When creating a healthy diet plan, it is possible to indulge in a variety of food substitutes that can result in risky weight loss and harm to your body. Often used to ward off hunger and help you to eat less, substitutions in food can frequently promise lower calories, but it’s not a good idea to heavily indulge in these food substitutes. As with most things in the world of dieting, moderation is the key to safety and long-lasting weight loss.
1. Salt Substitutes
Containing high levels of salt substitutes, diet frozen dinners and other low-calorie diet options often provide a significant portion of your daily recommended amount of salt. As the USDA suggests daily intake of salt be limited to no more than two grams (or one teaspoon) consumed each day, just one frozen dinner can come close to 80 percent of this amount. Likewise, diet versions of many soups can contain significant levels of salt and salt substitutes that have the potential to greatly inflate your daily salt intake.
Simply taking a look at the calorie count on the label of a low calorie processed food is not sufficient, especially if your diet includes regularly consuming processed diet food. You must also consider the level of salt in the product. Salt is added to food to enhance taste and in the case of diet foods, particularly for heavily processed foods, manufacturers will often increase the level of salt by more than 150 percent.
Metallic in taste and potentially harsh on individuals with high blood pressure, salt substitutes should be used sparingly, especially if you’re already consuming processed diet food since the level of salt can be quite high.
2. Sugar Substitutes
Instead of using real sugar, sparingly, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of using too much sugar substitute since it’s not “real” sugar. Just because a sugar substitute doesn’t sport the same level of calories of real sugar doesn’t mean unlimited use of it is warranted.
Included in items such as gum, soft drinks and baked desserts, the sugar substitute Acesulfame-K has been shown to be safe when consumed in limited quantities, but eating large amounts of “sugar free” diet foods can greatly increase Acesulfame-K consumption and may be bad for your health.
The sugar substitute Aspartame, which is commonly found in diet drinks, is another type of imitation sugar that should be consumed sparingly. The absence of calories provided by artificial sweeteners is not a reason to overindulge in diet drinks.
3. Food Coloring
Recipes for low calorie foods often call for the addition of food coloring to enhance color and make it seem as though a diet food is just like the real thing. For example, as we are accustomed to eating eggs that are yellow, some recipes will call for the addition of yellow food coloring to a recipe that uses egg-whites.
Although using food coloring is a common and generally safe practice, adding food coloring to the food you eat should be done with moderation in mind. Further, food coloring has zero impact on the taste of your food and all recipes can be created without using it.