Are you sweet enough?
Sugar can get a bad rap and is often wrongly connected to the
development of diabetes and other health conditions. But if you've
got a sweet tooth, you may find yourself turning to artificial
sweeteners to help manage your weight and prevent type 2
Artificial sweeteners (sometimes called non-nutritive sweeteners)
are often used in many of our favourite food products to replicate
the sweet taste many of us love, without the kilojoules. Sounds
perfect doesn't it? But research is beginning to show that
artificial sweeteners may not be as sweet as we think.
In fact some research shows artificial sweeteners may not actually
help you lose weight and a new, slightly controversial study, has suggested they may even increase
your risk of type 2 diabetes. The study, published in the journal
Nature, identified for the first time that artificial sweeteners
may cause changes to the bacteria in our gut leading to increased
blood glucose levels. The study was conducted with mice and a
very small number of humans so more research needs to be done until
scientists can be sure about these findings.
In the meantime, self-confessed sweet tooth, dietitian Michelle
Tong said foods like soft drinks or lollies, even if they have
artificial sweeteners, fit into the extra's food category (foods
that don't fit into the five food groups) which means they aren't
everyday foods and are not essential to provide the nutrients the
"Instead try consuming plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and
dairy foods to get your sweet fix," she said.
Looking for healthy sweet dessert? Try this month's feature
recipe grilled figs with ricotta.