Is stevia healthy? There is only one answer to this question: “Yes!” The subtropical plant has become extremely popular today as an alternative to normal commercial sugar. But what should we know about Stevia and what are the benefits to our health of this natural sweetener? All the answers and much more can be found in this article!
What is stevia?
The plant Stevia rebaudiana is native to South America, where it has been used for centuries in medicine and as a sweetener. As mentioned above, Stevia has recently become very popular in Europe, which is actually very easy to explain – this sweetener is 100% natural, much healthier than sugar and contains no calories at all! For these reasons, Stevia is especially popular with diabetics and people who care about your figure. Of course, it is not compulsory to belong to these two groups to use this sweetener – today the harmful properties of sugar are widely known, so more and more people are choosing to give it away by finding a better alternative. Below is also a comparison between sugar and stevia, which clearly shows the benefits of the South American plant. If you are already interested in the topic, read on!
Stevia healthy: What are the key benefits of the South American plant?
The beneficial properties of stevia are numerous – it is suitable for diabetics, does not cause decay and the steviol glycosides are about 300 times sweeter than the normal refined sugar. But that is not all: since Stevia contains practically no calories, it is not metabolized in the body and this fact brings with it certain advantages. In the change to sugar this sweetener does not influence the calorie balance – in this way there is no danger of overweight and all associated diseases, such as cardiovascular disorders and joint diseases. Stevia also does not increase blood sugar levels – some medical research has even shown that it helps to reduce it by stimulating the production of insulin in the body! So, consuming Stevia could be of benefit to diabetics. Even if you are not completely convinced of its health benefits, you can try this natural sweetener – it will not hurt you in any case. For example, you could add stevia to your smoothie, yoghurt, tea, coffee, and other beverages. It is also an excellent sugar substitute for baking. If you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, try out your favorite Stevia recipes – the result may surprise you.
Stevia healthy: Are there any disadvantages?
Stevia leaves or extracts (liquid or as tablets, powders and capsules) can be bought in the big supermarkets, drug stores and also over the internet. Stevia is healthy, but it also has some drawbacks that you should also know about it: these include the bitter taste with a hint of licorice that arises after consuming stevia products and the difficulty in dosing – in principle, 2-3 drops of liquid stevia Extract a spoonful of sugar, but when baking the exact quantity is difficult to determine. Unfortunately, most foods and beverages containing stevia also contain refined sugar, so you should always take a look at the nutritional chart as you take action on your figure. It is also important that all forms of stevia (capsules, tablets, etc.) that you can find in the market are not 100% natural (the only exception being the stevia leaves). Stevia extract is obtained after complicated chemical processes in which only the sweet-tasting steviol glycosides are isolated from the plant.
Other healthy sugar substitute forms
There are also other healthy forms of sugar replacement, which you can find a lot of information on the net: for example, rice and maple syrup, inulin, birch sugar (also called xylitol), cane sugar, honey, yacon syrup, coconut blossom sugar, erythritol and sukrin. Most of these sweeteners are low in calories and gluten free, so they are also suitable for diabetics and people with gluten allergy.