Natural sugars can be a healthy substitute in candy without increasing the risk of diabetes, research shows
Natural sugars in fruits like oranges and lemons could be a healthy substitute in candy without increasing diabetes risk, study finds
- University of Florida researchers looked at selectively bred citrus trees
- They found eight sweeteners in the plants, seven of which were completely new
- One, called Oxime V, was previously known from Japan but was man-made
- Sweeteners are often used as a way to reduce sugar while preserving taste
- But some scientists warn they may actually increase your risk of diabetes
Eight new sweeteners in citrus fruits could be used to reduce sugar in foods and soft drinks, scientists say, while claiming they may even reduce diabetes risk.
University of Florida researchers said they found the compounds — seven are completely new — after running tests on grapefruits, tangerines and sweet oranges. The other sweetener discovered, used in Japan, was previously known only as a synthetic version.
dr. Yu Wang, a food scientist who led the study, said the sweeteners offered an “extended opportunity” to lower sugar levels in drinks.
Sweeteners are often used as a way to reduce sugars and calories in products, while preserving the sweet taste, which can aid weight loss.
But some scientists warn that sweeteners — such as aspartame and stevia in diet sodas — can increase the risk of being overweight, suffering from diabetes and even having a heart attack.
dr. Yu Wang, a food scientist who led the study, told the paper that the sweeteners presented an “extended opportunity” to lower sugar levels in drinks (stock image)
In the release for the study, published this week in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistrythe experts said their find provided a wealth of new sweeteners.
They said ‘Americans’ love affair with sugar can be a deadly attraction that sometimes leads to major health problems, including obesity and type 2 diabetes.
“This finding opens up opportunities for the food industry to produce foods and drinks with lower sugar content and fewer calories, while retaining sweetness and flavor using natural products.”
Can Sweeteners Increase My Risk of Diabetes?
The jury is still out on whether artificial sweeteners — such as those in soft drinks — can increase the risk of diabetes.
The World Health Organization says current evidence suggests they aid in weight loss in the short term, leading to better-controlled blood sugar levels that reduce the risk of diabetes.
But there is also a warning that long-term use can have the opposite effects.
They can change the composition of bacteria in the gut, making them better able to get more calories from a smaller amount of food.
Some research, in turn, suggests that this increases the risk of problems with sugar absorption, and thus diabetes.
The World Health Organization is currently conducting a study on the health effects of sweeteners.
In the study, scientists studied fruits from eleven different types of citrus plants.
Each was selectively bred for a specific taste and for certain qualities – such as resistance to cold.
Tests revealed eight sweeteners in the plants, only one of which had previously been found.
The seven new sweeteners were named eriodictyol, hesperetin, ADMF, DAME, hernandulcin, 4B-hydroxyhernandulcin and perillaldehyde.
The other was Oxime V — a sweetener used in some foods in Japan — and was the first to be found in nature. This was previously known only as a sweetener that could be made in labs.
The new sweeteners have not been tested for their impact on the risk of type 2 diabetes or obesity.
It was not clear to which products they could be added.
Discussing the results, Wang said: ‘We were able to identify a natural source for an artificial sweetener, oxime V, which had never been identified from a natural source before.
‘This creates more opportunities for citrus growers and for breeding’ [lines] to obtain high yields of sweetener compounds.’
Sweeteners are a popular sugar substitute in the United States, where more than a third of adults are obese.
But a growing number of articles suggest they may negatively impact human health.
In its most comprehensive review to date, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that while sweeteners have a ‘short-term’ benefit in encouraging weight loss, in the longer term they can actually lead to weight gain, obesity and increase the risk of suffering. type 2 diabetes.
Some say that products laced with this increase a person’s hunger hormone levels precisely because they are so low in calories, leading to overeating.
Others warn that they disrupt the gut microbiome, which can also lead to overeating and thus weight gain.
Concerns have also been raised that sweeteners could increase the risk of heart attacks, after a study found that drinking half a cup of Diet Coke a day increased the risk by as much as a tenth. Participants were also found to be one-fifth more likely to have a stroke.
Studies also show that those who consume the drinks are more likely to be obese, although it’s unclear whether this is due to weight gain from the drinks or because this group is more likely to use them.