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Stevia: A Natural Sweetener And Its 7 Health Benefits

Source: Medical News Today

Having the pleasant taste characteristic of sugar or honey; no salt, sour, bitter. The sweet taste is liked by everyone, which they wish to have. I too have sweet tooth and I like to eat sweets daily. Sweet is the basic taste sensation of sweetness. So what you add in your sweet dish when you prepare it? Sugar, brown sugar, jaggery, organic jaggery, honey, sugar syrup, etc.? My mouth is watering while writing down the sweet talk.

Sweet is used in each and every festival, and without it, no festival will be more fun. But do you think it’s good to eat sweets daily? 

What all you are thinking? A lot many questions and thoughts must be running in your mind right. Actually, because of eating sweets, we can land up with many health problems which are as follows.

Health Problems Due To Sugar

Health Problems Due To Sugar
Source: Business Insider
  • Increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
  • Causes of glucose spike, fatigue, swing, and headaches
  • Affects your immunity
  • Can lead to chromium deficiency
  • Can accelerate aging
  • Causes tooth decay
  • Affects cognition in children
  • Increases stress

Sugar takes the place of important nutrients, it lowers the essential nutrients, especially vitamin B12, A, C. After reading this, you might be shocked to know the negative effects of sugar intake. So beware and do take note while eating sugar or sweet items.

But hey, don’t get upset. I have good news for all sweet eaters! I have an option for making your dish sweet by adding a low-calorie sweetener. Yes, don’t get worried and tense of eating a sweetener cause I am going to put light on artificial sweetener, Stevia.

About Stevia

Source: Everyday Health

Stevia is a natural sweetener and sugar substitute derived from the leaves and the plant species, Stevia rebaudiana, native to Brazil and Paraguay. The active compounds are Steviol Glycosides, which have 250 to 300 times the sweetness of sugar. It is heat stable, ph stable, and not fermentable.

The body does not metabolize the glycosides in stevia so it contains “zero calories”, like some artificial sweeteners. Its taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar and some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like after taste at high concentrations.

The legal status of stevia as a food additive or dietary supplement varies from country to country.

In the USA, high purity stevia glycoside extracts have been generally recognized as safe (GRAS) since 2008 and are allowed in food products, but stevia leaf and crude extracts do not have. GRAS or Food And Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in food.

Mechanism

Glycosides are molecules that contain glucose residues bound to other non-sugar substances called aglycones (molecules with other sugars are polysaccharides).

Experiments deduce that the tongue’s taste receptors react to the glycosides and transduce the sweet taste and the lingering bitter aftertaste by direct activation of sweet and bitter receptors.

Steviol cannot be further digested in the digestive tract and is taken up into the bloodstream, metabolized by the liver to steviol glucuronide, and excreted in the urine.

Safety And Regulation

A 2011 review found that the use of stevia sweetener as replacements of sugar might benefit people with diabetes, children, and those wishing to lower their intake of calories.

In 2010, review studies found no health concerns with it or its sweetening extracts. WHO’s Joint Experts Committee on Food Additives has approved daily intake of steviol glycoside of up to 4 mg/kg of body weight. Stevia is a 100% natural, zero-calorie sweetener with proven health benefits.

7 Health Benefits Of Stevia

7 Health Benefits Of Stevia
Source: Live Science
  • Stevia is a natural, zero-calorie, and zero glycemic index sugar substitute.
  • It contains phytonutrients, trace elements, minerals, vitamins, and volatile oils which give stevia its nutritional and medicinal properties.
  • It can be beneficial in the treatment of many health conditions.
  • Stevia is believed to have anti glycemic, weight loss, antihypertensive, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-microbial properties
  • Unlike other sweeteners, stevia can be used in baking and cooking; its lesser amount is ample.
  • Stevia stabilizes blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity, may even promote insulin production by promoting the pancreas health, and discourage glucose. absorption in the blood.
  • Stevia is a low carb and low sugar alternative.

So guys be sweet, have sweet and enjoy sweet by adding stevia.

Read Also: Let’s Learn Fancy Sugar Names Used In Foods

What do you think?

Newbie

Written by Dt. Rashmi Buddhadev

Clinical Dietician,
Obesity Expert,
Keto Expert,
Working as Kitchen Dietician
at DEW Medicare and Trinity Hospital working wd Dr. Shailesh Pitale Sir Endocrinologist n Dr. Sudhir Tomey Gastroenterologists

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