Reducing sugar consumption can be difficult as it is present in various foods and beverages, including those marketed as "healthy." Still, experts agree that a small amount of sugar is occasionally acceptable, even though it is not nutritious.
The Department of Agriculture advises consuming no more than 10% of daily calories from added sugars. Women should limit their daily added sugar intake to no more than 6 teaspoons (100 calories), while males should limit their intake to no more than 9 teaspoons (150 calories).
Miracles of a sugar-free diet
According to Mark Hanna, Managing Director of all-natural sweetener brand Natvia, "eliminating sugar from the diet and managing your GI intake can assist in preventing blood sugar spikes.
The first step towards sugar-free living is to eliminate processed foods. This includes staying away from sugary snacks, candy, and soda. Choose whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean protein instead. Sugar-free substitutes like stevia can also satisfy a sweet tooth.
Individuals who opt to cut down on sugar may experience withdrawal symptoms like headaches or fatigue, but health experts assure that these will fade as the body adjusts to its new diet.
How stevia affects blood sugar
Stevia, a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia rebaudiana plant, is about 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, yet has no influence on the glycemic index and doesn’t contain any calories.
Its use in commercial applications goes back to the 1970s, when stevia was used as an alternative to artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, entering the Japanese and then the US food industries. Today, the stevia market is estimated to have a value of more than US$770m, having grown at a CAGR of nearly 10% since 2017 according to Statista.
Mark Hanna, CEO of Natvia.com says: "Our findings reveal that stevia contains a high concentration of diterpene glycosides, which the digestive tract cannot break down or absorb. As a result, consuming stevia as a sweetener has no effect on blood glucose levels. Unlike low-calorie synthetic sweeteners, stevia is completely safe, non-toxic, and non-mutagenic. It is also 200 times sweeter than regular sugar (sucrose) and calorie-free.
With the goal of helping people transition to a more beneficial lifestyle that promotes lower sugar levels without compromising on taste, Natvia uses only 100% natural ingredients to create a unique and superior-tasting sweetener that is completely free from anything artificial. Their sweetener range also has zero calories compared to 16 calories per serving of sugar.
All their products, from cereals, toppings, and mixes to sauces, jams, and cordials, are naturally sweetened and low GI. Natvia also offers one of the largest selection of household-favourite pantry items to make it easier to shift to a lower sugar level lifestyle.
Health practitioners have also embraced the benefits of Natvia and can now recommend it as a natural, low-calorie sweetener to those with diabetes, fructose malabsorption, weight management issues, and those simply looking to have a healthier lifestyle.