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Should I eat sugar-free mithai?

Enjoying sweets, cakes, desserts, chocolates, ice cream, pies etc. are a part of every culture’s culinary traditions. In India it is not unusual for every home to always keep some mithai in the pantry or fridge to be enjoyed after meals or when friends and family come calling.

Unfortunately, if you partake in this pleasure more often than you should, you might end up setting yourself back several weeks in terms of achieving your fitness goals. If you’re diabetic or suffer from hypertension, things might get even worse.

Increasingly, though, it’s easy to find several sugar-free dessert options. The question is, are they really any less harmful for you? In this post we discuss the pros and cons of opting for sugar free mithai.

Pros - when consumed in moderation:

  • Sugar-free mithai has fewer calories and does not raise your blood sugar or insulin levels as much as the sugared variety.

  • They help you satiate your sweet tooth which, in turn, releases “feel good” endorphins that keep you feeling happy & stress free.

  • When consumed in moderation, they will be easier on your digestive system. They are less likely than sugared mithai to cause dental plaque and cavities.

  • One word of caution - sugar-free doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want! You need to be careful even with sugar-free mithai. An overindulgence comes with its own set of challenges.

Cons - When you overindulge in sugar-free sweets:

  • Overindulgence in sweet foods and drinks often promotes cravings for more sweet-tasting treats

  • Sugar-free mithai is not free from calories!

  • Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners, which are used instead of sugar, also alter the gut’s good bacteria, lead to decreased satiety, upend glucose homeostasis (balance), and can lead to weight gain.

While you can use sugar substitutes as a replacement for table sugar in mithai to help address your sugar cravings and achieve your other health goals, it is not to be interpreted as a license to overindulge!

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