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Sugar Substitute Saviors

Diet analysis performed on over 300 individuals shows sugar substitutes to be a useful strategy for those looking to lose weight and/or maintain weight loss. Those included in the study also used fat intake reduction, sugar-modified foods, reduced consumption of high-calorie beverages, and an increased use of artificial sweeteners. The results of this study, published in the International Journal of Obesity report that overall, consumption of sugar-free beverages sweetened with low-calorie sweeteners increases dietary restraint – a key aspect of successful weight maintenance [1].
This study compliments the findings of a 2002 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which found that those consuming sugar substitutes had significantly greater weight loss compared to non-users. To be noted is the intended use of artificial sweeteners. When used as a weight-loss tool along with portion control and exercise, sugar substitutes aid in overall calorie reduction, resulting in weight-loss [1].
In the US, more than 194 million consume low and reduced-calorie foods and beverages according to the Calorie Control Council’s most recent consumer survey. This number is expected to rise as more consumers learn that a reduced calorie intake produces weight loss and weight maintenance [1].
While the survey does not specify WHICH artificial sweeteners consumers used, I pose to you: what artificial sweeteners / sugar substitutes do YOU use? Why is this product your top pick?
I am an avid Splenda-user, but feel I should branch out to using more agave, maple, and other commercially-prepared products such as Truvia and Stevia. Tell me about them! As a general rule of thumb I tell patients that you should never opt to drink your calories. I would personally recommend a diet soda over a regular sugar due to the calories and the need for most Americans to lose or maintain their current weight. Do you agree or disagree with this?
Do YOU drink diet soda? Crystal Light? Diet teas, Snapple, etc.? Why or why not?
[1]. Hubrich, Beth. Consumption of Sugar Substitutes Assists in Longterm Weight Control. Medical News Today. August 25, 2009.
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  1. Gina
    August 29, 2009 / 3:59 pm

    I think that's great advice, stay away from sugary beverages and it will make more of a differenct that you would ever imagine (that's what I tell people). As for the sweeteners, I used to use only Splenda, but now I also use Purevia, as a way to vary my sweeteners. I like them both, but they each have their negative sides so that's why I switch them up. I also use realy sugar, and honey, I LOVE honey!

  2. Anthony Sepe
    August 29, 2009 / 5:54 pm

    Very interesting, Nicole; thank you for sharing. I personally do not use any sweetners, but that doesn't mean, for those that do use them, that it's wrong, but rather, I just make a conscious choice not to use any sweetner.I must admit, that once in awhile, I do have a coke with a slice of pizza, but I guess that just means that, I'm human. I feel that I relate better to others. I also give myself that permission so that I don't feel guilty.Again, thank you,Anthonyhttp://fromadietitiansperspective.blogspot.com

  3. Holly
    August 29, 2009 / 6:22 pm

    Hey Nicole! Holly from the Chicago Knot message boards here. Great blog! I'm a vegan and consider myself very health conscious. My rule of thumb is to use nothing artificial. I don't drink soda– only water and occassionally 100% juice (that I dilute). On the rare occassion that I drink coffee, I either use sugar in the raw or turbinado. Not for everyone, but it works for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Kelly
    August 29, 2009 / 7:49 pm

    I use different sweeteners for different things. I don't really know why I have a preference in different things but I do. I usually have Sweet-n-low in my coffee because it's sweeter than Splenda so I don't have to add as much. But for sweetening food I use Splenda. Probably because in this case I think the Sweet-n-low is too sweet.

  5. Sweta
    August 30, 2009 / 1:16 am

    I don't use sweeteners-I stick to plain old sugar/jaggery/honey!! I preferred to avoid sweets/sweeteners completely when I was diagnosed with GDM during pregnancy(maybe because I knew it was just temporary phase).But I do feel it is an important tool for people watching their weight and also for DM!!

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