What You Didn’t Know About Sugar Substitutes

Living off of carrots and celery sticks can be boring! There are plenty of ways to make your diet exciting by eliminating certain foods. Last day’s post “Eat Stop Eat” author and nutrition expert Brad Pilon suggests getting creative by adding a verity in your diet.

Today we get into a topic everybody is interested to know more about when it comes to heath and fat loss. That is pure cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup. So let’s get started.


Craig:  First, we’re going to ask a question which the entire western civilization really needs to know the answer to. If you had to choose between having diet soda and regular soda, which is the better choice for fat loss and health?

Brad: Horrible question.

Craig: Everybody needs to know this, Brad.

Brad: It’s true. It’s a tough question, so let’s break it down. Which one is a better choice for fat loss? Well, that one is easy, it is the diet soda. The arguments of having aspartame in it has negative effects on your ability to lose fat.  This data is greatly misconstrued. A calorie free beverage will help you lose fat better than a calorie full beverage. Again, we’re not talking health. We’re just talking about fat loss.

So, what about health? We have all these supposed issues with aspartame in health, and even though every diet cola now doesn’t have aspartame, a lot of them are using different combinations of sweeteners and artificial sweeteners. We’ll just stick with the aspartame kind of story and lump them all together.

Is there a reason to be concerned? Yes, there’s theory to back it up. Is there hard evidence in humans with some of the outlandish claims they’re making? No. So, does the theory and the mechanisms that people are proposing with aspartame make sense? Do they outweigh the potential benefits to your health of losing 15, 20, or 30 pounds? That’s where it gets kind of tricky.

For health the obvious answer is neither. WATER is the best thing you can drink. For fat loss if you had to pick one its diet soda. However, for health it gets kind of tricky, because it’s almost as if I want to tell you that it’s diet soda until you lose the weight, and then it’s regular soda once you’ve lost the weight.

I just believe that in terms of the health benefits of losing 30 or 40 pounds, some people lose 60 or 70 pounds when they finally decide, “I’m going to get in shape.” Those health benefits probably outweigh the dangers of the occasional glass of diet soda throughout the week. Again, we’re not talking what’s better for you, 15 glasses of diet soda versus 15 glasses of regular soda every day.

Just in terms of an occasional soda throughout the week I’d have to go with diet soda until you’ve lost the weight and then maybe regular soda once you’re at the weight you want to be at. One last caveat there about the whole thing, because I know it will get brought up in questions, the high fructose corn syrup versus normal sugar. That’s a tough one too.

I don’t know if a lot of people know this, but the cola companies will generally SWITCH BACK AND FOURTH between using cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup depending on the markets and the economy. So, it’s difficult to avoid all sodas because of high fructose corn syrup there’s a good chance that’s not what you’re consuming, it goes back and forth.

So, I guess my answer would have to be diet soda until you’ve lost the weight and then regular once you’ve lost it.

Craig: And then of course simply GOOD JUDGMENT applies. Obviously, you don’t want to be drinking either of them regularly, so if you have a two liter a day habit of either one that’s probably not a good idea.

Brad: Little things too. I don’t know where the trend comes from, but I was just in New York, and it might really be a Canadian thing, but I’m going to share the idea that soda, whether its diet or regular is NOT A BREAKFEST DRINK. That’s just weird.  If it’s your drink of choice every breakfast, I think the answer is neither, switch to something else.

Craig: So, when you were in New York people were drinking diet soda for breakfast?

Brad: Giant Big Gulps at 7:00 in the morning. It was the oddest thing. I have my odd foods that I like to eat too, and people think I’m weird, but that one to me is just really weird. I get it. It’s there, but I would kind of look at pop kind of like alcohol, if you’re drinking it before 2:00 in the afternoon it’s just kind of weird.

Interesting stuff! We’ll be back tomorrow with part 4 as Eat Stop Eat author Brad Pilon answers more questions on fat loss and harmful effects that sugar has on it.Turbulence Training for Fat Loss