Stevia is a popular sugar substitute that has gained popularity in recent years, thanks to its natural origins and purported health benefits. But what exactly is stevia, and is it really as good for you as some claim it to be?
What is Stevia?
Stevia is a plant-based sweetener that is derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant. The glycosides in the leaves are what give their signature sweetness. It is known for its intense sweetness, which is said to be up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, making it a popular alternative for those looking to reduce their sugar intake.
The Pros of Stevia
1. Zero Calories
One of the main advantages of stevia is that it contains no calories, making it a popular option for those looking to manage their weight or control their blood sugar levels.
2. Good for blood sugar & blood pressure
Stevia has been shown to have a positive impact on blood sugar levels, which is great news for those with diabetes or other blood sugar-related conditions. Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that short-term use of stevia reduced postprandial blood glucose in all patients with a sample size of 114 patients with type 2 diabetes. And it also decreased mean blood pressure in hypertensive patients without detectable adverse effects
Unlike artificial sweeteners, stevia is a natural sweetener that is derived from a plant source. This makes it a popular choice for those who prefer to avoid processed foods and chemicals.
4. Dental Health
Stevia does not promote tooth decay, unlike sugar, which can lead to cavities and other dental problems.
The Cons of Stevia
1. Bitter Taste
Some people find that stevia has a bitter aftertaste, which can be off-putting some. This is mostly due to the glycoside rebaudioside A that creates the sweetness in stevia but also activates bitter receptors on the human tongue hTAS2R4 and hTAS2R14.
While stevia is a natural sweetener, the process used to extract it can be quite complex, and some people are very particular with food processing and would prefer to avoid processed foods altogether.
3. Limited Research
Despite the many claims about the health benefits of stevia, there is still limited research available on its long-term effects on health.
4. Regulatory Issues
In some countries, such as the European Union, stevia has not been approved as a food additive and cannot be sold as a sweetener alone.
While stevia may not be the perfect sugar substitute, it does offer some clear advantages over traditional sugar and artificial sweeteners. Because stevia is zero calories, it is great to incorporate into the diet of those that want to have some healthy weight loss. R’s KOSO is a great product to be utilized for fasting and cleansing of the body to promote healthy weight loss, boost immunity as well as enhance gut health.
1. Pharmacology and toxicology of stevioside, rebaudioside a, and Steviol. (2001). Stevia, 173–190. https://doi.org/10.1201/9780203165942-16
2. Gandhi, S., Gandhi, S., Gat, Y., Gat, Y., Arya, S., Arya, S., Kumar, V., Kumar, V., Panghal, A., Panghal, A., Kumar, A., & Kumar, A. (2018). Natural sweeteners: Health benefits of Stevia. Foods and Raw Materials, 6(2), 392–402. https://doi.org/10.21603/2308-4057-2018-2-392-402
3. Ahmad, J., Khan, I., Blundell, R., Azzopardi, J., & Mahomoodally, M. F. (2020). Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni.: An updated review of its health benefits, industrial applications and safety. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 100, 177–189. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2020.04.030
4. Review for “Metabolic improvement with short‐term glucagon like peptide‐1 receptor agonist treatment does not improve cardiac diastolic dysfunction in patients type 2 diabetes: A randomized double‐blind placebo‐controlled trial”. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1111/dom.14480/v2/review3
5. Ramesh, K., Singh, V., & Megeji, N. W. (2006). Cultivation of stevia [stevia rebaudiana (Bert.) bertoni]: A comprehensive review. Advances in Agronomy, 137–177. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0065-2113(05)89003-0