Why Sugar-Free Sweets Are a Bad Move

They won't help your waistline or your teeth

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 14, 2010 8:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – A growing number of Americans are turning to sugar-free cookies, soda, gum, and candy to help them lose weight. But unless you're diabetic, sugar-free sweets are probably a bad dietary move, the LA Times reports. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • In most cases, the calorie difference is negligible: While two regular Oreos have 107 calories, two fat-free Oreos have 100.

  • Some research shows that artificial sweeteners actually trick the body into craving more calories than it otherwise would.
  • Consumed in excess, artificial sweeteners can have laxative effects.
  • More seriously, refined carbs—which are just as present in sugar-free as sugared sweets—are linked to higher risks of diabetes and heart disease.
  • They won't even help you avoid cavities: Bacteria that cause tooth decay feed off carbohydrates as well as sugar.

PEEPS(R) Sugar-Free Marshmallow Hearts with Splenda(R).
PEEPS(R) Sugar-Free Marshmallow Hearts with "Splenda(R)".   (PRNewsFoto/Just Born, Inc.)
This photo released by the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. shows the company's Orbit, Extra and Eclipse sugar-free gums.
This photo released by the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. shows the company's Orbit, Extra and Eclipse sugar-free gums.   (AP Photo/Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.)
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