World Executive Digest | Too Much Sugar is Bad for You: Sugar Alternative | The sweet taste of sugar is hard to resist. Everyone has a sweet tooth, and people often find it difficult to skip dessert or avoid having that chocolate bar for a midnight snack. Sugar tastes great, but the reason we should not be consuming sugar on a regular basis is that too much sugar is bad for our health.
Downsides to Sugar
Sugar is bad for you because it has calories and it increases your blood sugar and triglycerides, which is a risk factor for heart disease. This is especially bad for those with diabetes or diabetes-related conditions such as high blood fat levels.
Sugar either displaces more nutritious food in your diet, meaning you are depriving your body of nutritious-dense foods and instead filling your body with empty calories. This leads to weight gain Added sugars put you at high risk for a poor lipids profile with higher triglycerides, lower good cholesterol (HDL), and higher bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. This increases the risk of coronary heart disease.
Research has also shown that added sugars increase the risk of high blood pressure since sugar promotes inflammation, which is not good for the heart. Also, excess sugar has been known to promote tooth decay.
Alternatives to Sugar
There are many, healthier options than sugar out there that can still satisfy your sweet tooth. It may be difficult to choose which one is right for you, but just try to consider the following.
First, understand the different categories of sugar alternatives. These are artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, novel sweeteners, and natural sweeteners. They all have their own benefits that you might want to look into. Second, think about why you want to reduce your sugar intake. Always consult with a doctor or dietitian if you are not sure what is best for you.
Natural Alternatives to Sugar
Agave nectar provides more nutrients than regular sugar but fewer than honey. It is very flavorful, so you may not need much, but it is high in calories and contains a lot of fructose which can lead to weight gain.
Coconut sugar is unrefined, so it retains all its vitamins and minerals. It does not lead to fluctuations in blood sugar, but it has the same amount of calories as table sugar and is still high in carbohydrates and fructose. This means that people monitoring their weight may want to avoid this, and it may not be the best choice for those with diabetes.
Honey contains more nutrients than table sugar as well as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. However, like table sugar, it is also high in claories and breaks down to glucose and fructose, meaning it poses some of the same health risks.
Dates are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, meaning it could add more nutritional value to your diet compared to using regular sugar. It does have a unique type of flavor that may not be suitable for all applications, but it can still be good for smoothies, baked goods, and sauces.
Maple syrup is high in antioxidants and rich in minerals, including calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and manganese. However, similar to other natural sweeteners, maple syrup is high in calories and should be consumed in moderation.
Last but not least, there’s stevia. Extracted from leaves of a plant called Stevia rebaudiana, Stevia is a very popular low-calorie sweetener that has been used for sweetening and medicinal purposes since its discovery in South America.
Stevia is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar in the same amount but has virtually no calories. It also has zero carbohydrates and no glycemic index. This means that it has several health benefits including the ability to lower high blood pressure in hypertensive individuals and blood sugar levels in diabetics. Several studies have also shown that stevia can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce plaque build-up in arteries.
Sweet and Fit Stevia
Sweet and Fit Stevia is grown and harvested locally at the Sweet and Fit Stevia Farm in Brgy. Tambobong, Bocaue, Bulacan. According to the Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines, Sweet and Fit Stevia was the first registered stevia powder. It has no cholesterol, no calories, no carbs, and is 100% natural. Most importantly, Sweet and Fit Stevia has no bitter taste, making it a suitable substitute for sugar. Sweet and Fit Stevia is perfect for those trying to maintain a healthy diet.
Where can I buy Sweet and Fit Stevia in the Philippines?
Sweet and Fit Stevia is manufactured by Glorious Industrial and Development Corporation. Sweet and Fit Stevia products can be purchased at your local Mercury Drug Store, Generika, South Star Drug, and other leading drugstores. It can also be bought at Robinsons Supermarket, Waltermart, Ever Gotesco, Landmark, and other supermarkets nationwide.
For those looking to shop online, Sweet and Fit Stevia is also available on the official GIDC website and on popular online marketplaces.
Glorious Industrial and Development Corporation
72 Nuestra Señora St. 6th Ave.
1400 Metro Manila