How healthy is the trend?

Lose weight healthily quickly and easily without having to give up much. What seems like a fairy tale to many people is promised by more and more companies that sell so-called “reduced sugar products.” One of the companies is currently particularly criticized, among other things, for misleading advertising. Jan Böhmermann and his team took a closer look at the company “More Nutrition” with “ZFD Magazine Royale” and “Strg_F”, identified contradictions and addressed dangers.

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In a recent post on Instagram, consumer protection organization Foodwatch warns against the “blatant tactics of junk food company fitness” at face value. Foodwatch explains that the company’s powdered flavor (Chunky Flavor) is a highly processed food that has little to do with a healthy diet. Nutritionists see it the same way. Powdered aromas are “the worst thing in terms of nutrition” that Matthias Riedl, doctor and medical director of Medicum Hamburg, has encountered in recent years.

Sweeteners do not help you lose weight.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, more than half of the German population (53.5 percent) is overweight. 46.6 percent of women and 60.5 percent of men are affected. Many of these people are in a constant cycle of weight gain and loss. “With these powders the number of overweight people will increase,” Riedl is sure. But what are powdered aromas really?

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So-called aromatic powders (or aromatic powders) are said to help you lose weight because they contain little fat and carbohydrates. The powder is added to protein foods such as cottage cheese or yogurt instead of sweeteners and is intended to “give them flavor,” says Antje Gahl of the German Nutrition Society (DGE). In any case, its consumption is not absolutely necessary, because “adult amateur athletes do not need a higher protein intake.”

Ingredients of “pure chemistry” powders

Professor Johannes Georg Wechsler, president of the Federal Association of German Nutritionists, also doubts the benefits of powdered flavourings. All powdered flavors available on the German market have one thing in common: they contain sweeteners. And although the opposite is often advertised: sweeteners do not help you lose weight, explains Wechsler. The problem is that sweeteners are a trade-off business for their sweetening effect. If we eat a lot of sweet foods, sweets always taste better to us, which creates a certain dependence of the brain on the sensation of sweetness. For this reason, the DGE recommends consuming sweeteners in moderation and not in large quantities, “for example, through drinks,” says Gahl. According to Wechsler, the guidelines of the German Diabetes Society (DDG) no longer recommend sweeteners for weight loss. The World Health Organization (WHO) also recently changed its guidelines to “advise against the use of sugar-free sweeteners for weight control.”

In addition to sweeteners, powdered flavors contain other ingredients that, according to Riedl, are “pure chemistry.” “Our food standards specify what foods can contain; of course, powdered flavors also meet these standards,” explains Wechsler. But that doesn’t automatically mean the powders are healthy. “Powders contain a mixture of artificial sweeteners and other artificial substances, so there is nothing medically or scientifically in favor of their use,” says Wechsler. There is also no evidence that powders are actually helpful.

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The recommended amount of sweeteners was quickly exceeded

The sweeteners contained in powdered flavors are intended to replace sugar. According to Wechsler, sugar triggers the release of serotonin in the brain. “We still don’t know which sweeteners are released in the brain,” he explains.

“Sweeteners are subject to maximum amount regulation and it has been shown that exceeding the maximum recommended amount can have carcinogenic effects,” says Wechsler. The problem: the recommended quantities are usually exceeded very quickly and, therefore, their consumption can be fundamentally dangerous. Therefore, before consuming foods containing sweeteners, consumers should inform themselves about the maximum recommended amount. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) provides information on this.


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Flavors can interact with intestinal flora.

Fans of powdered flavors especially love the intense flavor it adds to quark and yogurt. It is done through flavors. They can only be used in approved flavoring foods. But: “The flavors have been so little studied that in recent years they have been repeatedly recalled because they can cause cancer,” criticizes Riedl. Therefore, the scents are only tested on animals and not enough on humans before going on sale. The magazine “Ökotest” also criticizes the fact that aromas serve to simulate a quality in food that does not exist and that there is always a risk to the health of allergic people. “We now know that flavors interact with the intestinal flora,” explains Riedl. Not only could this have a beneficial effect on many diseases, but the aromas could also damage the intestinal flora. “This can promote the development of diabetes and fatty liver disease and, in the worst case, even lead to cancer,” says Riedl.

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But what should a healthy diet really look like? “Eating and drinking whole foods maintains health, promotes performance and well-being,” says the German Nutrition Society (DGE). This can be achieved through a variety of foods, fruits and vegetables or whole grain products.

It is difficult to avoid the consumption of sweeteners

Riedl explains that you don’t need highly processed foods like flavoring powders to lose weight and recommends a homemade smoothie instead. To do this, take one or two tablespoons of almond or cashew butter, a fruit of your choice, but preferably low-sugar fruits, rolled oats, vanilla or cinnamon according to your taste and milk or plant milk. Mix everything well and enjoy. “This shake is very healthy and delicious and also contains all the important vitamins, minerals, trace elements, plant proteins and healthy fats,” says Riedl. “You can easily replace a meal with it.”

Otherwise, it’s worth simply taking a closer look at what a food actually contains. “Nowadays it is almost impossible to avoid the consumption of flavor enhancers and sweeteners, but they should not be consumed consciously and, above all, no benefits should be expected from them,” says Wechsler.

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