Author- Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker
Bariatric and Laparoscopic Surgeon, Mumbai
As I stood in the queues for grocery during the lockdown, I have been a witness to people buying crates and crates of fizzy drinks. Well, it comes as no surprise as sugar is said to have addictive properties and I come across many people who are addicted to cola drinks. Cola drinks are extremely high on sugar. A 12 oz can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar which translates to almost 7 to 8 teaspoons of pure sugar. That sugar is fattening, has been proven beyond all doubts now and cutting down on sugar intake is one of the first steps towards weight loss. Sugar stimulates both insulin as well as insulin resistance. So, although there is no direct relationship between consuming sugars and developing diabetes, over a period of years it leads to weight gain and as a result of that in type 2 diabetes.
We all agree that to prevent weight gain, we must take away all added sugars from our diet. However, many people make the folly of replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners. Many medical associations across the world (including American Heart Association- AHA and American Diabetes Association- ADA) have cautiously approved the use of sugar free supplements as a replacement for sugar. I have myself fallen for this myth and for years gorged on diet soda. Afterall, huge multi-national companies won’t take us for a ride, would they? Well, this is not an article about the ethics of selling sugary drinks. However, I would like to dispel some myths around the so called diet drinks.
Following is the list of FDA approved artificial sweeteners. As per FDA these fall under the category of – GRAS- Generally Recognized as Safe.
The intake of artificial sweeteners has steadily gone up over the years. Today diet coke is the second most popular drink after Coca Cola in the United States. So, if there are no calories in them, why do we need to worry? We need to worry due to the following reasons:
In conclusion, in our quest for weight loss, replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners may not be such a great idea. Weight loss is not just about cutting down of caloric intake. It is also about the kind of calories that we consume. Merely replacing sugar, with artificial sweeteners may lead to a false sense of security. Obesity is an extremely complex disease and the answers are equally complex. Access to right information and proper guidance is an absolute need of the hour. So, stay away from that diet soda! It may not be the best choice for you!
About Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker
Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker is an accomplished and renowned Bariatric Surgeon and Laparoscopic Surgeon.
Read more about Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker- https://www.bestbariatricsurgeon.org/dr-aparna-govil-bhasker/
Dr. Aparna’s website is- https://www.bestbariatricsurgeon.org
You can read her lovely blogs on- http://www.aparnagovilbhasker.com
Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker is a visiting consultant at the following hospitals: