By Shalene White
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34.2 million Americans have diabetes. That translates to one in ten people has a condition to where their body no longer produces insulin – some are born that way.
Even though that is an astronomical amount of people fighting the disease, the number has actually decreased. Ten years ago, the number was one in eight people. The decrease could be attributed to the sudden surge to eat healthier, and new low calorie and no sugar options.
Falling for an expensive dieting fad is not the only thing healthy conscientious people need to worry about. Does sugar free really mean sugar free?
Many food manufacturers are proud to put “no sugar added” on their products, much like the “gluten free” labels. What this means is the manufacture did not add sugar. However, there could be other sugars in the product.
Be sure to check the label for how many grams of sugar the product naturally has in it. The label typically breaks down the composition of sugars. For example, it will list the natural sugar amount along with the added sugar.
Another thing to keep in mind is serving sizes. If it lists three grams of sugar for each serving, it does not mean that is how many grams are in the entire package. Some products have multiple servings per container.
The latest fad is sodas with zero sugar, and they are not referring to diet sodas. Products like Coke Zero Sugar, and Mountain Dew Zero are exactly that, sodas with zero sugar.
The difference between zero sodas and diet sodas are how they sweeten it. Diet sodas are sweetened with Aspartame, a protein made phenylalanine and aspartic acid. Hydrocarbon is added to the phenylalanine to give it the sweet flavor. Coke Zero has a bit of Aspartame in it, but it also contains acesulfame potassium, also known as Ace-K.
The two debates circling the two sweeteners have been a hot topic since the inception of diet drinks. One claim is that Aspartame causes cancer. Initially, everybody believed it and chided people for drinking Diet Coke. However, recent studies show that Aspartame is not linked to cancer in humans. That was only found in animals. No scientific evidence has been found to prove that Aspartame causes cancer in people.
Another hot button topic is does drinking zero sodas beneficial and aid in weight loss. That is another question that does not have a definitive answer to it. Studies show that many times, people who drink a lot of zero sodas on a daily basis actually gained weight. No studies found where the drink assisted in weight loss.
These studies are done to keep people informed and assist them in making educated decisions. Unfortunately, there are no fast and easy ways to lose weight. Zero sodas are fine to drink on occasion, but water intake, a healthy diet and exercise are the most recommended ways to lose weight.
Research shows men should drink 15 and a half cups of water a day and women should drink eleven and a half. Along with walking, cycling or yoga, and a healthy diet, those pounds should disappear.