Since 1964, February has been recognized as American Heart Month. Being the largest health threat in America, heart disease is all around us. According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease kills about 2,300 Americans each day. Although there have been many efforts to increase awareness as well as progress in the advancement of medicine, unhealthy lifestyle choices remain the highest threat to combating heart disease.
Living a more active life and removing added sugars from your diet are two of the most effective ways to promote a healthy heart, and we make those changes easy with SweetLeaf® sugar-free products.
What Added Sugars Mean for Heart Health
Recently, it has been found that when a diet is high in sugar, the risk of death by cardiovascular disease is three times more likely. Typically when we think of heart disease, we think a high intake of saturated fat is the problem. However, sugar can impact heart health just as much. When we eat refined sugars, we are causing increased stress and inflammation in our bodies which results in cardio-metabolic issues as well as raised cholesterol. Eliminating these processed ingredients that increase cholesterol levels can have a positive impact on your heart health and help you live a longer, healthier life.
Beware of Added Sugars
It is easy to replace sugars in recipes when cooking and baking, but they aren’t always as easy to recognize in processed or store bought foods. The best way to see if a product has added sugars is to read the ingredients on its nutrition label. Added sugars will often be disguised as other names, so it is important to know what to look out for so you aren’t fooled. According to the American Heart Association, a few other names for added sugars include:
- Brown sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup
- Fruit juice concentrates
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Invert sugar
- Malt sugar
- Raw sugar
Ways to Cut Down on Added Sugar
Consuming too much added sugar can hurt your health and even affect the length of your life. Cutting out certain products that are processed and high in sugars will help keep you on track for the American Heart Association’s recommended daily limit for added sugars. A few ways to do so, include not adding table sugar to things you eat or drink, removing soda from your diet, lowering the serving amount of sugary items and turning to fruit if you have a sweet tooth. Check out the infographic below to learn more about where to watch for added sugars and how to avoid them.
Stevia as a Sugar Replacement
Replacing sugars with plant-based sweeteners, like stevia or monk fruit, is an easy way to remove added sugars from your diet. Since SweetLeaf® products have a non-glycemic response, they won’t affect your blood sugar or insulin levels. Sweeten up food and drinks with any of our 16 Sweet Drops® flavors, or replace sugar in recipes with our Better Than Sugar!® baking blend that measures 1:1 with sugar. No matter what your needs are, SweetLeaf® will help keep you on the road to a healthy heart by kicking added sugars to the curb.