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  #1   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 00:18
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default Diet debate: Are diet drinks a no-go?

Quote:
From the BBC
London, UK
4 January, 2017

Diet debate: Are diet drinks a no-go?

It's rare in life to have your cake and eat it. But are low-calorie sweeteners the guilt-free way to be naughty?

Nobody is going to claim that regularly drinking full-sugar pop is good for you with a 500ml bottle of cola containing around 200 calories.

But a diet version can come in at just the one calorie.

Simple logic would suggest that swapping a full sugar drink for a diet version cuts calories from your diet.

And yet such drinks have a mixed reputation.

A fresh review by Imperial College London has argued there is "no solid evidence" that low-calorie sweeteners are any better for weight-loss than full-sugar drinks.

And they challenged the idea that such drinks are automatically healthier.

Meanwhile there is public concern about some sweeteners and groups of scientists have argued that low-calorie sweeteners may lead to weight gain and increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

So do they have a place in our shopping baskets?

"A lot of people assume they must be healthy choices because they are not sugared beverages, but the critical thing for people to understand is we don't have the evidence," said Prof Susan Swithers, from the US's Purdue University.

Studies looking at large groups of people have shown obese people tend to drink more fizzy diet drinks than those of a healthy weight.

A study of US adults in the American Journal of Public Health showed 11% who were a healthy weight, 19% of those who were overweight and 22% who were obese drank diet beverages.

And a study in the journal Obesity that followed 3,700 people for eight years showed those consuming the low-calorie sweeteners put on the most weight.

The researchers were left asking the question: "Are artificial sweeteners fuelling, rather than fighting, the very epidemic they were designed to block?"

But it is impossible to determine cause and effect in such studies. Are the drinks causing weight gain or are obese people turning to diet drinks in an effort to control their weight?

Body disruption

Prof Swithers' experiments on rats suggest the drinks alter the way the body deals with normal sugar, which could lead to weight-gain.

When sugar hits the tongue it gives us that delicious hit of sweetness, but also tells the body that food is on the way.

But with zero-calorie sweeteners that same message is sent, but no food arrives. The argument is the link between sweetness and calories has been broken.

Prof Swithers told me: "We think the diet sodas may be bad because they make it hard to deal with the sugar you are consuming.

"When the animals get real sugar they're not as good at processing it, their hormonal responses get blunted, their blood sugar levels go up and it leads to weight gain."

She also points out another problem - compensation. When you know you are taking calories out of one part of your diet you tend to eat more somewhere else.

"I had a diet beverage therefore I can have a cookie," she said - it's the same effect that has been well documented after we hit the gym.

Aspartame

Aspartame is one of the best known low-calorie sweeteners, but is also the most controversial.

The sugar substitute, also known as E951 in Europe, is 200 times sweeter than sugar and has been linked to a series of scare stories since it was introduced to foods in the 1980s.

Claims have included allergies, premature births and cancer.

Pepsi quoted public distrust in the stuff as the number one reason people were ditching their diet soda in the US.

It is often described as one of the most tested food ingredients in the world.

And a review by the European Food Safety Authority in 2013 concluded that there were "no safety concerns" including for pregnant women and for children.


Meanwhile scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel showed that low-calorie sweeteners altered the balance of bacteria inside the guts of rats.

Our body's cells are outnumbered 10-to-one by bacteria, viruses and fungi growing on or in us and this "microbiome" has a huge impact on health.

The study, in the journal Nature, showed that low-calorie sweeteners altered the animals' metabolism and led to higher blood sugar levels - an early sign of developing type 2 diabetes.

Seven human volunteers then spent seven days consuming very high levels of low-calorie sweeteners. In half of people the results mirrored those in the animals.

But Prof Peter Rogers, from the University of Bristol, is far from convinced by such studies.

He says most of the animal research used levels of sweeteners that showed "little relation" to how they are used in real life.

And that it was "equally plausible" that low calorie sweeteners "may actually decrease one's desire for a sweet dessert".

Weight-loss

Prof Rogers was part of a review, which included researchers funded by the food industry, of the evidence on low-energy sweeteners.

The results, published in the International Journal of Obesity, showed people lost weight when asked to replace sugary drinks with low-calorie sweetened ones.

It showed they lost around 1.2kg on average when people were on the diet for between four and 40 months - an effect broadly the same as for switching to water.

Prof Rogers said: "We clearly found that consuming low-calorie sweeteners, in place of sugar, reduced energy intake and body weight."

And that while people consuming sweeteners did end up eating more than those who stuck to sugary drinks, they still consumed fewer calories overall.

He concludes: "They're not going to do all the work for you, but it's a way to enjoy the pleasure of sweet, without the penalty of calories in our obesogenic society."

Water

Although experts say that in an ideal world we'd all be drinking water, a study in Obesity journal even suggests "pre-loading" with water half an hour before eating actually helps people lose weight.

But even staunch critic of low-calorie sweeteners, Prof Swithers, argues they may have a role as a halfway house.

"A diet beverage would be useful to have in your diet as a transition, so if you're drinking regular soda every day and find it too difficult to stop," she said.

They should help with some weight-loss, at least in the short-term. The big question is whether we'd all be better off by just adjusting to a diet that's less sweet.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34924036
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  #2   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 03:58
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
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Quote:
The big question is whether we'd all be better off by just adjusting to a diet that's less sweet.

Yep, I would agree, that's the big question.
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 17:12
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Default

I have become quite fond of flavored seltzers, which don't have any kind of sweetener at all.

One of the things that makes me regard sweetness as more of a drug than a food is the way it deadens our taste with sweet; so we need more.

Now that I'm away from, so many things taste sweet.
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  #4   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 17:36
Zei Zei is offline
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Plan: Carb reduction in general
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Default

Quote:
Studies looking at large groups of people have shown obese people tend to drink more fizzy diet drinks than those of a healthy weight.

A study of US adults in the American Journal of Public Health showed 11% who were a healthy weight, 19% of those who were overweight and 22% who were obese drank diet beverages.

Correlation is not causation. If anything, it's the other way around: being fat when you'd rather not be makes you more likely to choose a diet drink over a sugary one. Some legit problems might be found in artificial sweeteners like maybe gut microbiome disruption and stuff, but if I want something sweet I'd take even aspartame (which I avoid) over real sugar because fake sweeteners might turn out to be a problem but I know for sure sugar is for me. I can down an entire liter of artificially sweetened sparkling water drink with no detectable reaction, but when I ate even one tiny clementine orange or slice of watermelon, my body immediately went, "That's real sugar! Where's the rest of the oranges/melon?!!!" And had to use willpower to make myself not take another piece instead of diving face-first into the fruit bowl. I was a bit surprised at how quickly/easily my body could detect the difference even though both taste sweet. Artificial sweeteners also helped me delay meals during intermittent fasting better than plain water so I lost more weight. Not suggesting they're healthy by any means, but since I can't safely have caloric sweets, even natural stuff like fruits/honey, I'd rather use fake stuff than never have something sweet again unless safety research on various products suggests otherwise.

Last edited by Zei : Thu, Jan-05-17 at 17:43.
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  #5   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 19:42
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Merpig Merpig is offline
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Plan: IF/Fung IDM/Potato Hack?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear
I have become quite fond of flavored seltzers, which don't have any kind of sweetener at all.
Haha. me too! I love flavored selters (non-sweet). My current fave is La Croix Passionfruit - though I just found a new brand at my local Winn-Dixie that is half the cost of La Croix, so I'm giving it a try. So far so good, I'm drinking one right now
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  #6   ^
Old Thu, Jan-05-17, 22:14
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Plan: Dr. Bernstein
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I haven't stopped drinking my diet cola - but I have cut down. I no longer drink it between meals & only have one can with my lunch. And sometimes I skip it. Most "studies" about diet drinks seem to be about people drinking them all day long. I wonder if having no more than 1 a day & having it with a meal makes a difference.

And my diet cola has aspartame. Pepsi made a big mistake when they switched to another sweetener - it tastes bad. I don't worry about aspartame because Dr. B didn't (& as far as I know still has no problem with it). In his book he wrote:

"Many Web sites falsely perpetuate the myth that aspartame is toxic because its metabolism produces the poison methanol. In reality, one 12-ounce can of an aspartame-sweetened soft drink generates only as much methanol as does a glass of milk."

And of course I wouldn't touch milk!
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  #7   ^
Old Fri, Jan-06-17, 07:48
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
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Default

I cannot consume aspartame. I suspect there are others. One dose of aspartame gives me an ocular migraine within 24 hours. For me, that's not right, and my assumption is that whatever the mechanism is that causes this, I don't want to mess with it. I've tried other sweeteners and when pepsi and coke used sucralose (Splenda) for a short period of time, I thought I had found a diet drink that I could drink occasionally. Over time, I decided, whether it comes with other health consequences or not, I needed to avoid anything sweet, as being a strict low carber eliminates any sweet cravings over time. Like others in this camp, I no longer have any desire for sweet stuff. When I first started low carb, I busied myself by finding safe substitutes for the sweet stuff I ate, but realized that my addiction to anything sweet could be managed and would fade over time. It did. This is obviously an N=1 experience and realizing that many do fine with AS and NS for when they want something sweet, the conclusion here is always based on a personal tolerance, never a general association.
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  #8   ^
Old Fri, Jan-06-17, 09:01
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Plan: Dr. Bernstein
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRB5111
I cannot consume aspartame. I suspect there are others. One dose of aspartame gives me an ocular migraine within 24 hours.


I know someone like you. While she hasn't tried every artificial sweetener, all she has tried give her migraines. She decided it wasn't worth it. Years ago I got migraines from regular sodas, so I quit drinking them. I stopped getting migraines with blessed menopause and found out a few years ago I could drink diet cola without any problems.
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  #9   ^
Old Fri, Jan-06-17, 12:58
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thud123 thud123 is offline
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Plan: ~25NC/IF
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I and a few others are doing some experiemnts. I've decided to drop all sweeteners for 3 months. I used liquid sucralose in coffee and drank sucralose and aspartame sodas and sports drinks, mainly while driving somewhere.

I've notice that I'm consuming much less coffee. I'm glad I don't/didn't use it in food because I'm pretty certain I would eat more of the chow if it was in there - extra calories or not. That is my current observation.

Welcome to join over at :

http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthre...8&goto=lastpost
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  #10   ^
Old Fri, Jan-06-17, 13:39
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teaser teaser is online now
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Plan: ketosis/IF
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When I eat more to the ketogenic side of low carb--60-70 grams of protein, around 20 grams of carbs--I find I naturally lower my sweetener intake. Part of it's that a packet of splenda equals an ounce of low carb veggies for carbs, a poor trade. But diet pop starts tasting too sweet to me. Eat pretty much the same calories and carbs, but with a bit more protein, a bit less fat--and I'm more likely to want sweetener in my coffee, and more of it. Also I'll have to try to keep cheese and peanuts out of the house, for fear of binging on them. So even in just this one person, there's a varied response to sweeteners.

I guess this sort of biases me towards thinking that sweeteners are only conditionally bad. You can design a study to make them look harmless, you can design a study to make them look harmful. But maybe the question isn't whether sweeteners are harmful or helpful--but under what conditions they are harmful, and under what conditions helpful. Dr's. Westman, Bernstein, Atkins, etc., have helped a lot of people without banning sweeteners--but I don't discount those who report better results once they took them out of the diet, either.
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  #11   ^
Old Fri, Jan-06-17, 13:53
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thud123 thud123 is offline
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Plan: ~25NC/IF
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I don't see sweeteners as good bad or indifferent. I do see the use of them creating or the result of a mindstate that uses sweeteners. However, I do see a great benefit as the can keep my mind occupied without causing immediate harm. I see myself moving away from them as a natural part of my change of eating. None of my above observations are backed up by any data, just speculation. I would not be agreeable to banning them unless one or more is found to cause great harm - and I think that will be hard to prove.
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