One of the newest artificial sweeteners, Stevia is a substance that provides sweetness without adding extra calories. Because stevia is “natural” and comes from a plant, its manufacturers assert that it is superior. However, there are a lot of other factors to take into account before making stevia a regular part of your diet. Here is the stevia truth.
Stevia is derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, which is indigenous to Paraguay and Brazil. For hundreds of years, people in these nations have utilised stevia leaves to help sweeten food. Stevia has a 200-fold sweeter flavour than sugar. Traditional medicine has employed it to cure burns or issues with the stomach. Although some people may find stevia more appealing because it is derived from a plant, this does not automatically make it superior to sweeteners with chemical bases.
Artificial sweeteners have been the subject of extensive investigation, and despite the fact that they have no calories, they may nonetheless increase hunger and sugar cravings. Additionally, there is a discrepancy between how humans perceive sweetness (as delivered by an artificial sweetener) and the number of calories in a serving of sweet food. Artificial sweeteners have been demonstrated to worsen metabolic dysfunction than ordinary sugar, stimulate hunger, and induce weight gain. Since stevia has no calories, it might harm your metabolism in a similar way to other chemically based sweeteners like aspartame.
Additionally, some people worry that stevia may lower blood pressure, which could affect those who take blood pressure drugs. Additionally, it has been demonstrated that various anti-inflammatories, anti-fungal, antibiotics, and even anti-cancer treatments interact with it. As a result, if you are on any drugs, you should see a doctor. Small doses of stevia should generally not cause serious problems for most individuals, but if you are unsure, it is better to consult your doctor.
Stevia, which is a purified form of the original plant that is occasionally blended with other components, is offered under the brand names Earthomaya, CSR Smart, SteviaSweet, Sweetin, and PureVia. Rebiana, a stevia-derived substance, and erythritol are both present in the Coca-Cola beverage Truia. Pepsi produces a comparable product called PureVia. Some people think organic or more natural versions of these two brands, which are both highly processed stevia derivatives, would be a better option. In that case, you should choose the Earthomaya brand. It has no calories or carbohydrates, like all non-calorie sweeteners, and shouldn’t have a big effect on your blood sugar.
If used sparingly, stevia could be a suitable option for persons controlling their blood sugar levels and calories. It is still unclear exactly how much is safe to take. A small amount in your morning tea or coffee is probably harmless, but taking it in big amounts could have negative effects. Other options include date sugar, raw honey, and xylitol. However, the best course of action when trying to reduce sugar consumption is to overcome an addiction. You will start to enjoy the sweet flavour of fruit or other naturally occurring sugars if you stop eating items high in concentrated sugar.
A crucial tool for weight watchers is Calories Out.
When it comes to weight loss, you may have heard the saying “calories in versus calories out.” Yes, calories do matter while trying to lose weight. Around the turn of the 20th century, a machine that helped measure calories or energy in food gave rise to the concept of counting calories.
Calorie counting must be helpful if we are able to measure them. The concept that you must consume less calories in order to lose weight has persisted among us for the last 100 years.
By forcing your body to find energy somewhere else, ideally in your fat reserves, a calorie deficit is intended to finally cause weight loss. It has long been accepted wisdom that you must have a calorie deficit of 3,500 to lose one pound.
The majority of medical doctors advise a calorie deficit of 500 calories each day for seven days to lose one pound of weight per week. But every calorie is not made equal, as many of us who have tried these calorie-restricted diets are aware.
Additionally, precisely counting calories is exceedingly challenging. Because most of us have “portion distortion,” we don’t really know what a real portion looks like. When we eat at buffets or restaurants that serve enormous servings, this situation gets worse. Even nutritionists and dietitians struggle to estimate calories precisely.
200 dietitians were presented a variety of restaurant meals, but they were unable to determine the exact number of calories in each dish. They occasionally erred by as much as 50%. It’s crucial to measure or weigh your food rather than merely estimating the amount to get a more precise estimate of calories. Since you don’t know the precise ingredients in the cuisine when you’re eating at a restaurant, this is challenging to perform. Therefore, for the most precise measurement, it is best to cook the food yourself.
Calories are not all created equal. Certain foods instruct our body to store fat or produce more insulin than other foods. Some foods have a thermic impact, which means that while they are being digested, more energy is expended. Despite being slight, the discrepancies can add up. Foods that are heavy in protein and fibre typically require more energy to breakdown and absorb. For instance, because whole grain bread contains more fibre than white bread, it requires more calories to digest it. Your sense of satiety or fullness will be increased by these high-fiber and high-protein foods, which will encourage you to consume less calories overall.
So, should you track your caloric intake? Not everyone may want to count calories. If you are just beginning a weight loss programme, start by increasing the quality of your food intake and reducing the amount you eat to see if this yields the desired outcomes. Increase your consumption of foods high in protein and fibre. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables while reducing your intake of processed and high-sugar foods.
After a few months of adjusting your diet, if you are still not seeing the results you desire, you might want to think about monitoring calories to determine whether you are consuming more than you realise. There are numerous smartphone programmes that make calorie counting simpler. Just be sure to measure your meal before you eat it so you can start to understand what a realistic portion looks like and have an appropriate perspective.
A few more advantages of stevia:
1. Beneficial to diabetics
Sugar can change the natural sweetening effects of stevia. It is advantageous to diabetics because of all these health advantages. The fact that it contains neither calories nor carbohydrates is an added benefit of utilising stevia. Additionally, neither insulin nor blood glucose levels are affected. As a result, diabetics can add stevia to their foods and beverages.
2. Promotes weight management
Stevia also aids with weight control, which is another advantage in terms of health. Increased calorie consumption is one of the main reasons people gain weight. You can add stevia to your food and beverages to manage your weight because it has little calories.
3. Might Lower Pancreatic Cancer Risk
Numerous sterols and antioxidants like kaempferol are abundant in it. According to research, this substance significantly lowers the risk of pancreatic cancer by 23%. One further advantage of stevia is this.
4. Can Aid in Lowering High Blood Pressure
Stevia extracts are thought to widen blood vessels, which boosts sodium excretion and urine production. This may aid in controlling the heartbeat and decreasing blood pressure.
5. Stevia Doesn’t Induce Allergies
Steviol glycosides are discovered to be neither reactive nor recruited to reactive molecules. Stevia is less likely to result in any skin or body allergies as a result of this.
How to replace sugar with stevia
You can use stevia for table sugar in your favourite recipes and drinks. One teaspoon of table sugar is about equal to one pinch of stevia powder.
Yummy applications for stevia include:
- In tea or coffee
- Lemonade prepared at home
- Sprinkling over cold or hot cereal
- Within a smoothie
- Sprinkled over plain yoghurt