Among these professionals who increasingly use networks to disseminate their knowledge are dietitians-nutritionists. However, they still face great misinformation regarding food and diets.
And we live surrounded by false beliefs. Among them we find the usual consumption of some foods when we are on a diet, mistakenly believing that they help us lose weight.
The consumption of sugar-free or light products in diets
It is common to find people who try to take care of their diet, or who go on a diet in order to lose weight, but who regularly consume products such as sugar-free candy and gum, light soda, corn or rice pancakes, or bars and other substitutes for food.
This type of food, included in a diet context, is usually consumed with the belief that being light or sugar-free they do not make you fat and, therefore, we can eat them without any danger and use them to alleviate hunger without consequences That we may be going through.
However, these foods can not only make us more fat than we believe but also affect our body and our habits in a way that motivates and maintains the nutritional and nutritional habits that lead us to overweight.
How much you fatten products that do not fatten
How can it be if they are light or sugar-free? The first problem is our conception of what foods of this type are. In the case of foods that claim to be sugar-free, we should always look carefully at the labels, since they can include naturally present sugars.
But not only that, but they can carry large fat contents that can also affect our weight. In the case of light products, the only thing that means is that they have a lower amount of sugars or fats than the normal product. However, the number of calories is usually very similar.
One of the paradoxes with this type of food is that by perceiving them as healthier – and with less risk of getting fat – we end up eating more. That usually means that we consume more calories than if we ate the traditional product. For example, one of the best known 0% yogurts has almost 100 grams of the same amount of sugar as 100ml sugary sodas.
Another problem we find is the presence of sweeteners in light or sugar-free foods. Although sweeteners are perfectly safe additives, it is not clear that they have too many advantages in our health or in our weight. In fact, in the case of light soft drinks, it is found that they correlate with a greater abdominal circumference and prevalence of diabetes, in addition to the increase in the feeling of hunger.
The problem in these cases is that the long-term use of sweeteners keeps our sweetness threshold high or increases. This means that we will continue to have a craving for sugar and that we want to consume sweets, being able to boycott our diet.
More problems than the number of calories consumed
However, these foods that supposedly do not fatten not only have the problem of making us gain more weight than we think, but they may not be absolutely healthy for our body.
A few days ago in Veronica, we talked about the promotion of some “healthy jelly beans” that are made without sugar, adding sweeteners and that do not give us calories. These types of foods can be very tempting in our diet since they do not make us fat, allow us to treat ourselves and, in addition, indicate to be good for our health.
For starters, they are foods – just like chewing gum, candy, or sugar-free soda – that don’t provide us with any nutrients and that displace other much more nutritious foods. In addition, if we consume them in large quantities, they can have a laxative effect, as well as symptoms such as swelling and gas due to the presence of polyols.
We can’t put aside the emotional aspect
One aspect that is not talked about so much in relation to our diet – especially when we are on a diet, but not only – is that of emotional hunger. This is based on the need that some people have to eat in response to negative emotions such as stress, sadness or simply boredom.
It is more than likely that some of us assaulted the fridge at home simply because we were bored. In some cases, we can confuse our emotions with hunger and use food as a strategy to regulate our emotions causing us to eat without being really hungry.
The consumption of food to peck – with the belief that, in addition, they do not make us fat – such as gum, candy, or corn pancakes, can reinforce that behavior of eating without hunger and is related to an increased risk of obesity. Therefore, it is important that we learn to recognize the signals of our body and eat only when we are hungry.
Adopt healthy habits
These foods, most of them ultra-processed, do not help us learn healthier habits but can lead us to move adequate and nutritious food in their favor. By the time we finish the diet, we will not have learned to eat healthier and we will return to our normal habits.
Therefore, it is important that any diet we follow is not a diet, but a change in habits that leads to a healthier and more conscious diet. A style of food that we can maintain in the long term, that helps us learn to eat only when we are hungry and that is complemented by an increase in physical activity.
There are no shortcuts to be healthier and light products are not.