Sugar or Fat? How About Neither!

>> Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sugar and Sugar Substitutes - Scrumptiously Fit Food

We tend to think that if we're buying a lower fat or sugar free version of a product when we're at the supermarket, we're setting ourselves up for success. Little do we know that the food manufacturer's are not telling us the whole truth through their advertisements. If we look closely at the nutition labels, there are certain things that might surprise us. Take sugar free cookies for example, they often contain more fat to make up for the lack of sugar used, or fat-free yogurt which ups the amount of sugar to compensate for the taste.

Some people over eat to satisfy their sweet tooth or cravings and after the initial fulfillment, guilt normally starts setting in and they go on a diet where they try to limit fat or carb intake to justify what they've previously eaten. This is where it has allowed companies to find their niche in marketing products through omittance of certain ingredients, but secretly increasing the amount of others, like sugar, fat or sodium to make their "healthier" alternatives more appetizing!

A recent trend for food manufacturer's has been to use sugar subsitutes or low calorie sweeteners in their products (splenda, aspartame, etc.), which allows them to use the words "sugar-free". Recent studies have shown that sugar substitutes (used in diet sodas) can actually cause you to gain weight as opposed to lose weight. These sugar substitutes does nothing to alter the sugar habits that we have. People tend to up their intake of these sweets because it has zero calories, so they won't gain weight since no energy is being consumed, but the problem has been found that these sweets actually causes you to crave sweeter things because they're much more concentrated than plain regular sugar. Over time people start to reject healthier less sugary foods like fruit and vegetables because the body is use to these substitutes which have a much higher level of sweetness.

An easy way to prevent being led astray by these products is to read the nutrition labels carefully. It is by law that these companies have to divulge all the ingredients and nutrients included in their foods. Compare the so-called healthier alternatives with the original product and look at the differences in nutrition value. Just rememer, no matter how healthy or better a product is, the best way to avoid overeating and to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to stick to portion control. It's ok to indulge but don't overindulge!

Source(s): Fitness Magazine, The Doctors


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