Replacing Calories In Your Meal Plan With Sugar-Free Sweeteners

Replacing Calories In Your Meal Plan With Sugar-Free Sweeteners

Experts used to believe that sugar-free products with zero-calorie sweeteners could make you want to eat more. The thinking behind this was that zero-calorie sweeteners raise the blood glucose levels and affect the hormone levels that lead your body to crave carbs. A recent study, however, has found that zero-calorie sweetened drinks have no more affect than water on hormones.

What Are Sugar-Free Sweeteners?

Sugar-free sweeteners are zero-calorie sugar substitutes made from a variety of different substances, such as herbs or sugars that have been modified by scientists so they are still sweet but don’t have any calories. Common types of sugar-free sweeteners include:

Bayer CONTOUR® NEXT Blood Glucose Monitoring System

Bayer CONTOUR® NEXT Blood Glucose Monitoring System

  • Sucralose brand name: Splenda
  • Nutrasweet brand name: Equal
  • Saccharin> brand name: Sweet ‘N Low
  • Stevia brand name: Truvia

Recent studies have found sugar-free sweeteners to be safe for us to eat. Also, replacing sugar with sugar-free sweetener in their meal plans was found to help people lose weight and control their diabetes.

The subjects of the research study were told to fast (not eat anything) overnight and were then given either:

  • Water
  • Water with sucralose
  • Water with AceK sweetener (acesulfame potassium)
  • Water with a mixture of AceK and sucralose

Blood glucose levels, insulin levels, and the appetite hormone GLP-1 were measured for each person during a four-hour period after drinking one of the different liquids. The group given sugar-free sweetened drinks, and the group given water, had the same test results.

So what does this study mean for me?

This study suggests that zero-calorie sweetened drinks are a safe and healthy way to cut back on the calories you drink. Sugar-free sweeteners in drinks will not affect your appetite and you can still enjoy the sweet flavor you crave, while keeping your weight and diabetes under control.


By Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN

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