Increase in body weight, and chronic diseases, would be some of the unwanted effects of prolonged consumption of artificial sweeteners as a replacement for sugar.
Camila Bauer, Journalist UTalca.- This was explained by the nutritionist and academic from the School of Nutrition and Dietetics of the University of Talca, Andrea Torres, in the context of the recent declarations of the World Health Organization (WHO), which advised against the widespread use of these foods for lose weight.
According to Torres, the investigations carried out verified the negative effect of artificial sweeteners. “Studies say that in the long term they achieve the opposite; increase in body weight and waist circumference, therefore, abdominal obesity and therefore the development of cardiovascular pathologies.
Within the wide variety of artificial sweeteners, the nutritionist explained that there are types that are more harmful than others. “There are some sweeteners that have a higher risk, such as saccharin and sucralose,” she explained.
In addition, it is necessary to be attentive to the amount consumed to avoid these unwanted effects. “The maximum to consume depends on the sweetener to be used, for example, in the case of Stevia it would be 4 mg per kilo of body weight per day, and Sucralose 6 mg per kilo of body weight,” said the specialist.
Currently there is an excessive use of these foods, which exceeds nutritional recommendations. “Unfortunately, people consume more artificial sweeteners every day and more products from the food industry contain them, especially the ultra-processed ones,” explained the academic.
However, there are some of these additives, such as tagatose, allulose and erythritol, whose temporary use could help those who must give up refined sugar. Torres maintained that “in the short term the use of artificial sweeteners can be used for weight control, but the idea of indicating them is to reduce the consumption of simple sugars.”
“In general, the use of artificial sweeteners is a transition measure so that the population stops sweetening drinks, tea, coffee, etc. and that we manage to consume these products without any type of sweetener”, he stated.
The director of the Food Safety Center belonging to the same house of studies, Ana Karina Peralta, explained that “a sweetener is something that is added to food, and therefore it will always be on the limit that, in the face of an excess , can be transformed into a danger of producing a disease,” he said.
In this sense, refined sugar also presents a risk, so it is recommended to limit its consumption. “No more than 10% of the calories consumed in a day should be provided by sugar.”
In case of needing to sweeten food, he indicated to prefer “those natural or from plants, such as honey or the one that comes from coconut juice, or syrups.”