How healthy are dietary foods?

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1. Overview

There are conflicting views on the benefits and adverse effects of weight loss diets. They involve eating foods that have less fat and less sugar, but also that contain certain chemicals to improve their taste.

Were conducted various researches that have studied this controversial chemical additives and have analyzed their positive effects in the long term.

Dietitians recommend (if there is not present any disease, such as diabetes) to eat small portions of natural food to avoid any added chemical.


1. Overview
2. Sorbitol
4. High fructose corn syrup – HFCS
5. Food additives
6. Does diet soda really cause weight gain?

2. Sorbitol

Sorbitol (E420) is a sugar substitute used to reduce the amount of sugar in a diet. Unlike sugar, which contains 4 calories per gram, sorbitol contains about 2.6 calories per gram.

It is used for preparing drinks, diet ice cream, cough syrups, candy mints and sugarless chewing gum. If consumed in large quantities sorbitol may cause several side effects, including diarrhea, dizziness and, in addition to these, it may amplify events such as irritable bowel syndrome and abdominal pain.

Fructose intolerance may also manifest due to this ingredient. In severe cases, it can cause allergic reactions that include: rash, redness and swelling of the face. Generally, sorbitol is forbidden in preparations for children and infants.

4. High-fructose corn syrup – HFCS

Most diet foods are free or low fat content. To reduce fat content without compromising flavor, many manufacturers add extra sugar in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (the concentrate contains 42-55% fructose).

Frequent consumption of high-fructose corn syrup affects normal body signals that emit the appetite and lead to weight gain. Therefore, the introduction of corn syrup in the diet has been linked to obesity.

Other consequences of consumption of products containing corn syrup are high blood pressure and high levels of triglycerides. Some studies assume that corn syrup increases the rate of proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells. Long-term effects are not yet known.

Corn syrup can be found in the composition of juices, salad dressings, soups, spices, pizza, whole wheat bread, cereal, peanut butter, etc.

5. Food additives

Food additives (generally known as “E”s) include dyes, preservatives, artificial flavors, sweeteners, emulsifiers, stabilizers, agents for texture change (thickening), processing agents, etc.

It is believed that some of these additives are carcinogenic, triggers various symptoms from headaches, nausea, diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps or flatulence to cardiovascular diseases, digestive tract diseases, allergies etc.

Food additives are found in instant soups, smoked foods, sausage, pastries etc. Food additives can come both from natural sources such as curcumin, quinoline, tartrazine, carminic acid, coal tar, carotene, chlorophyll or from artificial sources such as sodium benzoate, aspartame, phosphoric acid, erythrosine, guar gum, etc..

6. Does diet soda really cause weight gain?

Risk to gain extra pounds and to develop obesity increases by 41% if a person drinks soda every day. Paradoxically, when consumed only sugar-free soda, obesity chances increase even more.

According to studies, the risk of developing obesity of those who regularly consumed soft drinks is between:
- 26% – if the person drunk more than half glass of soda daily;
- 30.4% – if the person drunk half glass or one glass of soda daily;
- 32.8% – if the person drunk 2 glasses of soda daily;
- 47.2% – if the person drunk more than 2 glasses of soda daily.

According to the same studies, the risk of developing obesity of those who regularly consumed diet soda is between:
- 36.5% – if the person drunk more than half glass of diet soda daily;
- 37.5% – if the person drunk half glass or one glass of diet soda daily;
- 54.5% – if the person drunk 2 glasses of diet soda daily;
- 57,1% – if the person drunk more than 2 glasses of diet soda daily.

For every glass of diet drink consumed each day, a person’s risk of becoming obese increases by 41%. The basic mistake is that beside diet drinks the person feed his body with empty calories, without tempering the hunger.

In conclusion, in addition to the calories provided by daily meals will be added and those contained in soft drinks. Experts believe that is more important what is in a person’s plate, not in his glass.

Other research found that the higher is the intake of such drinks, the lower is the consumption of milk and fresh fruit; the association with type 2 diabetes is directly proportional.

There are now many studies that say that diet drinks stimulate appetite. Often, when a person drink a soda, usually feels the need to associate this habit with the consumption of fast-food or other bad foods. Other consequences are: tooth decay, osteoporosis etc.



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