Stevia health benefits: positive effects of a sweetener

4 August 2019

Food

Stevia is a sugar alternative that is seen everywhere nowadays, and you may be wondering ‘is stevia good or bad for health’?

While there are health benefits to using stevia, like any sugar alternative it is important to use it sparingly and like anything you consume, it is crucial to listen to your body.

What is stevia?

Stevia, also known as Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, is a plant originally native to Brazil and Paraguay. It is used as a healthy sugar alternative and sweetener.

There are three types of stevia including: stevia extracts, green leaf stevia, and altered stevia blends.

In many grocery stores, you’ll find either find a pure extract or altered stevia blend in powdered or liquid form, both 200-400x sweeter than sugar.

3 health benefits of stevia sweetener

As we said before, stevia may sit well with some people and not with others, and it’s important to pay attention to how this herb reacts with your body.

Stevia and antioxidant abilities

Stevia contains many antioxidant compounds, which protect your cells against free radicals. A specific antioxidant, kaempferol, is found in stevia, which can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by 23%.

Stevia may aid in glucose regulation

Glucose regulation is important for everyone, and especially for those who live with diabetes. It has been shown through studies that stevia triggered reductions in blood glucose and glucagon response after a meal in subjects with type 2 diabetes.

Stevia and weight loss aid

Stevia can be considered ‘zero calorie’ because the calorie/serving count is so low. When one replaces sugar, an addicting and caloric ingredient, with stevia, the calorie count of a meal or drink can be significantly reduced. Sugar is one of the main drivers for weight gain for a lot of people, and it is hidden in many food and drinks that ‘should not’ naturally call for sugar as an included ingredient. Replacing sugar with stevia can help to break the sugar dependence by using a healthier alternative, offering a substantial aid in weight loss. The act of replacing stevia vs. sugar intake also encourages people to look at the sugar levels in foods and drinks that they consume, which can encourage them to make a healthier choice just by seeing the sugar count.

At the end of the day, if you are going to use stevia as a sugar alternative, find the pure stevia products and tune into your body to see how your system does with it. And remember, a little goes a long way!

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