Is the sweetener Stevia healthy and helpful?
STEVIA – A famous healthy alternative to sugar is stevia made from a plant of the same name and here are some details about this.
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that has caloric and sweet-tasting compounds. It is naturally present in fruits, vegetables, and honey. Commercially-produced sugar is the most dangerous type. Overconsumption of sugar may lead to too many calories causing weight gain, obesity, and other diseases. It increases the risk of certain conditions such as heart disease, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes.
But there’s a healthier substitute or approach to making our drink sweet and that is stevia. This is made from the leaves of the plant of the same name and is 100 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar. It has no carbohydrates, calories, or artificial ingredients.
The sweetener is derived by extracting steviol glycosides from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) plant.
According to a post from Food Insight, this sweetener is definitely safe to consume or Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) have both branded this as “safe for consumption within the acceptable daily intake (ADI) level”.
The ADI of this sweetener is four milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day. Healthy children may also consume this just like healthy adults.
A 2010 study showed that consuming this significantly lowered insulin and glucose levels. A 2009 study also suggested that it helped manage cholesterol when participants consumed 20 milliliters of this daily for one month.
Here are the ways you can use this:
- in coffee or tea
- in homemade lemonade
- sprinkled on hot or cold cereal
- in a smoothie
- sprinkled on unsweetened yogurt
What can you say about this? Let us know!