Top Four Sugar Substitutes: Most Natural & Least Impactful on Insulin:
- Monk Fruit
- Stevia Leaf Extract
Lower sugar, less sugar, reduced added sugar…the list goes on of new ways marketers are recognizing consumer desire to reduce the amount of sugar in foods and drinks. Credit more available dietary information, the trend among Gen Z to pay more attention to ingredients and functional benefits, and the popularity of lower sugar dietary lifestyles like plant-based, paleo and ketogenic.
As a leader in an organization, should you even care what your employees eat or drink, whether on their own lunch hour or during business meetings and dinners? The short answer is yes…here’s why. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, we are eating 42 teaspoons of sugar per day when most nutritionists would suggest about 13 teaspoons would be reasonable.
- What does that all that extra sugar do to our bodies and minds?
- Multiple studies have linked sugar with serious diseases like diabetes, and more research is suggesting diseases like dementia & Alzheimer’s may have a sugar link.
- Sugar has a narcotic-like effect on the brain, which means people can suffer from symptoms like reduced cognitive ability, addictive & volatile behavior, increased tension, reduced memory and an overall more frantic personality as their blood sugar & insulin levels ride the daily rollercoaster.
- Sugar consumption over the day at these levels will also interfere with sleep & rest, which means employees are more tired and less alert. And what will they do to try and stimulate their alertness? Eat or drink sugar! And the cycle continues…
- What can we do?
- Educate. Understand and appreciate the health of the individual employee matters, and even small changes can yield big results. For example, at a townhall or corporate outing, invite a nutritionist to discuss and showcase healthy eating options and small behavior changes. Make it interactive.
- Make healthy choices available. When you order in lunch or have a business dinner, ensure there are salads, lean meats and vegetables on-hand. Have bottles of water, no sugar tea and other flavored water variations (ie, La Croix or Ozarka flavored water) available, not just cola. And if people want to add a sweetener to coffee, try Stevia Leaf Extract instead of sugar.
- Be a model and be proactive. One of my favorite examples is our “Wellness Wednesday” where we brought in healthy snacks for the staff to enjoy together during breaks and lunch. It not only showed the company was encouraging healthy living, but it was a great way for people to congregate and talk about what they were doing individually to try and improve their families’ health. And you would be shocked how many people WANT to start but just aren’t sure how.