Get the Facts – Healthy Alternatives to Sugar

Photo: JIS Photographer

The Heart Foundation of Jamaica is encouraging healthy living among Jamaicans through its “Are you drinking yourself sick?” campaign.

The campaign is supported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and seeks to educate Jamaicans about the harmful effects of excessive sugar consumption.

Excessive sugar consumption can lead to obesity and related illnesses such as diabetes; heart, kidney, and liver diseases, and some cancers.

Used in moderation, healthy alternatives to sugar can contribute to nutrient intake.

Sugar has little to no nutritional value. Healthier sweeteners include:

• Raw honey – This well-known sweetener contains vitamin A, as well as vitamins of the B complex (B1 – thiamine, B2 – riboflavin, and B3 – niacin)
• Agave nectar – An uncommon sugar alternative, the liquid of the agave plant provides Vitamins A, C, E, and K.
• Dates – These are a natural source of fibre, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and K, and the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc.
• Fruit purées/juices – A range of fruits, containing various essential nutrients may be used as sweeteners.

In addition, the MOH, through programmes such as “Jamaica Moves”, recommends replacing most sweetened drinks with water as the best practice for decreasing sugar consumption and the prevalence of non-communicable diseases.

For more information, please contact the:

Ministry of Health
10-16 Grenada Way
Kingston 5
Telephone: 876-633-8172, 876-633-7771, 876-633-8172

Heart Foundation of Jamaica
28 Beechwood Ave
Kingston 5
Telephone: 876-926-4378, 876-926-6492, 876-619-7007-8

JIS Social