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Will the controversy about non-calorie sweeteners (NCS) ever end? Probably not. But we can keep up with the latest research and make informed decisions about whether or not to use them. Some claim NCS promote weight gain. However, many studies disagree and point out that they may lower the total number of calories we take in and thereby decrease weight.

Since beverages sweetened with sugar are a major source of excessive calories in the diet, substituting NCS for sugar-sweetened beverages helps with weight loss. While some suggest NCS increase appetite, a 2014 study debunks the idea. NCS don’t increase cravings for more sugar or cause us to eat more calories from other foods.

For several years health professionals have recommended NCS for people with diabetes. They serve as a valuable tool in diabetes management and effectively give sweet tasting options while keeping carbohydrates in check. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 40 percent of Americans will develop diabetes at some point during their lifetimes. NCS increase diet flexibility to meet personal health and dietary goals for those who are pre-diabetic or already have the disease.

While scattered studies continue to condemn the use of NCS, decades of studies fail to find them the culprit. Those with diabetes as well as those who want to get or keep their waistlines in shape can safely and effectively use them. Of more than 22,000 people studied from 1999 to 2008, consumers who used NCS also were less likely to smoke, more likely to exercise, and tended to live healthier lifestyles.

What can you believe? Until more definite research proves them harmful, you can confidently choose your favorite NCS for a sweet taste while cutting calories in your diet.

 

 

 

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