Real sugar bombs, sodas are to be consumed with great moderation, and until now everyone was aware. So to preserve their health, some opt for "zero" sodas, understand zero sugar. Real solution or false good idea?
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Sugar free... but with sweeteners
If at present, the scientific evidence is insufficient to decide on the issue, it would still seem that these sodas are not so harmless. The cause? Their composition almost identical to that of diet sodas, understand their sweetener content, "substances that give a sweet taste without bringing, a priori, calories," says Pierre Nys, diabetologist, endocrinologist and nutritionist in Paris. More specifically, the sweet flavor of soda is provided by "acesulfame K, sucralose, saccharin or stevia," says Mathilde Touvier, director of the nutritional epidemiology research team (EREN) at Paris-13 University.
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These substances disturb appetite and the feeling of satiety. "They do not reduce the production of ghrelin, a hormone secreted by the stomach, which stimulates appetite and do not activate the secretion of the peptide, which is supposed to regulate satiety," says Dr. Pierre Nys. After drinking a sugar-free soda, we will be hungry and therefore eat more. "Eventually, these products can cause weight gain," warns the doctor. Not to mention that drinks can still contain sugar despite the mention. "The latter can be used if a product contains no more than 0.5 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters," adds Ysabelle Levasseur, dietician and nutritionist.
Eventually, they can cause weight gain
Dr. Pierre Nys, diabetologist, endocrinologist and nutritionist
Drinking these sodas regularly would also encourage us to consume sugary products. "The body is deceived by these drinks and reacts as when it ingests sugar," says Mathilde Touvier. "These drinks will continue to maintain an appetite for sugar, which could push the consumer to ingest more," says Chantal Julia, nutritionist and research professor at the University of Paris-13. In the long run, the carbohydrates absorbed by the body accumulate in the body and can lead to diabetes, according to Dr. Nys.
Several questions remain about these "zero sugar" drinks, due to a lack of sufficient scientific evidence. "A study conducted on animals and on a small human population suggests certain carcinogenic risks, related to aspartame," informs Dr. Mathilde Touvier.
Scientists also wonder about the cocktail effect of sweeteners combined with other additives, and about the caramel coloring, present in sodas with a cola taste. Faced with these grey areas, there is only one niche: moderation. No more than one drink a day, according to the recommendations of the High Authority of Health.