Is Stevia Better than Sugar as a Sweetener?
Stevia has been in style for a while now. More and more people are choosing this sweetener over sugar. But we don’t always know why, what the advantages of one over the other are, or which one is best for us to eat.
Today, we’re going to find out if stevia is a better sweetener than sugar, and if it isn’t, we’ll tell you about its pros and cons to clear up any confusion. If you eat it or are thinking about adding it to your diet, this is interesting to you.
Stevia or Sugar?
what is Stevia?
Stevia comes from a family of plants with the same name. These plants are native to countries like Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. But the word “stevia” refers to 240 different species, but when we talk about the one used as a sweetener, we only need to think about Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni. You can buy it in sheets, liquid, or powder.
Stevia’s main use is as a natural sweetener since it contains a number of chemicals that are tens of times sweeter than the well-known sugar sucrose.
More than half of stevia is made up of carbs, 16% is fiber, 11% is protein, and the rest is made up of different minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, as well as phytochemicals and glycosides. There are a lot of stevioside, which give the plant a bitter taste like licorice, and rebaudioside A and M, which make the plant taste sweet.
Also, you need to remember that the plant itself is a natural sweetener, but the product made from it is not. The plant goes through a process to get steviol glycosides, which is a chemical compound that is taken from the plant. In 2011, the European Union approved the use of steviol glycosides, which is also called E-960.
Also, most brands add other sweeteners to this stevia sweetener, like erythritol, so the consumer isn’t always getting something as natural as they think. Check the label of the product you want to buy to see how much of each ingredient it has.
Benefits of Stevia
When used as a sweetener, the main benefit of stevia is that it has no glycemic index, which is not the case for sugar. In short, if you use it to sweeten food, it will add a sweet taste but no calories.
This is the biggest advantage it has over sugar, which adults should only eat 25 grams of per day, and which most people easily eat more than the recommended amount, which makes obesity problems worse.
People who are overweight, have diabetes or have high blood pressure often use stevia to take advantage of its antibacterial, vasodilator, and diuretic properties. But it’s also important to know that, as of now, there aren’t enough scientific studies to prove that it’s good for you and that it’s best to take it under certain circumstances to improve our health.
In fact, different parts of the world have different rules about how the stevia plant can be sold and used. In the US, stevia leaves and extracts can be sold as a dietary supplement, but they are not allowed to be used as a sweetener. Only one of its chemicals, rebiana or rebaudioside A, has been approved as a drug.
When taken by mouth, stevia can cause side effects like feeling dizzy, sick, full, and numb. In the same way, stevia shouldn’t be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding because there aren’t enough studies and reliable information about it.
In the same way, people who are allergic to ragweed or other plants in the Asteraceae/Compositae family should not eat it. If you are allergic to or have a reaction when you touch plants like chrysanthemums, daisies, or marigolds, you should also avoid stevia because it could cause the same symptoms.
Stevia and Medicines
Before adding stevia to your diet, you should always talk to your doctor. This is because there may be interactions with some medications. Since it is a plant that makes you pee more, it can make medicines less effective. For people with diabetes, it’s important to remember that stevia could lower blood sugar levels, and the drop may be too much. If you take medicine for high blood pressure, it’s the same.
In short, it is safe to use as a sweetener, but keep in mind that the recommended daily amount is 4 milligrams per kilo of body weight. So, an adult who weighs 70 kilograms can take 280 milligrams per day. But its effects on health are still being studied, and no one knows what will happen to the body in the long run if it is used. In the future, we will have to pay attention to what science says.
If you feel interested
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