Fact Sheets

Season 5, Ep 10 - Diet Foods


·Decreasing your energy intake is often key to weight-loss.

·Artificial sweeteners are much sweeter than sugar (some are 10,000 times sweeter than sugar). This means a lot less of them have to be used and the tiny amounts used in food contribute almost no energy.

·Although they have a bad reputation online, scientific evidence suggests artificial sweeteners are safe and they are approved by over a hundred government bodies around the world.

·Stevia is a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners .It comes from the Stevia plant and is up to 600 times sweeter than sugar.

·Stevia was approved for use in foods in 2008. Experts say it is no better or worse than other artificial sweeteners.

·Sugar alcohols are sugars that have been modified so that you cannot metabolise the sugars which means they don’t cause tooth decay and don’t contribute as much energy as sugar.

·Sugar alcohols have a similar structure to alcohol but will not make you intoxicated.

·A 2007 review found that the relationship between artificial sweeteners and weight loss is unclear.

·Some researchers believe the consumption of sugar replacements,like artificial sweeteners, may mean we eat more of other foods to make up for it.

·Some researchers believe that sugar replacements encourage a sweet tooth.

·Others say that if people do have a sweet tooth, sugar replacements enable them to have something sweet that is not high in sugar and calories.

·One research study found that rats that consumed artificial sweeteners had their metabolism altered and it consequently made them gain weight. However, this has not been proven with humans.

·Researchers define ‘fad diets’ as those that promise dramatic weight loss, are nutritionally unbalanced and are low in energy. They may require the consumer to purchase certain products and they cannot be maintained long term.Many do not make any allowances for what to do once they are over.

·Many of the popular diets fit the definition of a ‘fad diet’.

·Energy can come from fats, carbohydrates and protein. The body has a tremendous capacity to store fat whereas carbohydrates come in between fat and protein.

·Protein is said to have a ‘metabolic advantage’ over other nutrients because our body is unable to simply store the energy from it – it has to use energy to do so.

·The body’s inability to store protein means it has to be converted and this process uses energy. This process has led to the thought that high protein diets can lead to weight loss.

·Protein is available from meat, dairy, eggs and some vegetables and now processed high protein foods.

·The protein in protein bars and shakes comes primarily from either soy or dairy. Egg is sometimes also used.

·Different types of proteins are digested at different speeds.

·Proteins that are slowly digested tend to leave you feeling more satisfied than proteins that are digested quickly.

·Egg, soy and casein (from milk) proteins are all digested slowly.

·Whey protein is a very fast digested protein. This is the reason for its popularity with bodybuilders.

·Because whey is absorbed very quickly it helps muscles repair, which is useful for athletes who do a lot of strength training.

·Whey protein is a by-product of the cheese making process. The protein is extracted from the liquid left behind once the cheese curds are removed.

·Unfortunately, eating protein won’t automatically give you bigger muscles - muscles get bigger due to exercise. Just as with fat and carbs, if you consume too much protein it will get turned into fat.

·High protein products can be very helpful for athletes, but for the majority of the population they are more of an occasional requirement.

·The glycaemic index will tell you how quickly the carbohydrates from a product will be digested, however it doesn’t tell you anything about its energy content.

·Detox diets are not going to harm your health in the short term, however experts say it is likely that the weight loss achieved on the diets will not be sustained.

·There have been at least 200,000 diet books released in the last 3 decades.

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