Artificial sweeteners are any type of sweetener that doesn’t contain sugar as its major ingredient. These are not naturally derived. Artificial sweeteners are also known in the food industry as high intensity sweeteners. This is because their sweetness profile is much higher than sucrose, or regular table sugar. This allows less artificial sweetener to be used in place of table sugar.
Artificial Sweeteners in Use Today
There are two intensely sweet sugar substitutes, or artificial sweeteners, that most people are familiar with. The first is saccharin, which has been around since 1879. Another one is aspartame. Four other artificial sweeteners are also approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use as sugar substitutes. These are sucralose, neotame, acesulfame potassium and stevia. All six of these artificial sweeteners are classified by the Food and Drug Administration as Generally Recognized as Safe. Cyclamate, an artificial sweetener popular in many parts of the world, was banned for use in the United States in 1970, after it was shown that a mix of saccharin and cyclamate caused a marked increase in bladder cancer in laboratory rats.
Why Artificial Sweeteners Can Help You Lose Weight
Most artificial sweeteners have zero calories. Other contain much fewer calories than regular table sugar. This lower calorie content, or energy index, is the main reason that artificial sweeteners can help you lose weight. If you drink, on the average, four cans of diet soda per day, you’re saving, or not taking in, approximately 1,000 calories, just in soda alone (but obviously it’s not healthy to drink that much diet soda). And, if you use artificial sweeteners in other parts of your diet routine, you can save quite a few calories that you won’t have to burn off by exercise to begin losing weight.
Science has shown that you need to burn approximately 3,000 calories over what you take in by food intake, in order to lose a single pound of weight. This means that if you save 3,000 calories by using artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin or aspartame in your diet, you will have to exercise that much less to burn enough calories to lose a pound.
Another reason that artificial sweeteners can help you lose weight is because they have less carbohydrates than regular table sugar or even natural sweeteners. The body uses carbohydrates to create energy. Any carbohydrates that aren’t converted to energy are stored by the body as fat. So, if your diet contains less carbohydrates, it will convert more protein to energy, which lasts longer and is a more efficient and longer lasting energy. This will allow you to exercise longer and thus burn more calories and lose more weight.
When combined with a healthy diet and effective exercise routine, artificial sweeteners can help you lose weight. As with any diet or exercise routine, you should consult with your family medical practitioner to make sure you’re healthy enough to begin a diet and exercise regimen.