Meet Stevia – an artificial sweetener, that is extracted & refined from Stevia rebaudiana plant, native to Brazil & Paraguay. It’s a non-caloric & non-nutritive sweetener and is a healthy alternative to regular sugar.
Steviol Glycosides are the active compounds in this natural sweetener and are 150 to 200 times more sweeter than sugar. Post regaining its status as a sweet, this naturally available artificial sweetener soared in popularity.
Popular brands like Coca-Cola with cargill jointly developed stevia based sugar substitute – Truvia and Pepsico with Pure Circle announced PureVia – a stevia plant based sugar substitute.
Fast Facts on Stevia:
- Stevia is 200 times more sweeter than sugar
- Stevia is 0-calorie artificial sweetener because human body can’t metabolize glycosides in stevia and therefore has no nutritive or calorific values.
- Up to 3 stevia plant leaves can replace 25% of the calories in a glass of soda
- Stevia, a natural sugar supplement, is approved by major regulatory authorities.
- You can grow stevia at your home along with other herbs.
Stevia Benefits – Reasons to sprinkle stevia on what you eat:
Stevia has no nutrients & thus no calories. This aspect might prove beneficial, if you are trying to shed some kilos. However, the effects of stevia may vary depending on the amount & the time when it is consumed.
If you have diabetes, stevia could be one of the best natural sweeteners that may keep your blood sugar levels in check. A little amount of stevia, will provide added taste and may significantly lower glucose levels.
A study found that adding stevia in a regular diet significantly controlled insulin & glucose levels. Adding to this, despite lesser calorie intake, stevia sprinkled food left participants full & satisfied.
According to another study, regular consumption of stevia resulted in reduction of bad cholesterol level (LDL) with no side effects and also improved good cholesterol (HDL).
Is stevia good for diabetes?
Diabetes – a disastrous epidemic that resists insulin production & requires less caloric intake. Research supports that stevia artificial sweeteners do not add excess carbohydrates or calories to the diet.
Stevia artificial sugar when consumed daily in regulated amounts has shown no adverse effects on blood glucose and insulin levels.
So, If you’re diabetic, this natural sugar stevia allows you to eat wider variety of foods without missing out on the taste.
Is stevia safe?
Stevia powder or sugar is safe to consume currently. However, experts don’t support consuming non-purified form of stevia as it may cause adverse effects.
Some claims over the side effects of stevia have been disproved. So, if you’re under any medication, consult your doctor regarding the use of this artificial sugar.
Is stevia good or bad during pregnancy?
When consumed in lesser amounts, stevia pose no harm to pregnant women. However, non processed forms of stevia like saccharine may lead to potential complications. Avoid taking heavy doses of stevia, to avoid any risk or delivery abnormalities.
How to use stevia leaves or powder?
A pinch of stevia powder equals to a teaspoon of sugar. You can sprinkle stevia powder on your favorite dishes & beverages.
Truvia & Purevia are some of the branded stevia products, which can be used for regular consumption. From coffee to tea to smoothies, stevia sugar can be mixed into any beverage to enjoy the flavor.
In addition, some stevia artificial sweeteners can be used in baking. The best part is, a half spoon of stevia artificial sugar replaces a whole teaspoon of regular sugar and also adds zero calories to your diet.
Stevia products rarely cause any side effects. It has zero calories and is a best replacement of table sugar. When consumed in regulated levels, stevia may prove beneficial for diabetics and may even reduce bad cholesterol.
Truvia & Purevia are some of the corporate labels of stevia by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo respectively. If you’ve any serious medical conditions, it’s always advised to get your doctor’s’ approval before consuming stevia artificial sweeteners.