Sugar-free Mithai: The Myths And Facts Of Low-Calorie Sweets


Come festival season and you have these wonderfully marketed low calorie or sugar-free sweets that promise to help you manage your weight. Registered Dietitian, Preethi Rahul, helps you understand the myths and facts of low-calorie sweets.

One of the major highlights and key attractions of a low calorie sweet is that they can help you satiate your sweet-tooth. Once your sweet craving is satisfied, the body releases feel-good endorphins and you  feel happy and stress free whenever you have these sweets.

The common myth that people have is that they need not be watchful about portion sizes when they consume sugar-free sweets. But whatever you eat, you need to be careful about the amounts you consume and have everything in moderation.

Artificial Sweeteners can be carcinogenicLow-cal sweets make you feel guilt-free because you are reducing the fat and the sugar content. A sugar-free sweet by itself will not prevent weight gain, but if you have a healthy lifestyle you can enjoy a few and enjoy their benefits. These sweets positively impact your oral health as they do not contribute to decay and can be relished by diabetics as well.

Some of the drawbacks of sugar-free or low-cal sweets are that they are highly-priced with misleading claims of weight control. They may have fewer amounts of fats and sugars, but the triglycerides in the refined flour used to make them can block arteries in the long run, leading to heart attack or stroke.

Artificial sweeteners used in the preparation of these sweets could also have health impacts if consumed over a period of time and in excess.

Sugar-free or low-cal does not mean “No calories”. Sugar alcohols, one of the types of sugar substitutes can cause abdominal bloating, diarrhoea or cramps if consumed excessively as they   are only partially absorbed in the intestine. Some of the sugar substitutes when consumed excessively can even cause cancer. If you need to consume them to manage your weight, do so in moderation.

Another disadvantage is that these sweets can affect your appetite and prevent you from realizing your true hunger signals. They create a feeling of fullness, which may be because of gas production or the empty calories they contribute.

Certain artificial sweeteners can even affect your fertility. For example, aspartame (Nutrasweet, Sugar-Free, Equal) consumed in excess amounts and when heated gets converted to formaldehyde in the body, which can be poisonous for your foetus.  Artificial sweeteners may even affect your kidneys.

Many artificial sweeteners are carcinogenic (cancer causing) and are implicated in causing bladder cancer. Considering the pros and cons of low calorie sweeteners, I would suggest that you stick to natural foods. Occasions like Diwali do not come every day, so enjoy the festival foods in a natural form.

Don’t blame Diwali or the festive season for your flabby tummy and waistline, when you are the one who has to exercise self-discipline and create positive change. Your best option is to balance a healthy diet with a continuous exercise regime to stay trim and fit all your life.

Popping in a low-cal sweet once or twice during Diwali will not cause much health impact, but don’t fool yourself that continuous or excessive intake is ok. Moderation is your secret key to keep you healthy.

Read the nutrition labels on sweets and choose products that contain whole grain flour, minimal fat, no artificial colours and preservatives. Enjoy the beautiful festival of lights with sweets and savouries but remember: there is no short-cut to staying fit and healthy.

Preethi Rahul is a Registered Dietitian with over 4 years of experience in the field on nutrition.  She is a life member of the Indian dietetic association and moderator of the Indian Dietetic Association on Linked in. She graduated in Nutrition, Food Service Management and Dietetics and holds a diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics from Chennai University.

Writing has been her forte and passion and she has been writing on diet, health and nutrition for various health portals like Femina, Rediff, TimesWellness, Complete Wellbeing, Mother and Baby, Just for Woman, and newspapers  like Times of India, Hindustan times. Her specialties include childhood nutrition, nutrition for weight loss, diabetes and cardiac diseases.  Visit her blog at http://preethiscorner.blogspot.com

Permission is required to reprint this article.

Nutrition & Diet Information:

  • Metabolic Cooking: Fat Loss Cookbook – Discover 250 quick and easy fat torching recipes designed with top fat burning foods to banish your boring “fat burning diet” and burn fat faster. These recipes have all been designed with high Metabolic Thermo Charge ingredients. The metabolic thermo charge of food stands for how many calories your body is going to burn just breaking down the nutrients each time you consume a certain food. Our special Metabolic Nutri-Profile lets you see precisely what nutrients you’re taking in and make sure that each meal is making the most out of your metabolic rate. What’s more important, is that our recipes taste great. They’re meals you will look forward to, probably even start to crave.
  • Emotional Eating Solution: The Way to Stop Binge Eating – Discover how a former food addict created a step-by-step system to overcome emotional eating, end binge eating, and stop night-time eating, and lost 34 pounds in less than 5 months. You too can discover the solution to emotional eating, eliminate cravings, avoid overeating, lose weight in a healthy way, and get control over your life, even if you think you’ve tried everything before.  Solve emotional eating, binge eating, compulsive overeating, uncontrollable eating, and lose weight.
  • Xtreme Fat Loss Diet – Discover how you can lose up to 25 pounds in 25 days with the most strategic, fastest fat loss program ever developed – all while eating whatever you want every fifth day. You can actually lose fat incredibly fast, gain calorie-burning lean muscle at the same time, and finish with a metabolism faster than when you first began. This method combines strategic “Cheat Days” in which you indulge your most intense cravings to offset the adaptations to extreme dieting, with strategically timed workouts to build muscle.  Once you complete the 25-day system, you’re metabolism will actually be faster than when you first started the program, allowing you to easily keep off the weight you lost while maintaining your progress or continuing to move forward toward your goals.

Write a Comment

Gravatars are small images that can show your personality. You can get your gravatar for free today!

CommentLuv badge
Copyright © 2014 Naaree.com – Women At Work | Indian Woman's Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: Please assume that all links on this website are affiliate links | website design by raghwendra