

Going through menopause can feel lonely and challenging. This programme will educate you in each stage of menopause, and most importantly boost your confidence, strength, and overall happiness and well-being.

It is led by nutrition and wellbeing experts that offer the right approach for you, to help you feel like yourself again.

What's included:
An online welcome pack with all of your learning materials
4 bespoke weekly meal plans
Weekly support to teach you how to create your own meal plans
20+ recipes to kickstart your nutrition programme
5 live and on demand daily exercise sessions every week
1 weekly yoga and meditation session
1 weekly accountability session with Meera
All about menopause nutrition webinar with Juliana
Gut health and the menopause webinar with Meera
Nutrition app tutorial and 1:1 support with the Meera’s Made from Scratch team
Daily support and guidance from the team and your peers from the comfort of your phone!

Meerasmadefromscratch.co.uk
...

4 0