What is stevia?
Natriche Immune Kids gummies are sweetened with stevia instead of sugar. What is stevia exactly and why is it better than sugar? We explain that in this blog.
What is stevia?
Stevia is a non-nutritious or low-calorie sweetener made from steviol glycosides. These are compounds extracted and refined from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Many people choose to replace sugar with stevia to reduce their calorie consumption. Stevia leaves are about 200 times sweeter than traditional white sugar and people have been using them for centuries as a sweetener and herbal supplement. The main reasons why people replace sugar with stevia is because it contains no calories and is a natural sweetener.
Why do we use stevia instead of sugar?
- Stevia is 100% natural
As the potentially harmful effects of artificial sweeteners become clearer, people turn to natural alternatives. A sweetener that has made a big splash in health circles is stevia. Stevia is a natural sweetener extracted from the green leaves of Stevia rebaudiana. Stevia is 100% natural and contains no artificial ingredients.
- Stevia tastes great
Stevia is 200 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar. A bit is enough with this tasty alternative!
- Stevia contains no calories
The average American consumes nearly 130 pounds of sugar each year, more than 3 times the recommended amount, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). In its draft guidelines on sugar intake for adults and children, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently stated: “There is increasing concern that consumption of free sugars, in particular in the form of sugar-sweetened drinks, can lead to … an increase in total calorie intake, leading to an unhealthy diet, weight gain and increased risk of non-communicable diseases. ”Stevia contains no calories, fat or cholesterol, making the sweetener a great alternative for people on the line and health-conscious consumers.
- Stevia can help reduce the craving for sugar
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, president of the Institute for Functional Medicine and founder of the UltraWellness Center in Massachusetts, “sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine.” Studies suggest that artificial sweeteners can also be addictive. In one study, rats were allowed to choose between water sweetened with saccharin and intravenous cocaine. “The vast majority of the animals (94%) preferred the sweet taste of saccharin” (1). Replacing sugar and artificial sweeteners with stevia can help reduce the craving for sugar.
- Stevia can lower blood pressure
High blood pressure is an important risk factor for many serious conditions such as a heart attack, heart conditions and strokes. “Available research is promising for the use of stevia in hypertension,” said Catherine Ulbricht, senior pharmacist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and co-founder of Natural Standard Research Collaboration. In a 2-year study, oral stevioside significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to placebo in Chinese patients with mild hypertension (2). The study also noted that patients receiving oral stevioside reported improved quality of life.
- Stevia may have a positive effect on blood sugar levels
Studies show that stevia can lower blood sugar levels and increase glucose tolerance by reducing insulin resistance and increasing insulin production (3,4). The American Diabetes Association reports that “Stevia-based sweeteners have minimal calories and carbohydrates, so they do not have a significant effect on your blood glucose levels. Stevia, along with other sweeteners with a very low calorie content, can be useful for people with diabetes to curb sugar cravings without disrupting blood glucose control. ”
- Replacement of sugar with Stevia can mean fewer visits to the dentist
You’ve heard it before; sugar is bad for your teeth. But does stevia have the same harmful effects on your teeth? Studies suggest not. In one study, sixty rat pups were divided into four groups and table sugar, stevioside, rebaudioside A or none at all (both reb-A and stevioside were extracted from the stevia rebaudiana plant), “It was concluded that neither stevioside nor rebaudioside A is cariogenic (causes tooth decay) under the circumstances of this study, “said researchers (5).
- Lenoir M, Serre F, Cantin L, Ahmed SH (2007) Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward. PLoS ONE 2(8): e698. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000698
- Chan P, Tomlinson B, Chen YJ, et al. A double-blind placebo-controlled study of the effectiveness and tolerability of oral stevioside in human hypertension. Br J Clin Pharmacol . 2000;50:215-220.
- Anton SD, Martin CK, Han H, et al. Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Appetite. 2010;55(1):37–43.
- Antihyperglycemic effects of stevioside in type 2 diabetic subjects. Gregersen S, Jeppesen PB, Holst JJ, Hermansen K. Metabolism. 2004 Jan; 53 (1): 73-76. PMID: 14681845 [PubMed; indexed for MEDLINE]
- Das S., A.K. Das, R.A. Murphy, I.C. Punwani, M.P. Nasution and A.D. Kinghorn (1992): Evaluation of the Cariogenic Potential of the Intense Natural Sweeteners Stevioside and Rebaudioside A. Caries Res. 26, 363-366.