Worst Sweeteners For Belly Fat, Experts Say – Eat This, Not That


Worst Sweeteners For Belly Fat, Experts Say - Eat This, Not That

For those with a sweet tooth, adding some sweeteners to your drinks or food can be a normal part of your daily diet. They help coffee taste less bitter and food taste less bland. In some cases it is harmless. There are even some sweeteners that can help your health. In other cases, however, sweeteners can be dangerous for your body.

You need to be careful about what type of sweeteners you use, as some may contain more harmful chemicals than others. Are you trying to watch your weight? It’s also beneficial to stay away from certain sweeteners that aren’t as natural. If you’re looking to limit certain sweeteners that aren’t helping your belly fat, there are two in particular that you should stay away from.

Refined Sugar

refined sugar

Refined sugar, also known as table sugar, comes from sugar cane or sugar beets that are processed to obtain the sugar.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, table sugar is high in calories and offers no nutritional benefits, which really means you’re only adding it to your diet for flavor.

The article goes on to mention that many sugary drinks contain about 40 grams of added sugar per serving. Meanwhile, the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to 25 grams per day for women and children over the age of 2. For men, they recommend limiting added sugars to 36 grams per day. These refined sugar drinks already maximize your recommended daily sugar intake.

Ann Taylor, MS, RD, LD, CDCES mentions in the clinic’s article that the average American eats about 77 grams of sugar per day. That’s about three times the recommendation for a woman.

“That equates to about 230 calories a day, which could add up to 23 pounds of body fat a year,” she tells the clinic.

The more unnecessary sugar you consume, the more likely you are to get belly fat. Belly fat comes with a higher risk of becoming obese. The Cleveland Clinic suggests limiting sugar-sweetened beverages to lower risk of obesity.

According to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, eating too much refined sugar can also lead to sugar spikes. This will eventually contribute to weight gain and other problems like diabetes and heart disease.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Corresponding Brittany Dunn, MS, RDN, CD, and a member of our medical expert panel, high fructose corn syrup was originally considered a great alternative for diabetics due to its low glycemic index. However, it can only be processed in the liver.

“High fructose corn syrup triggers the production of fatty cholesterol and triglycerides,” says Dunn. “Some studies show that high fructose corn syrup increases appetite more than traditional added sugars.”

Dunn shares that regular sugars are processed in the gut and broken down into glucose. This increases blood sugar. This releases insulin, then leptin. This gives your brain a sense of fullness.

Since high fructose corn syrup is processed in the liver, these steps are skipped. Therefore, your brain doesn’t get the same message. There is no feedback to let you know you’ve gotten enough energy from food.

Another concern with high fructose corn syrup is that it can negatively affect the gut microbiome and lead to leaky gut.

“This, in turn, can increase the risk of obesity, inflammation, and insulin resistance,” says Dunn.

If you’re looking for a sweet but healthier alternative, Dunn says naturally occurring fructose, such as that found in fruit, doesn’t have the same effects as high-fructose corn syrup. Substituting fruit will also introduce you to fiber and vitamin intake, which can help maintain a healthy weight.

Kayla Garritano

Kayla Garritano is a contributor to Eat This, Not That! She graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in journalism and minored in marketing and creative writing. Continue reading

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