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Author Topic: Are diet foods bad for you?  (Read 2431 times)

Offline thedoc

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Are diet foods bad for you?
« on: 21/03/2012 09:12:01 »
Megan Wilson  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Naked Scientists! I am an A level student, and have been a massive fan of the show for 3 years now!

I have a question. I've always wondered, are diet drinks and sweeteners actually healthier for us, than the full sugar originals. Could we be doing our body more harm than good opting for artificial sweeteners. What are the health implications?
Thank you. And stay awesome!

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 21/03/2012 09:12:01 by _system »


Offline Sprool

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Re: Are diet foods bad for you?
« Reply #1 on: 23/03/2012 11:21:05 »
surely diet foods, by their very nature, are unbalanced sources of nutition? If you ate a healthy balanced diet then there would be no need for diet foods.
Is Aspartamine artificial sweetener worse for you than natural sugar? I woul dimagine it has had to go through rigorous FDA testing before being allowed widespread usage across many foods. I can't see that it's any better for you though, if you consume it in moderation. If you ate a crazy amount of it then its bound not to be healthy, but then the comparison is not valid:
Daft amounts of artifical sweetener vs sensible amounts of natural sugar. I'd stick with the sugar.
Read here for 92 sensationalist claims about evil side effects of aspartamine overdose.
Do please note that I cannot see anywhere in the article where they actually note the significant levels of aspartamine associated with these side effects.
They advocate a diet free of artificial sweeteners and focus on healthy balanced diet. Now the trouble is, foods containing artifical sweeteners are likely to be the sort of processed junk food stuff thats not particularly good for you anyway. By eating more fresh fruit and veg you are bound to be better off than eating fast food, processed food and diet colas, but they seem to underpin the entire argument on aspartamine only. Now i am not a nutritionist but I know that is ridiculous oversimplification.
« Last Edit: 23/03/2012 11:26:57 by Sprool »

Offline graham.d

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Re: Are diet foods bad for you?
« Reply #2 on: 23/03/2012 12:43:25 »
It's best to get accustomed to liking drinks that are less sweet. I feel convinced most people could do this. A few hundred years ago getting truly sweet things could be a painful experience (i.e. getting honey). There is a huge industry out there trying to support and maintain our acquired taste for sugar whilst trying to provide a low calorie alternative. Generally, the less people mess with food the better.

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are diet foods bad for you?
« Reply #3 on: 23/03/2012 12:46:25 »
Some of the diet microwave meals appear to be very good, and have lots of veggies, and everything in moderation. 

As far as artificial sweeteners, there are several different types.  Some of them have been controversial in the past, but have undergone rigorous testing and studies. 

One of the biggest complaints about the artificial sweeteners is that they may stimulate eating behavior, without satisfying one's hunger, and some studies have indicated that they actually cause more weight gain by leading to more consumption of foods with calories.

There are a number of natural Sugar Alcohols that are poorly metabolised, and have less issues such as tooth decay than ordinary sugars.  I find that in candy (which I can't just eat one piece of), they cause bad gas and GI discomfort, so personally I avoid them.


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Re: Are diet foods bad for you?
« Reply #3 on: 23/03/2012 12:46:25 »


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