Are 'Light' & 'Zero sugar' products unhealthy?
Light and Zero sugar products do not contain normal sugar, but rather sugar substitutes such as aspartame. Highly processed, industrial substances are added to ‘light’ or ‘diet’ products such as Diet Coke to make them taste sweet whilst containing almost no calories. A lot of academic debate and controversy surrounds these substitues. It is thought that they could cause cancer and reduce the absorption of glucose in our intestines. Of course, high-calorie, high-sugar soft drinks are rarely particularly healthy either. Our blood sugar level reacts rapidly to them and then quickly flattens again, which leads to food cravings, as the expected nutrient intake does not occur. (Tip: Determine your optimal nutrient requirement with our BMI calculator).
Furthermore, a sweet diet leads to a kind of habituation effect. The more sweet food and drinks we consume, the more our body demands them. As a result, we consume more and more sweet foods, which are usually high in calories. This is a big problem especially if you want to lose weight. Soft drinks and fizzy drinks should therefore be seen as an occasional treat. We don’t recommend absolutely banning them as this usually has the exact opposite effect, but these drinks should not be a part of your daily diet.
What alternatives do I have?
Human beings need fluids, in order for all the processes in their body to run smoothly. It is therefore very important to drink a lot of water — two to three litres a day are usually sufficient. Those who do not like still water have numerous alternatives. Not all water tastes the same! Try out different kinds of water, for example carbonated or non-carbonated. Maybe you will find one that tastes better than pure tap water. In addition, you can ring the changes with black coffee and unsweetened tea. If you like it a bit more fruity, diluted juice spritzers are just the thing for you. It is best to drink these as diluted as possible, because undiluted fruit juices are a real sugar trap.