Diet drinks…

So as diet drinks have no calories, they are ok to drink right?! confused

Well, when taken at face value, diet drinks seem like a health-conscious choice. They save you the 140, or more calories when compared to their sugary soft drink counterparts, while still satisfying your urge for something sweet with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. But there’s more to the chemical soft drink cocktail than meets the eye….

The diet soft drinks confuse your body. 

The artificial sweeteners in diet drinks have a more intense sweet flavor than real sugar, so over time products like diet drinks dull our senses to naturally sweet foods like fruit. This is never a good thing, as when this happens we crave even sweeter foods. Also, the sugar substitutes have been found to have the same effect on your body as sugar, whereby the artificial sweeteners trigger insulin, which sends your body into fat storage mode and leads to weight gain- not ideal if you are trying to keep lean and lead a healthy lifestyle.

fatDiet drinks could lead to weight gain. 

Diet drinks are calorie-free- which seems great, but if something seems too good to be true, then it usually is, and in this case, being calorie free is not all that it is cracked up to be. Drinking diet drinks will not necessarily help you to lose weight. It has been found that people who drink diet beverages have a 70% greater increase in waist circumference compared with non-drinkers over a 10 year period. Further to this, it was found that people who drank two or more diet drinks a day experienced a 500%greater increase in waist circumference- not ideal! The way artificial sweeteners confuse the body may play a part, but another reason might be psychological. When you know you’re not consuming any liquid calories, it might be easier to justify that double cheeseburger or extra slice of pizza.

They contain no nutritional value. water

Not only do diet drinks put you at risk of putting on weight, or developing type 2 diabetes, but they also contain no nutritional value. When you drink diet beverages, you’re not taking in any calories—but you’re also not consuming anything that does your body any good, either. So what is the point? The best no-calorie beverage? Plain old water- it is essential for many of our bodily processes, so replacing it with diet drinks is a negative thing. If it’s the fizziness of soft drinks that you crave, try sparkling water, and add some chopped fruit if you want it to be a little tastier. Things like watermelon or strawberries work really well.

Crowns Erosion Before Anterior1Sweeteners will ruin your smile.

So, not only will excessive diet soft drinking leave you over weight, and diabetic, but according to a case study published in the journal General Dentistry, the same level of tooth erosion occurs in cocaine-users, methamphetamine-users, and in habitual diet-soft drink consumers. The culprit in soft drinks is citric acid, which weakens and destroys tooth enamel over time.

 

These things here are just a few of the things that drinking soft beverages can do to you, inside and out. So maybe reconsider what you drink next time you go to the supermarket or open the fridge door.

If you have any ideas for alternative drink ideas, then please comment on this post as we are interested to know!- and we would love to help spread the word 🙂

Simple sugar swaps

So, I, like most people I know have a sweet tooth and it often happens that at 3pm, when my energy levels are low, all I want is a big bar of chocolate. If you are like me, and don’t know how you will get through the day without your afternoon sugar surge, then take a look here. We have done some research and have found recipes and ideas for you to try whereby you can still keep your sweet tooth happy, but without ruining all of your hard work.

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The idea is that you make sugar swaps….

Instead of adding cupfuls of sugar you can use grated vegetables, such as carrots, courgettes or beetroots in your bakes, and why not consider using fruit puree in your cakes?

Here are some examples of fruit purees that work really well: applesauc

  • Applesauce

Instead of a half-cup white sugar in a batch of raisin and oat cookies, why not swap in an equal amount of applesauce. Apples are full of natural sugars, and so their sweetness can add to the cookies and make them into a perfect afternoon snack or after-dinner treat. You can buy no sugar applesauce from most supermarkets, but it is just as easy to make your own.

  • rasisnsRaisins

So, this is something that I hadn’t come across before, but why not try it for a creative spin on things! All you need to do is blend a cup of raisins in a food processor. They add both sweetness and moisture to bakes, and in addition they are full of antioxidants and fibre and so these little dried grapes are a great addition to any bake!

  • Puréed Banana

So using bananas in bakes is not an unusual thing, but why not consider using an additional extra-ripe banana in your next bake and eliminating all of the sugar.   You won’t notice the difference as the fruit naturally becomes sweeter as it ripens, so there’s no need for extra sugar.

ripe banana

An alternative way of sweetening bakes without adding sugar is by using spices or similar things.

  • Cinnamon

Spice up a morning cup of coffee with cinnamon. This spice adds subtle sweetness while boosting immunity- so why not try it!

  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder can give you your chocolate hit without all of the unhealthy added ingredients. For a warm winter treat, mix some unsweetened cocoa powder in a glass of hot water or skim milk- a great hot chocolate! It’ll satisfy that sweet tooth without all the extra sugar the sweetened version includes. If you feel like it needs something else, add a splash of vanilla extract for extra flavor!cocoa

Another way of sweetening your drinks, and bakes is with the use of honey,  maple syrup or agave syrup.

  • Honey

Honey is a natural product produced by bees. Commercial honey is less beneficial than raw honey- so try and get the raw version wherever possibly. Raw honey is rich in nutrients.

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  • Agave Syrup

Finally, the relatively new kid on the block is agave syrup. This syrup is the boiled down sap from the leaves of the blue agave plant. The syrup is intensely sweet, so you don’t need as much as sugar- remember this when using it in cooking. However be aware that the syrup is very high (75 to 90 percent) in fructose, which means that it doesn’t metabolize well, and therefore raises blood sugar levels- so don’t go crazy!

  • Maple syrup

Maple syrup is a great sweetener as it is mainly sucrose and so low in fructose. It has a distinctive flavor which can make your bakes really interesting. Why not try it on your pancakes instead of the traditional sugar and lemon this pancake day!

maple