Cutting calories might cut chances of weight loss and a healthy lifestyle due to addictive artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes. As replacing calories with chemically manipulated sweeteners is worse for the body than the actual calories.
“Many diet drinks and foods with low calories are unhealthy due to manipulated sweeteners,” said Christine Nunnally, junior health education major. “However, there are products that use natural sweeteners that will increase weight loss without contaminating one’s body with man-made substances.”
Nunnally also said that items such as diet soda products, frozen desserts, yogurt and condiments contain manufactured chemicals.
Low-calorie drinks often contain a chemical called aspartame, and can cause many negative side effects including sleeping problems, memory loss, headaches and even depression, Nunnally said.
“People get fooled into thinking they are consuming the healthier choice but in reality, they are doing more damage to their bodies than consuming the calories,” Nunnally said.
Dylan Sellars, personal trainer at LA Fitness in San Bernardino, said the body processes calories better than the chemicals that try to replace calories.
However, not all foods and drinks contain harmful chemicals. It is important to read the labels and know which ones are the natural, healthier sweeteners, Nunnally said.
Nunnally also said it is best to stick with natural sugars or sweeteners such as Stevia rather than man-made chemicals because they are raw and are not processed.
Sellars said a product’s calorie label is often deceiving for products that claim to have little or no calories.
“Chemicals used to replace calories can be harmful and addictive,” Stellars said. “They can even cause withdrawals because the body can become dependent.”
Zero calories does not automatically mean the product is healthy. However, trading calories for chemicals is not always the safest choice, Sellars said.