Are you one of the many who’ve used Stevia? Are you wanting to try it? Today we’re gonna go over all about stevia. And see if this is something you should be including in your diet. Or not.
What is stevia?
Stevia is derived from a plant. Meaning it’s more natural than artificial sweeteners. In fact, it’s closely related to the ragweed plant. And it is a sweetener approved by the FDA.
It naturally grows in more tropical climates. Originally, the leaves were used medicinally. And eventually people realized that they had a certain sweetness that tasted pretty darn good.
Stevia is used in place of sugar. But it’s much sweeter than sugar. Think 100 time sweeter. So it will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Stevia is considered safe to use, but….
There is much research on the subject. And studies don’t show harmful effects for humans. It’s a better sugar substitute.
But before you run to the store, keep one thing in mind. Stevia is safe to use in moderation. Nothing is healthy in excess.
Additionally, there are some other considerations to take when choosing this natural sweetener. And these considerations can greatly affect it’s safety for you. So it’s important to keep the following in mind.
Whole leaf stevia is considered safe –
When you purchase stevia, you’ll want to choose only whole leaf. Why? Because that version is considered safe.
See, it’s just like any other natural food. It’s better for you the closer it stays to its natural state. And so you want to stay away from a product that is heavily processed.
The more processing, the more the natural nutrients and benefits are stripped away. And the more chemicals are potentially added during processing. So think of whole leaf as ideal. And something like stevia extract as not as ideal.
Beware of added ingredients –
Many brands include other, less healthy ingredients. They may contain sugar alcohols. Or even artificial sugar substitutes.
Let’s take the example of Truvia. Truvia advertises itself as a natural sugar substitute. But the reality is that Truvia contains a multitude of ingredients, none of which are pure stevia.
First Truvia contains erythritol, a sugar alcohol of questionable health value. Second, Truvia doesn’t contain pure stevia,. In fact, it simply contains a component processed from the leaf. Finally, Truvia contains natural flavors, which could be almost anything, healthy or not.
So buyer beware. Just because a product says stevia, doesn’t mean that it’s natural. Or that there’s even that much in it. Read the label, just like anything else you would buy. And look for whole leaf and nothing else!
Stevia is good for blood sugar – at least in theory
It’s considered a better sweetener if you’re watching your blood sugar levels. And you should be mindful of maintaining good blood sugar if you’re a diabetic or want to lose weight. The good news is that there’s some indication that this sugar substitute improves blood sugar.
However, we’re all individuals. And there’s anecdotal evidence that it isn’t good for everyone. Incidentally, some people report a rise in blood sugar levels with the use of this sweetener.
So if you’re diabetic, introduce it into your diet slowly to see how your body reacts. And it you’re trying to lose weight, be mindful to keep it in moderation since you don’t know how this is affecting your blood sugar. Finally, if you’ve hit an unexplained weight loss plateau, you might want to try eliminating it altogether.
Stevia – the bottom line
The bottom line is whole leaf stevia seems safe. And it’s likely helpful for weight loss. But that’s only if you become a savvy shopper and use it mindfully.
It’s tempting when you’ve been eating lots of sweats to view this as a healthy way to overindulge. So remember that it isn’t a free ticket to binge on dessert. It’s just a way to make a healthy diet a touch more sweet.
Hmmm…this is interesting! I just started putting sugar into my coffee. My parents use Truvia but have no clue what’s in it. They believe anything they read. I’m more cautious and appreciate the real deal you shared. Time to make the switch to something more healthy. Thank you!
I think we call it something else in Australia, I cannot remember but I know my gram uses it in recipes. Good to learn a bit more about it than I have ever before.
Mr. Healthy Juicing says
Can over consumption cause diabetes? It’s interesting to learn something so closely related to sugar but more natural.
I always see snacks with Stevia but didn’t know the benefits and disadvantages to using it. I agree that we have to be careful about that the added ingredients. That is where Stevia could go left.
Honestly, I don’t really know much about artificial sweeteners. I prefer to use honey as my natural sweetener. However, it’s good to know about Stevia though as I know many diabetics.
Never knew of Stevia before. I am really impressed by its benefits. Would love to use this.
Jojo Hua says
This was so interesting. I recently moved into my own house with my fiance for the first time, and being able to exercise independence, for the first time, I was able to choose my own meals and cook what I wanted to eat. I wanted to be as healthy and natural as possible so I was doing some research into what foods are good. Of course, we’ve all been told that table sugar is bad for us, so I was looking into alternatives. I found honey and maple syrup were sweeteners (for my morning oatmeal!) but after a while, I realised that they still do spike your sugar levels when eaten. My fiance loves to drink tea every morning (British standards) and throughout the day. I was concerned because British tea is traditionally comprised of tea, table sugar and cow’s milk. Slowly, he tried drinking his tea without sugar and then started transitioning over to almond milk. At the moment, we don’t use any table sugar at all in this household! Sorry I’ve rambled on a little bit! Thank you for the information on Stevia, I might give it a go sometime!
I made a similar transition like your husband with my coffee. I used to load it up with artificial sweeteners, then switched to sugar, and now just drink it black. And I drink green tea the same way. It’s good once you get used to it. Thanks for sharing your story!
I used to use whole lead stevia regularly. Then I learned it may also act as a blood thinner so I stopped using during pregnancy as I wasn’t sure it would be 100% safe.
RoseMary Griffith says
I won’t deny my occasional sweet tooth, but since I don’t go crazy for it, I just use regular old sugar. I don’t very often add sugar to my coffee, only if it’s particularly strong. Thanks for the information about Stevia–I only knew it was natural versus all the other substitutes out there.
Molly Juarez says
Hi, Never knew of Stevia before. I am really impressed on its features. Would love to use this.Thanks for the information.
Glad this was helpful to you, Molly.