Stevia Is Very Very Potent
The raw leaves of the stevia plant are approximately 40 times sweeter than sugar, and the powdered sweetener derived from them is up to 200-300 times sweeter. What this means, is that just a tiny bit of stevia will suffice for most of your sugar free recipes. The sweet leaf’s shelf life is about 5 years, so it most certainly is a worthwhile investment.
What Is The Difference Between Stevia And Sugar
Sugar and stevia are natural sweeteners that have been used around the world for centuries, though stevia as a sweetener is relatively new to the U.S.
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Exchanging stevia for sugar in your diet could help you limit your daily calorie intake and ward off diabetes, but a lack of long-term research means that little is known about its effect on things like weight management.
Stevia Benefit #: Safe For Diabetics
Many of us are naturally drawn to sweet foods, but sweets can raise your blood sugar levels. This can be problematic if youre a diabetic. If a diabetics blood sugar levels rise, it can bring on symptoms and worsen the disease.
Stevia benefits diabetics due to its effect on blood sugar. Unlike regular sugar, stevia wont raise the bodys blood sugar levels after you consume it. For this reason, a stevia sweetener can be safely consumed by someone with diabetes.
Furthermore, some research suggests that stevia may have the effect of actually lowering insulin and glucose levels. In a 2010 study, stevia reduced the insulin and blood sugar levels of the participants.
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Coconut Sugar Vs Stevia: Which Sweetener Is Really The Healthier Choice
Coconut sugar and stevia are among the two most popular sugar substitutes used in most diet plans. They have been praised by most people using them, especially weight watchers who want to shed extra pounds. However, this has not come without controversies. Some people believe that coconut sugar is healthier and better compared to stevia. It might explain the unending coconut sugar vs. stevia tug of war. So, which is better off between these two sweeteners? To answer this, let us evaluate each of these sugar substitutes nutritional profile, health benefits, and risks.
Is Stevia An Artificial Sweetener Or A Natural Sweetener
Some sugar substitutes are made entirely in a lab. Both aspartame and sucralose fall within this category. These sugar substitutes are typically called artificial sweeteners.
On the other end of the spectrum, youll find natural sweeteners. These sweeteners are often made from ingredients found in nature.
So, what is stevia best described as: artificial or natural?
Stevia sweeteners come from a plant. Because its plant-derived and not engineered in a lab, some people consider stevia a natural sweetener.
Keep in mind, though, that even though stevia sweeteners are derived from natural sources, the end result is heavily processed. As weve mentioned, stevia must be extensively refined to create a product suitable for consumption.
Making the matter even more complicated is the fact that some stevia sweeteners contain ingredients that are broadly labeled as natural flavors. Ingredients that fall under this umbrella are often highly processed.
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Stevia Is Great For Diabetics
The reason why sugar is so bad for diabetics, is that it contains large amounts of carbohydrates. In order to illustrate which food types are fit for diabetics and which ones aren’t, a system called “the glycemic index” was developed.
We will spare you the details of this system, but what it boils down to is that food types with a glycemic index value of less than 50 are considered relatively safe for diabetics the lower the number, the better. To give you an idea: apples have a GI of 39. French fries have a GI of 95. Tabletop sugar has a GI of 80. Stevia has a GI of 0 . This makes the sweet leaf ideal for keeping your diabetes symptoms at bay without having to compromise any sweetness in your food.
Stevia Has No Calories
Refined sugar makes you fat, there’s no denying it. Sucrose contains a lot of calories and there are so many sugary products nowadays that it’s become almost a full-time chore to avoid them. As a consequence, 34% of adults in America are obese and for our children who are being exposed to sugar from a very young age – that figure is 17%.
These alarming rates are three times higher than they were thirty years ago. Luckily, the stevia sweetener harbors no calories whatsoever. While it isn’t by any means a weight loss product, the benefits of stevia and its huge potential in this area are obvious.
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Artificial Sweeteners May Also Contribute To Weight Gain
Obesity and being overweight is one of the top predictors for diabetes. While artificial sweeteners are FDA-approved , it doesnt mean theyre healthy.
Thats because artificial sweeteners:
- may lead to cravings, overeating and weight gain
- alter gut bacteria which is important for weight management
For people with diabetes looking to manage their weight or sugar intake, artificial sweeteners may not be a good substitute.
Which Is Healthier Stevia Or Splenda
On a closer look, you realize that one is superior to the other in the stevia vs Splenda supremacy battle. In this case, stevia is widely accepted over Splenda due to the fact that it is naturally produced.
Research shows that stevia contains zero calories and is herbal. It works well with Erythritol, which is a sugar alcohol.
Stevia is 400 times sweeter than normal sugar, while Splenda is 6000 times sweeter than normal sugar.
In stevia vs Splenda, stevia comes up as a better option for diabetes because it has no synthetic sweeteners like those found in Splenda.
Again, stevia is often used with liquids beverages such as tea, coffee salads, salad dressings, soups and sauces.
If you love sparkling drinks free of calories, they contain a safe amount of stevia, while other drinks have stevia with lemon and lime flavours.
Stevia can be stuffed in tea and other beverages for a few minutes and removes in its dried form. These dried leaves can also be ground into powder.
You can also enjoy stevias sweetness by boiling the leaves into syrup. It is also great for baking in proper amounts.
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Bottom Line On Stevia
When you’re used to sugar, stevia’s taste may take a bit of getting used to. It contains two sweet components stevioside and rebaudioside A. Try to find products based on the latter, because stevioside can have a bitter aftertaste that not everyone is fond of. But when you add everything up, the benefits of stevia vastly outweigh the temptations of sugar. You owe it to yourself to give the sweet leaf a try!
Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.
Stevia Side Effects: What Harms It Provides To Human Body
What is Stevia? Does it contain any side effects? The answer is Yes. It does contain some side effects which can be acute to chronic depending upon the intaking. Stevia is a zero-nutritive or non-calorie sweetener created by steviol glycosides. These are supplements that are collected by the way of extraction and then refined from the leaves of the stevia rebaudiana plant.
Individuals who are on their weight loss journey or have high sugar levels utilize this supplement for sweetening things. But as there are good and bad on both sides of the coins, hence there come stevia side effects, which highly impact the human body. So the article here gives a detailed account of what can be the negative effects of stevia? Read all the information carefully and then plan your intaking accordingly.
Is Stevia Bad for You?
Stevia is a natural sweetener that came out of the stevia plant named Stevia Rebudiana. It contains zero calories but is 200 times sugary in comparison to table sugar. There are many benefits like help in weight loss, lower sugar level, manages cholesterol level, etc. But there are a few concerns when in taking the stevia.
The United States Food and Drug Administration has said that only highly purified stevia glycosides are considered safe for human consumption. Crude stevia extracts, stevia leaves, etc. are not approved by the FDA, and hence consuming these may lead to severe health issues like:
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Triple Zero Stevia Sugar
Triple Zero Stevia Sugar is a natural sweetener produced using a combination of pure Stevia and Erythritol, a naturally occurring nectar found in some fruits
It has no calories or additives, making it a suitable alternative to sugar for cooking and baking foods where sucrose is an ingredient. It can also be used to sweeten coffee , tea , and other hot or cold drinks , as well as sugar-free cereals and other foods.
There’s Evidence That Stevia Causes Gene Mutationsand That There May Be Safer Alternatives To Use
John Pezzuto, PhD, afood and drug researcher and dean of Long Island University College of Pharmacy was first introduced to stevia in the late ’80sbefore it was approved as a food additive by the Food and Drug Administration. “I was working with a team that wanted to use natural sweeteners and one of these was stevia,” he says. “My job was to test the products to see if they were mutagenic, to give an idea about safety.”
Pezzuto says what he found surprised him: Stevia interacted with DNA, mutating the genes. So how did it get FDA approved? Despite the mutating genes, there have been no studies showing that stevia causes cancer or any other health problems when tested on rats. “Mutating genes don’t necessarily cause cancer, but as far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t necessarily eat something that when there are alternatives,” he explains.
There is something the two experts agree on, however: More long-term testing needs to be done to determine whether stevia’s really the star sweetener it’s often made out to be. “Stevia has been used in South America for 1,500 years without any side effects, but we don’t really know unless something is strictly studied,” LeVeque says. “There haven’t been any studies yet that cause me to be concerned, but I’m always cognizant and looking for more.”
This post was originally published June 28, 2017. Updated on September 4, 2019.
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Splenda Is An Artificial Sweetener Stevia Is All Natural
As previously mentioned, Splenda is the result of mad science. In other words, sucralose is a synthetic compound, so you wont find it in nature. Theres nothing inherently wrong with thisbut because stevia is a naturally-derived, plant-based sweetener that does a similar job, it may be a more suitable choice for those who prefer to go organic.
Erythritol A Sugar Alcohol With Fewer Side Effects Than Other Options
Erythritol is also a sugar alcohol sweetener, but unlike the others just mentioned, it has less than 1 calorie per gram, notes the International Food Information Council Foundation, and doesnt have a big effect on blood sugar levels, per the American Diabetes Association. Its an ingredient in the stevia-derived sweetener Truvia and is marketed under the brand-name Swerve. Swerve measures cup-for-cup like sugar, and you can use it like table sugar, or in cooking and baking recipes that call for sugar.
If other sugar alcohol sweeteners give you tummy trouble, this may be a better option for you. It is less likely to produce the gas, bloating, and diarrhea that happen from fermentation by gut bacteria because only about 10 percent of the erythritol you consume enters the colon, per past research. The rest leaves the body through your urine.
Theres no ADI for erythritol, but the FDA hasn’t questioned notices submitted by erythritol makers that the sweetener is generally recognized as safe.
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It Helps Lower The Amount Of Harmful Cholesterol In The Body
There are two types of cholesterol, LDL, which is low-density lipoprotein, and HDL, which is high-density lipoprotein. LDL is the harmful cholesterol that needs to be flushed out of the body since its usually associated with heart problems. HDL, on the other hand, is essential to the body. It detoxifies and increases the functionality of the organs and systems in the body.
Stevia has been shown to drastically reduce the amount of LDL in the body while increasing the amount of HDL in the body.
Stevia A Natural Sweetener Option
Steviol glycosides are sweeteners derived from the leaf of the stevia plant, which is native to Central and South America. Truvia and Pure Via, both brands of stevia-based sweetener, are calorie-free, and stevia is often used as a sweetener in foods and beverages. According to the 2019 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, published in January 2019 in Diabetes Care, nonnutritive sweeteners, including stevia, have little to no impact on blood sugar. The FDA has approved the use of certain stevia extracts, which it has generally recognized as safe .
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center notes that people have reported side effects, like gastrointestinal symptoms, after eating high amounts of stevia. But to date, there is no solid scientific research to prove these claims.
The FDA recommends an ADI of 4 mg or less of Truvia per kilogram of body weight per day. A 132-lb individual would need to consume nine tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach that limit.
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Safe Sugar Substitutes For Diabetics
Monk fruit extract
Monk fruit naturally contains mogrosides, a type of antioxidant responsible for the sweet taste of this treat. Researchers have found a way to extract this antioxidant to produce a sugar-free sweetener that does not contain calories and does not affect blood sugar levels.
To make stevia sweetener, manufacturers collect the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant and process them into fine crystals. Stevia is low in calories and retains its flavor when heated, making it an ideal sweetener for baking or hot drinks.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol derived from the fermentation of cornstarch or wheat. It has very few calories and has no impact on blood sugar. While erythritol is less likely than others to do so, sugar alcohols can upset your stomach. Start with small amounts and discontinue use if it causes any discomfort. With that said, it is safe even in relatively large quantities.
Did you know that you can find the most natural sweetener in the aisle? Fresh fruit can be a great addition to your recipes, as fruits contain fiber that helps slow down sugar absorption and thus reduce the impact on your blood sugar levels. Try using mashed bananas, unsweetened applesauce or date paste in your next recipe.
“Most people with diabetes do not need to reduce the amount of fruit they eat,” says Dr. Ho. “However, dried fruits and fruit juices can be high in sugar and should therefore be better limited or avoided.”
Quick Answer: Is Stevia Extract Better Than Sugar
Is it healthier than sugar? Stevia has fewer calories than sugar and may play a role in weight management by helping you eat fewer calories. Because its free of calories and carbs, its a great sugar alternative for people on low-calorie or low-carb diets.Is it healthier than sugar? Stevia has fewer calories than sugar and may play a role in weight management by helping you eat fewer calories. Because its free of calories and carbs, its a great sugar alternative for people on low-calorie or low-carb diets.
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Fresh Or Frozen Fruit
Coming in at the number one way to sweeten your food and drinks is by using fresh or frozen fruit.
Fruit doesnt have any empty calories, which makes it an ideal sweetener, Taylor says.
Try sweetening oatmeal by mixing in banana or applesauce, adding berries to plain Greek yogurt and sweetening smoothies with frozen fruit. Another option is to add natural flavorings like vanilla or almond extract, cocoa powder and spices like cinnamon and clove.
I grew up with a diet high in sugar. When I cut down on added sugars and sweeteners, I started enjoying the natural sweetness of fresh berries and melon, Taylor says. Thats when my sugar cravings started to fade.
Is It Healthier Than Sugar
Stevia has fewer calories than sugar and may play a role in weight management by helping you eat fewer calories.
Because its free of calories and carbs, its a great sugar alternative for people on low-calorie or low-carb diets.
Replacing sugar with stevia also reduces the Glycemic Index of foods, meaning that they affect blood sugar levels to a lesser extent (
Because sugar has been linked to many negative health effects, replacing sugar with stevia may be advisable. Still, the long-term effects of frequently consuming stevia are unknown.
Though using small amounts of this zero-calorie sweetener may be a healthy way to decrease sugar intake, its best to use less sugar and fewer sugar substitutes overall and simply opt for natural sources of sweetness, such as fruits, whenever possible.
Stevia has a lower GI than table sugar, and using it may be a healthy way to reduce your calorie and added sugar intakes. Added sugars should be limited to less than 10% of your daily calories.
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