Is Stevia Really A Healthy Substitute for Sugar?
Stevia is one of the world’s oldest sweeteners, which has been used for centuries with no reports of harmful side effects. First cultivated in South America over 1500 years ago. They used it as a sweet treat and flavor food.
In its purest form, stevia resembles alfalfa in taste, smell, and fluffy consistency. It is about 300 times sweeter than cane sugar.
The reasons for using stevia
Stevia is a great natural sugar substitute for several reasons. It has 0 calories and 0 impact on blood sugar. This makes it ideal for people managing weight or with diabetes.
Stevia is very sweet, so a little goes a long way to satisfy your sweet tooth and keeps you feeling satisfied.
The risks of stevia
Research data compiled in the safety evaluation released by the World Health Organization found no adverse effects. A 2011 review found that the use of stevia sweeteners as replacements for sugar might benefit people with diabetes, children, and those wishing to lower their intake of calories.
A more recent study presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, proposed a possible link between nonnutritive sweeteners, including stevia, and gut bacteria.
There are no risks associated with natural stevia at present other than an overly sweet and slight licorice taste if people add too much of it to their food.
However, now that the food industry is trying to turn stevia into a cash crop, there might be some risks if you’re not careful. Since its fluffy green appearance and texture makes it unsuitable for a lot of uses, such as putting in tea or coffee or baking it with, it is processed to make it look like table sugar.
Whenever possible, look for organic stevia and the statement that it is 100% pure on the label. Read all labels carefully, especially if you are shopping online and compare prices. Pure organic stevia will be more expensive. Also skip the little packets. They are much more expensive.
Add Stevia to your diet in small quantities to see if you like the taste and to make sure you don’t overdo it when adding it to your favorite drinks and recipes. Then see what a difference it makes to your health.
The research data for this article was sourced from Wikipedia, return to this site for updates. Studies on diabetes and cholesterol were sourced from the Department of Food and Nutrition, India and the Clinical Obesity Division of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.
What about other sugars? Agave, this could be the answer?