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Dr K K Aggarwal

Artificial Sweeteners in Sweets May Be Harmful

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Health Care - Ask Dr KK | Tagged With: , , , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Artificial Sweeteners in Sweets May Be Harmful

The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association have given a cautious recommendation to the use of nonnutritive sweeteners to help people maintain a healthy body weight and for diabetics to aid glucose control. These products should be considered like a nicotine patch. They are appreciably better than the real product sugar but not part of an optimal diet. The joint statement published in both Circulation and Diabetes Care on July 9 2012 warns that sweeteners are helpful only as long as people don t eat additional calories later as compensation. The term nonnutritive sweeteners cover six sweeteners including aspartame acesulfame K neotame saccharin sucralose and plant derived stevia. These nonnutritive substances have zero calories. Two things may happen in terms of compensation 1. Physiological where the body might be expecting more calories and so the individual may be hungrier and therefore may eat more 2. Psychological where the individual thinks they are allowed to eat more sugar rich food because they had a diet soda instead of a full sugar soda. When people use sweeteners there is compensation. The key is how much Partial compensation is ok but people often completely compensate or even overcompensate so these sweeteners have to be used smartly to be successful. Compensation seems less of a problem when these sweeteners are consumed in beverages as opposed to food. People don t really notice the lack of calories in a diet soda and so don t tend to eat more whereas if they consume a low calorie foodstuff they do tend to eat more as compensation. Its better when sweeteners are used in beverages and not sweets or other foods. One is not completely sure about the safety of these products because their long term use in humans has not been studied fully. However the artificial sweeteners on the market are almost certainly safer than consuming large amounts of sugar which has definite harm when consumed in large amounts. This harm particularly when consumed in beverage form such as soda includes increases in risks of obesity diabetes cardiovascular disease and gout. A concern though is that just replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners leaves a person especially children conditioned to high levels of sweetness which is likely to influence their food choices adversely.

Is caffeine good for the health?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Is caffeine good for the health?

• Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world. • It is consumed in the form of coffee and tea. • At present there is no scientific data for promoting or discouraging coffee and/or tea consumption in the daily diet. • Short–term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance. • Short–term adverse effects including headache, anxiety, tremors, and insomnia. • Long–term adverse effects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders. • Long-term benefits are dose–dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer disease, alcoholic cirrhosis, and gout. Coffee, both caffeinated and decaffeinated, is also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. • Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals, although coffee intake is not considered a long–term risk factor for myocardial disease. • Most studies show a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all–cause mortality. • Caffeine withdrawal is a well–documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom. (Source: Uptodate)