Is Stevia Safe as a Sugar Alternative? | by Homerun Nievera | I am a diabetic. I have been diagnosed as one almost 10 years ago as of this writing. I have come to wean myself out of sweets by training my brain to avoid it. I have since been used to black coffee as I have also shunned any creamer. But when I got introduced to stevia-based coffee a year ago, I also did my own digging. Here’s what I have found. Read on and check it out for yourself.
What Is Stevia?
Unlike other zero-calorie sweeteners—sucralose, aspartame, saccharin—stevia isn’t artificial. It’s a plant named stevia rebaudiana (sometimes referred to as candy leaf or sweet leaf) thus making it a natural sweetener. Stevia leaves are about 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, which suggests you would like little or no to sweeten a food or drink.
The stevia utilized in food products is really stevia leaf extract, explains Lisa Lefferts, M.S.P.H, senior scientist for the middle for Science within the Public Interest (CSPI).
So is it any better for you than sugar? First, take note that sugar is in only about everything. According to Statista, the global consumption of sugar is projected to reach about 177.8 million metric tons by 2021. That’s a huge number!
Americans consume almost 152 pounds of sugar per annum and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming no quite 10 percent of calories from sugar. That’s about 13 teaspoons per day. the present average is 42 teaspoons.
How much Stevia consumption is safe?
It seems safe to mention that when consumed in reasonable amounts, stevia could also be an exceptional natural plant-based sugar substitute.
Lefferts says that small amounts of sugar are perfectly safe. But if your appetite gets the simplest of you, a sugar alternative could also be an honest solution. She says that Stevia leaf extract is safer than many other sugar substitutes, especially aspartame and sucralose Lefferts says. Research has linked sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin with cancers.
Lefferts agrees that eating whole fruit, despite its natural sugar content, is more nutritious and should even assist you to satisfy your appetite. She also adds that sugar substitutes are often an honest thanks to crop, but suggests choosing options that are considered safe, including stevia leaf extract.
Is it safe for Diabetics?
You may find stevia helpful if you’ve got diabetes — but take care about which sort to settle on.
Some research indicates that stevia could also be a secure and effective alternative to sugar, thanks to helping it manage blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
In fact, one small study in 12 people with this condition showed that consuming this sweetener alongside a meal led to greater decreases in blood glucose levels compared to an impact group given an equal amount of corn starch.
Similarly, an 8-week study in rats with diabetes noted that stevia extract decreased levels of blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C — a marker of long-term blood glucose control — by over 5% compared to rats fed an impact diet.
Keep in mind that certain stevia blends may contain other sorts of sweeteners — including dextrose and maltodextrin — which will increase blood glucose levels.
Using these products carefully or choosing pure stevia extract can help maintain normal blood glucose levels if you’ve got diabetes.
Quick uses of Stevia in food
You can use stevia like you would table sugar.
- You can sweeten any food or drink with it.
- You can also cook with it. Each brand has its own sugar-to-stevia ratio, so check the package before you measure out sweetener. It can cause a bitter aftertaste if you use too much.
- Baking with stevia can be tricky. Because it doesn’t have the same chemical properties as sugar, it won’t give cakes, cookies, and bread the right texture. Try experimenting with proportions or extra ingredients. For example, adding whipped egg whites to a cake batter or extra baking powder and baking soda to a quick bread dough will help them rise.
Homer Nievera is a digital transformation and digital evangelist. He is also the founder and publisher of Negosentro and World Executives Digest. He has interests in several tech and digital businesses as director and chief strategist.
Homerun is a digital transformation expert, digital evangelist, content marketer, and lifelong learning advocate. Homerun is the “He Said” in the popular Facebook Page He Said, She Said. Email at email@example.com.