Can honey and dates manage blood sugar levels and replace artificial sweeteners?


The World Health Organization recently published a guideline against the use of non-sugar sweeteners for weight management purposes.

Based on a comprehensive review of existing evidence, WHO says that using non-sugar sweeteners does not produce long-term benefits in reducing body fat for both adults and children. Additionally, the findings point to potential adverse effects associated with prolonged consumption of non-sugar sweeteners, including an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and adult mortality.


Dr Richa Chaturvedi, Senior Consultant in Endocrinology at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, shared her insights with the Indian Express regarding the latest WHO guidelines on artificial sweeteners and their implications for the people who consume them.

Do sugar substitutes have any negative effects? Doesn’t replacing free sugars with non-sugar sweeteners provide long-term weight management benefits for individuals?


There is evidence to suggest that replacing free sugars with non-sugar sweeteners may not contribute to long-term weight control. The study conducted by the WHO challenges the common belief that sugar substitutes are useful for weight loss. It also suggests that people who consume non-sugar sweeteners often compensate for their reduced calorie intake by increasing their consumption of other high-calorie foods. While sugar substitutes may be helpful in reducing your overall sugar intake, they may not necessarily lead to long-term weight loss. Simply swapping sugar for non-sugar sweeteners may not be enough to achieve sustained weight control.

If weight loss is not the goal, is it safe to consume artificial sweeteners?

If weight loss isn’t the primary concern, the safety of sugar substitutes becomes an important consideration. While there are debates about the long-term effects of consuming sugar substitutes, they have generally been recognized as safe for consumption by regulators such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). ).

Extensive research has been conducted on various sugar substitutes, including artificial sweeteners, which has consistently shown that when consumed within acceptable daily intake limits, sugar substitutes are not associated with significant health risks for the general population.


However, it’s important to note that individual responses to sugar substitutes can vary. Some people may experience digestive problems or other mild side effects, but these are typically rare and not considered a major concern. People with specific health conditions, such as phenylketonuria (PKU) for aspartame, should exercise caution and follow medical advice regarding the use of specific sugar substitutes.

What is the recommended daily consumption limit of artificial sweeteners for adults and children?

The acceptable daily intake of sugar substitutes varies depending on the specific type of sweetener. Regulators, such as the FDA and EFSA, have set guidelines and recommended maximum levels for each sweetener. It is important to note that these recommendations are generally considered safe for the majority of the population. For adults, the recommended daily intake of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin typically ranges from 9 to 23 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. Natural sweeteners, such as stevia, may have higher acceptable daily intake limits, usually ranging from 4 to 12 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

Children generally have lower acceptable daily intake levels than adults. These limits are set to ensure their safety and account for their smaller body size.

Does it have the potential to aid in short-term weight loss?

Sugar substitutes can be useful for short-term goals, such as reducing calorie intake or managing blood sugar levels. By replacing high-calorie sugar with low-calorie or zero-calorie alternatives, people can experience a temporary reduction in their overall calorie intake. This can potentially contribute to short-term weight loss or better glycemic control. However, it’s important to note that long-term weight management success requires a comprehensive approach that includes factors beyond sugar substitutes, such as a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and sustainable lifestyle habits. Short-term benefits should be seen in the context of overall health goals and should not replace a holistic approach to wellness.

How safe are natural substitutes like honey and dates?

Natural substitutes such as honey and dates can be alternatives to refined sugar and are often considered healthier options due to their natural composition and potential additional nutritional benefits.

Honey is a natural sweetener however it is still a form of sugar and should be consumed in moderation. While honey offers some nutritional value, it is still a concentrated source of calories and carbohydrates.

Dates are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Dates also provide natural sweetness along with other nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and iron. However, it’s important to be mindful of serving sizes as dates are still relatively high in calories due to their natural sugar content.

#honey #dates #manage #blood #sugar #levels #replace #artificial #sweeteners


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *