Stevia and your health

Many people try to stay away from table sugar as it can add extra calories and result in certain health concerns. But today, we have other substances that can replace sugar, and honey and agave are not the only ones. 

Stevia is a nonnutritive sweetener that has almost no calories and tastes way sweeter than your normal table sugar. Stevia sweeteners are used by food and beverages companies worldwide. Even though stevia is gaining a lot of popularity, many have raised concerns about its safety. How can stevia and your health affect each other? Is stevia a good alternative to sugar? Let’s find that out. 

How is stevia produced?

Stevia sweetener is produced by the stevia or Stevia Rebaudiana plant native to south and north America. This plant has been used for food and medicines for hundreds of years. Stevia is produced by harvesting the leaves of the stevia plant and purifying them. The leaves are first dried then steep in hot water. Then steviol glycosides, a sweetener compound, is extracted by a multistep process. Stevia is often blended with some additives such as dextrose or maltodextrin.

Stevia and health benefits:

Diabetes: As discussed stevia doesn’t add to your calorie and carbs intake. It also does not affect blood sugar and insulin levels. This allows people with diabetes to enjoy a variety of food. 

Weight control: According to Fitness Coach Aditya Shrivastava, one of the main reasons for obesity is increased intake of fat and added sugar. Since stevia contains no or very few sugars, this can be helpful for diet watchers. 

Blood pressure: Studies suggest that consuming stevia may lower blood pressure and regulate heartbeat. But more research is required to fully understand this benefit of stevia.   

How does stevia differ from sugar?

Unlike sugar that is produced in labs, stevia is produced naturally. Stevia is around 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar and contains zero calories. It contains less than 5 grams of carbs per serving. Artificial sugar is considered to induce metabolic changes that may lead to diabetes, obesity and heart disease. But stevia tends to have a positive effect on blood glucose and insulin levels. 

Is stevia safe?

Stevia and your health have been at the centre of discussion lately. But many studies have marked stevia as safe and free of side effects. It was recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) in 2008. But consuming whole stevia leaves and crude oil is not approved as safe by the FDA. With certain foods, stevia may cause side effects on people with allergies and sensitivities. People with diabetes can consume stevia without any negative effects on their health. 

Are there any side effects of stevia? 

Stevia may show some side effects in people with a sensitivity or allergy. The potential side effects may include bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Some believe that stevia can alter the balance of gut bacteria. But there is not enough evidence to fully understand this side effect. 

How much stevia is safe to consume? 

The FDA considers stevia safe even if consumed each day for a lifetime. However, it’s best to consume it in moderation. The acceptable daily intake for stevia is 4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. 

 About AnExtraRep

AnExtraRep is a body transformation and fitness agency headed by Aditya Shrivastava. Aditya is into bodybuilding for the last 19 years and is known for his practical and solid knowledge. 

He is also a certified fitness trainer with I.S.S.A. 

Over the last 9 years, his company has been Transforming over 2000 people every year from body to mindset about fitness.

Aditya helps those who want to stay fit. Not only looking in great shape but also disease-free with a happier lifestyle.

Read More about AnExtraRep Body Transformation Program at AnExtraRep’s 12 Week Transformation Program

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Categorized as Health

By Finn

Finn Oliver Edwards: Finn, a pediatric nurse, shares child health tips, parenting advice, and preventive measures for common childhood illnesses.