Food Finds Asia | The Best Healthy Alternative for Sugar | Filipino cuisine is famous for its use of sugar, not just in desserts like leche flan and halo-halo or shakes or suman and turon, but also in dishes like tocino, adobo, patatim, and many more. You can always taste the sugar in the tea, juices, shakes, and coffee served in restaurants. As such, Food and Beverage businesses in the Philippines tend to focus on sugar and sweet flavor profiles. A couple of the most popular food and beverage businesses in the Philippines are milk tea and pastry shops. If you own this kind of business, you might want to consider the health of your customers by using an alternative ingredient for sugar. Stevia is the best alternative for sugar.
Quick Overview of Stevia
Stevia has been known for its intense sweetness since its discovery in the late 1800s. It was also used as traditional medicine such as treatment for burns, colic, and stomach problems. The leaves of the stevia are served as a sweet treat, and this is the part of stevia that has been extracted for sweeteners.
The Healthy Alternative for Sugar: Stevia
Stevia in other parts of the globe has already been used as a sugar substitute for years. According to the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), high purity steviol glycosides, an extract of the stevia plant, is considered generally safe for use in food. Stevia has no calories, and it is 200 times sweeter than sugar in the same concentration. This sweetener is the best for Food and Beverage Businesses looking for an organic alternative to sugar. For instance, if you have customers who are health conscious or have diabetes, you can use and promote healthy stevia products to appeal to them. This can lead to more customers buying and consuming your products which is definitely good for business.
The Health Benefits of Stevia
Stevia is an all-natural, zero calorie sweetener with two major sweet compounds called Stevioside and Rebaudioside A (Reb A). These compounds are what give Stevia its sweet taste. Stevia is the healthier alternative to refined sugar, and here are just some reasons why.
Lower Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Levels while Fighting Diabetes
High blood pressure, high sugar levels, and diabetes are becoming detected more frequently among Filipino teens and young adults, and diet is partly to blame. Having elevated blood pressure is a major risk factor and may lead to heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. Unfortunately, having high blood pressure (hypertension) is not usually something you feel or notice. You might write off a headache as nothing more than just that, but it might be a sign of hypertension. The only way to really know is to measure and monitor your blood pressure regularly.
Studies have shown that stevia may help lessen blood pressure. Some researches suggest that daily intake of 750-1500mg of stevioside, a chemical compound in stevia, reduces systolic blood pressure *the upper number in a blood pressure reading) by 10-14mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) by 6-14 mmHg.
One of the largest health concerns today is Type II Diabetes. Characterized by elevated blood sugar caused by insulin resistance, stevioside seems to improve the function of the hormone insulin, thus lowering blood sugar levels. Stevia does not have calories or carbohydrates and therefore has no effect on blood glucose. Diabetic people can still enjoy sweets without raising their blood sugar when substituting sugar with stevia.
Diminish Risk of Pancreatic Cancer and Oral Disease
Pancreatic Cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach and in front of the spine. The pancreas produces digestive juices and hormones that regulate blood sugar. Stevia helps reduce risk of having a pancreatic cancer. Scientifically, the stevia plant contains sterols and antioxidant particles including kaempferol, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, isoquercitin and isosteviol which are all necessary to reduce pancreatic cancer risk.
Stevia also reduces bacterial formation in the mouth, preventing cavities and gingivitis, which is why several brands of toothpaste and mouthwash add it to their formulas.
Helps Maintain a Well Balanced Diet
Stevia can help moderate calories in a diet and reduce weight. Plant-based and with zero calories, stevia is highly recommended for those trying to achieve a balanced diet by diminishing sugar intake without foregoing sweets entirely. Root causes of being overweight and obese involve factors such as prolonged sitting, physical inactivity paired with high and frequent intake of foods that are filled with refined sugar.
Helps Fight Allergies
Some people are allergic to sugar. The most common allergy when it comes to sugar is sugar intolerance. Sugar Intolerance happens because your body has trouble digesting sugar. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), “steviol glycosides aren’t reactive and are not metabolized to reactive compounds, therefore, it is unlikely that steviol glycosides under evaluation should cause by themselves allergic reactions when consumed in foods.” This is why the Stevia can help prevent allergies.
A 2012 study of a glycoside found in stevia plants suggested it may help speed up the death of cancer cells in a human breast cancer line. Another study in 2006 indicated that stevia has anti-inflammatory effects. An animal study in 2002 suggested that stevia has anti-tumor properties. Antioxidant compounds such as quercetin, kaempfrol, and other glycoside compounds found in stevia help to eliminate free radicals in the body, thus preventing the production of cancer cells. These antioxidants also prevent premature aging and cognitive malfunction.
As you further understand the different benefits of stevia, you also get one step closer to helping others to be healthy. By changing your refined sugar to Stevia powder, you can help customers live a healthy life. For food and beverage business owners here in the Philippines, consider promoting a product that helps your customers stay healthy and fit.
Want to buy stevia? Get in touch with Glorious Industrial and Development Corporation (GIDC). It is the trusted and pioneer stevia supplier in the Philippines. You can buy stevia powder and other stevia-enhanced products from GIDC Philippines. They are also known for the toll manufacturing of stevia in the Philippines. What more is there to say? Try and buy the Best Tasting Stevia at GIDC Philippines!