You’ll almost certainly find an article about sugar in some way on the internet. Good old added sugar has many names these days, from glucose and evaporated cane juice to pure maple syrup and honey! Stevia, a zero-calorie “natural” sweetener, is one of the newest competitors in the sugar game. No one can argue with the fact that stevia (sucralose) and Sweet’N Low (sucralose) have been overtaken by stevia’s natural relative, stevia (saccharin). Is it healthier if it tastes like sugar? Is it also better for you? You may be surprised by the response.
A tiny shrub native to Paraguay and Brazil, Stevia is a member of the chrysanthemum family. It has been used for medicinal purposes and as a low-calorie sweetener since the beginning of time, and it has a long history of use in both of these areas. Sweeter than table sugar, it won’t spike your blood sugar, is widely available, and doesn’t leave a lingering taste in your mouth. Score! You may have come across stevia products like Truvia and Pure Via on store shelves.
Stevioside and Rebaudioside A are two sweet chemicals found in the stevia plant. Extraction, isolation, and combination of Reb A with “natural flavors” and other sugar alcohols are steps in the proprietary refining process used to make the highly refined Reb-A that goes into your coffee. In other words, from the plant all the way to the package, a lot of work is done! Reb A’s health benefits are yet to be shown, despite studies showing that it may help lower blood sugar and blood pressure.
Likely. A look at stevia’s recent past is in order. Stevia items labeled as “stevia” are either whole-leaf stevia or extracts other than Reb A, neither of which have been tested for their health benefits by the FDA.
Yes, that’s the quick answer. It’s a healthier alternative to artificial sweeteners, and it may also help improve glucose tolerance in certain people. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to utilize it sparingly. As with artificial sweeteners, long-term studies on the health impacts of stevia haven’t been done because it hasn’t been around long enough. It’s safe to state that stevia is an effective natural sugar alternative when used in moderation. Like maple syrup, raw honey, or coconut sugar, the real kind can be enjoyed in moderation. Better still, use fruit like ripe bananas and dates to sweeten your goodies!