Sweet and Fit: The First Stevia Herbal Dietary Supplement in the Philippines

Sweet & Fit Logo with stevia1 - Sweet and fit stevia
27 May

It is important that we live a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid diseases and sickness brought about by the lack of proper diet and exercise. Research has proven that a healthy lifestyle can help prevent a number of diseases including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The secret to a long and healthy life is taking care of your body through how you treat it and what you feed it.

However, if it were that easy to live healthy, everybody would be doing it. The truth of the matter is that there are challenges one must face in order to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sacrifices and adjustments have to be made in many aspects of life including habits such as sleeping patterns, vices such as smoking, and diet. One of the hardest things to resist is the temptation of sweets. There is an irony that all the best tasting things are usually the worst for our bodies. The good news is that it does not always have to be the case. That is why a product such as Sweet and Fit Stevia is such a game-changer.

Sweet and Fit Stevia is the first stevia in the Philippines that was registered according to the Food and Drug Administration.  Produced by Glorious Industrial and Development Corporation (GIDC), Sweet and Fit Stevia has no cholesterol, no calories, no carbohydrates, and zero glycemic index. However, probably the most important feature of Sweet and Fit Stevia as a sugar substitute is that it has no bitter taste. Similar products often have a bitter aftertaste, but Sweet and Fit Stevia stay sweet because GIDC has spent years mastering their production process. After each leaf is carefully handpicked, they are swiftly brought to the plantation for spray drying, locking in freshness. Each batch also goes under a strict safety analysis to ensure its quality. GIDC strives to make only the best possible products for their customers, and Sweet and Fit Stevia is no exception.

So What Is Stevia?

Sweet and Fit Stevia is grown and harvested locally in the Philippines. It is a dietary supplement that contains extracts of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, an ancient perennial shrub part of the Asteraceae family that is closely related to asters and chrysanthemums. It originates from South America. Particularly, it can be found in Paraguay and Brazil. Stevia produces diterpene glycosides that are low calorie sweeteners that make it around 200 to 300 times sweeter than regular table sugar in the same concentration.

Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni’s namesake is Moises Santiago Bertoni, an Italian-Swiss botanist that is often credited with the discovery of stevia in the 1800s. However, there is evidence that stevia was used a lot sooner than that by the native Guarani Indian population. It was originally utilized for its medicinal purposes such as a treatment for burns and stomach pains, but it was also used as a contraceptive. Unsurprisingly, the stevia leaves were also chewed on as a sweet treat. More recently, the stevia leaves have been used to sweeten tea in the South American and Asian regions.

One of the most important characteristics of stevia is that it is not readily destroyed or deactivated by heat. This makes it suitable for cooking and a viable alternative to sugar in many applications. In summary, stevia is the best organic-based, all-natural sweetener with properties that could be used to substitute to sugar.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Stevia?

Sugar is used frequently in many of the foods we eat, but it has gotten a bad reputation because of its association with causing diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Though sugar does have its benefits if consumed in moderation, sometimes it just cannot be avoided. That is why sugar alternatives, both organic and artificial, have gained popularity especially in recent years with the resurgence of interest in health and fitness.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is recommended that sugar added to food and beverages should be limited to no more than 10% of the total calories. For the average adult, this is equivalent to around 200 calories or 12 teaspoons of table sugar. However, the average daily consumption is around 42 teaspoons. For context, regular soft drinks contains approximately 6 to 8 teaspoons of sugar per glass. Once you get a refill, you are already consuming more than the recommended daily amount.

This is where Sweet and Fit Stevia comes in. Sugar is used to help sweeten the taste of what we eat and drink but at the cost of additional calories. Sweet and Fit Stevia is a healthier alternative because it serves the same purpose as a sweetener but without the downsides of sugar.

Sweet and Fit Stevia has zero calories which means that it helps prevent weight-gain. Sugar is very calorie-dense, and though the body needs calories, sweets normally associated with added sugar (sugar that is not naturally occurring in fruits or dairy products) would end up replacing nutrient-dense food with empty calories.

The major fuel of the body is glucose which is broken down from carbohydrates, a combination of sugar molecules. Simple sugars such as table sugar are composed of only one or two sugar molecules and are converted to blood glucose faster than the complex carbohydrates found in whole grains and vegetables. What this means is that the simple carbohydrates that can be found in sugar ends up displacing the more nutritious complex carbohydrates which provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Luckily, Sweet and Fit Stevia has no carbohydrates which means your body can maintain the complex carbohydrates which have a lot more nutritional value than the carbohydrates associated with sugar.

Stevia is a great alternative for those with diabetes as research has shown that stevia sweeteners have no effect on blood glucose or insulin response. It has also been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Studies have also shown that stevia has the potential to help lower blood pressure and manage cholesterol.

For fitness buffs, Stevia has been used as a sugar substitute in workout drinks. In one of the many versatile applications of stevia, workout drinks help provide a boost of energy to increase athletic performance. Workout drinks also help increase endurance, letting your workout for longer. A healthy lifestyle consists of not just a balanced diet, but also regular exercise. Using stevia in workout drinks helps promote both.

Is Stevia Safe?

When you are introduced to something you know little to nothing about, you can understandably be skeptical of its authenticity and safety. This is even more true when it comes to something that we ingest and may possible affect our health. The good news with Stevia is that there is nothing to worry about.

Though studies are still being conducted as to what exactly the positive effects of stevia are, what has been undisputedly been proven already is that stevia in its purified form is completely safe. The Food and Drug Administration has certified stevia as safe for use in food, so there is no need to be concerned when you substitute it in for sugar.

Stevia is already present as an ingredient in over 5,000 food and beverage products. Such products include ice cream, yogurt, bread, gum, candy, wine, workout drinks, and soft drinks. The potential for stevia as a sweetener was truly unlocked by the Coca-Cola company in 2008 when they developed a purification process that allowed them to utilize stevia in some of their products. In December 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States categorized stevia as “Generally Recognized as Safe,” which by definition means that they have been determined to be safe through expert consensus, scientific review, or widespread use without negative complications. Shortly thereafter, stevia started being used in mainstream food production.

Nowadays, Stevia can be found as an ingredient in a multitude of products spanning different types. It is prevalent in products made specifically for those with diabetes because of its properties. In hospitals, cooking using stevia for diabetes patients and those that require a low sugar diet is already common. Stevia’s widespread acceptance and utilization is a testament to just how safe it is.

How Do You Cook With Stevia?

Sweet and Fit Stevia is extremely versatile and can be used for a multitude of recipes. It is suitable as a sugar substitute when baking cakes and pastries, for hot and cold beverages, meat and food preparations, and desserts. When combined with other ingredients, stevia has been said to be a food enhancer. It somehow brings out the true flavors of the ingredients it is mixed with.

Generally, 1 cup of Sweet and Fit Stevia is equivalent to 3-5 cups of sugar. In baking, bulking agents may need to be included when sugar plays a substantial role in that function. For example, a cake recipe that substitutes a cup of sugar with stevia may need 1/3 cup of a bulking agent. These include egg whites, fruit puree, or yogurt. If other bulking agents are already being used, just increase the amount of that ingredient in the recipe. Baking with stevia may also lead to a denser baked good since sugar helps make cakes lighter. To counter this, simply add a bit more baking powder than what is stated in the recipe. It should also be noted that Stevia does not caramelize or crystalize like sugar, so it may not be suitable for those kinds of baking applications.

Though at first, it may seem that replacing the sugar component in recipes with stevia takes a lot of experimenting and trial and error, there are already numerous resources and recipes out there that will help guide you through the transition easily. At the end of the day, just remember all the benefits you can get from substituting the sugar in your diet with stevia, and you will realize it is all worth it in the end.

Sweet and Fit Stevia Products

Sweet and Fit Stevia have a wide array of products which can be used for different applications. All of their products are 100% natural with no added sugar.

The Sweet and Fit Stevia Food supplement powder comes in a box of 30 sachets, perfect for sweetening your cup of coffee at home.

For baking enthusiasts, there is a 500g pack of Sweet and Fit Stevia which you can use as a sugar substitute. You can also use the 60g pack Stevia Leaves Powder as a sweetener in baking, cooking, and beverages. There are also Sweet and Fit branded chocolates in Healthy Milk and Dark Premium Variants.

Tea drinkers have many different options when it comes to the Sweet and Fit Stevia product line. There is a 60g pack of the Stevia Dried Tea Leaves for those looking to make their own formulation. The Sweet and Fit Stevia Tea line made with 100% Stevia Dried Leaves, nothing artificial, no chemicals, no pesticides, and no artificial coloring is available in Stevia Plain, Lemon Grass, Turmeric, and Guyabano flavors.

Apart from home-use products, there are also options targeted for small business owners wanting to provide their customers with healthier choices. If you own a coffee shop and wish to provide an alternative sweetener for your customers, there is a bundle of 500 sachets of Sweet and Fit Stevia so you can easily buy in bulk. If you bake or sell beverages with recipes you developed yourself, such as for milk tea shops, there is a 1kg pack of Sweet and Fit Stevia.

Sweet and Fit Stevia is also a key ingredient for the Glorious Blend brand of beverages. They offer different instant coffee and chocolate drink options like Red Tea Mixed Berries and Lemon Tea.

Where to buy Stevia in the Philippines?

Sweet and Fit Stevia can be purchased online at the official GIDC website and can be found 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. It is also available on popular online marketplaces.

Glorious Industrial and Development Corporation

Address:
72 Nuestra Señora St. 6th Ave.
Caloocan City
1400 Metro Manila
Philippines

Contact Number: 
(02) 360-0900