The number of Pinoys with diabetes has already reached an alarming level. A report suggests that 1 of 5 Filipinos are diabetic or pre-diabetic. While genetics play a role in the prevalence of this disease, there are adjustments that you can make to prevent or control its onset. One way to do that is by replacing sweets with healthy sugar alternatives.

Finding healthy substitutes to the sweets that you normally take is a step towards a healthier life. To help you on your wellness journey, here are some of the healthy alternatives that you must include in your list.


1. Plain Yoghurt
Greek yoghurt is regarded as a superfood. But if you’d opt for plain yoghurt, you’ll be treated to a range of health benefits, too. It contains beneficial bacteria that support a healthy digestive system. It is also packed with almost all the nutrients that your body needs including calcium, B vitamins, and trace minerals. If you’re craving for ice cream or sundae, you’ll find a better option in yoghurt instead. Make sure to choose plain to avoid sweeteners and artificial flavorings. You can add fruits or berries to make it sweet. Keep in the fridge for a healthy dessert that can satisfy your ice cream cravings!

2. Fruits
The Philippines as a tropical country has a wide variety of fruits to satisfy your cravings. Bananas, pineapples are among the top choices, but there are other seasonal fruits like avocadoes and mangoes that you can turn into a delicious dessert without resulting in sugar spikes.

Replace your milkshake with a mango-banana smoothie. Frozen fruits like watermelon would also be a great substitute for popsicles, too. NOTE: Fruits have sugar content too, although they have fiber content, which helps control blood sugar.

3. Raw Cacao
Do you love chocolates? Explore ways on how you can use raw cacao to satisfy your chocolate cravings.

Raw cacao does not contain a high amount of sugar. In fact, it has high levels of antioxidants that can improve insulin sensitivity, lower fasting blood sugar levels, and reduce spikes in blood sugar.

There are several ways to use raw cacao. You can use it to brew a hot cup of chocolate drink, add flavor to your regular smoothie, use as an ingredient to brownies, or serve in small portions together with nuts and dried fruits for a healthy snack.

4. Raw Honey
Honey is known for its healing properties. Aside from preventing heart disease, cancer, and digestive problems, it also helps in blood sugar regulation. Unlike sugar, honey can help increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar. With its health benefits, you can use it as a substitute for almost anything that requires sweetening! Honey can be used to sweeten coffee, tea, or cereal. It can also be added to dressings, marinades, spreads, toasts, and even other healthy snacks like nuts.

TIP: You can find pure and natural honey in the Philippines. However, you have to be careful to avoid getting fake ones. To check, take a teaspoon of honey and dip it in a glass full of water. If it is fake, it will dissolve in the water. On the other hand, pure honey will settle at the bottom because of its dense texture.


Health is wealth. With diabetes as a constant threat to the health of many Filipinos, it really matters to take a step in fighting the disease. Lifestyle modification is one of the keys to reducing your risk and that includes your food choices. There are healthy alternatives to sweets. Know your options now before it’s too late.


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Brighter Life Team

The Brighter Life Team is Sun Life's very own writing team. Sharing their own experiences, goals, and ideas, the Brighter Life Team is ready to make your day brighter.