Tuesday, May 30, 2023

WHO warns against the dangers of using sweeteners

The World Health Organization (WHO) this week published new guidance on non-sugar sweeteners and warned of the risks of their use.

In particular, WHO advises against its use for weight control or reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

This, as it was found that its use does not provide any long-term benefit in reducing body fat, moreover, it may have unwanted effects such as an increased risk of type II diabetes.

“Replacing free sugars with sweets does not seem to help control weight in the long term. People should consider other ways to reduce their intake of free sugars, such as eating foods with natural sugars, such as fruit, or non-sweetened foods and beverages,” says Francesco Branca, WHO director of nutrition and food safety. The director said in an official press release.

“Sugar-free sweeteners are not an essential dietary factor and lack nutritional value. People should completely eliminate sweeteners from their diets from an early age to improve their health.”

In this sense, he explained that non-nutritive sweeteners include acesulfame-K, aspartame, avantame, cyclamates, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, stevia and stevia derivatives.

These recommendations are “with the exception of people with diabetes”.

What to do to avoid eating sweets?

However, not only should sugar be avoided, but sugar habits should also be changed, because – in itself – it is a risk to our health.

In the report, he says, “efforts should be made to reduce intake of free sugars in the context of achieving and maintaining a healthy diet.”

“Since free sugars are often found in highly processed foods and beverages with undesirable nutritional profiles, simply substituting ENS results for free sugars means that the overall quality of the diet is largely unaffected. Diet Replacing free sugars with sources of natural sweeteners, such as fruit, as well as minimally processed sugar-free foods and beverages, will help improve diet quality and should be the preferred choice of those foods and beverages. which contain free sugars.

CIAPEC-INTA postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chile, Natalia Rebolledo Fuentealba, clarifies in an interview with Chilean media outlets that this recommendation is not a call to return to sugar.

“The WHO guide is part of already existing recommendations on reducing sugar consumption. It is a call to reduce the consumption of sweeteners and sweet products in general”, he stressed.

On the other hand, sweetener intake experts caution that “this recommendation is not for people with diabetes, so patients with diabetes should continue to reduce their sugar intake and follow dietary guidelines.”

In this sense, he stresses that the call of the World Health Organization is clear and to try to reduce the consumption of not only sugar but also sweeteners, because after all, they are chemical products that affect the body.

Nation World News Desk
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