Stevia is a sugar substitute that comes from a plant named Stevia rebaudiana. Stevia is known as “Meethi Tulsi” in Hindi. It is a natural sweetener, unlike other artificial sweeteners that are made in labs. The sweet-tasting compounds known as steviol glycosides occur naturally in the stevia plant. Stevia is a non-nutritive sweetener which means it has no calories. As a sugar and artificial sweetener replacement, Stevia has several health benefits. Keep reading to know them in detail.
Helpful In Diabetes:
Stevia’s health benefits are aplenty but one of the most prominent ones is that it helps in managing blood sugar level. Foods with a Glycemic Index less than 50 are considered safe for people with diabetes. The regular table sugar has a GI of 65, and 100 being the highest. On the other hand, stevia contains nothing that causes any effect on blood sugar level, and thus has a GI of 0. According to 2018 American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, the use of non-nutritive sweeteners like stevia potentially reduces the overall calorie and carbohydrate intake which is helpful in managing diabetes.
According to a study on people with type-2 diabetes, it was found that consuming stevia alongside a meal led to a decrease in the blood sugar level as compared to people who ate other sweeteners.
Another study was carried out on children with type-1 diabetes who might be at a risk of exceeding the acceptable daily intake (ADI) because of the need to manage a diet lower in carbohydrates and sugars. The researchers concluded that there is little chance for children with type-1 diabetes to cross the ADI for stevia sweeteners.
Helps In Weight Management:
Stevia being a natural sugar substitute is beneficial for people looking to lose weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle as it is a non-nutritive sweetener. This means it has little to no calories unlike other sugar substitutes.
Sugar is one of the leading causes of obesity and weight gain. But, when you switch to stevia, you can enjoy the sweetness using this natural sweetener in your favorite sweet foods and beverages without the harmful effects of sugar.
Potentially Helps In Treating Endocrine Diseases:
According to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, it was found that stevia has the potential to treat several endocrine disorders, including hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. It was also noted that glycosides and aqueous extracts from the leaves can also serve as the natural treatment for diseases associated with metabolic syndrome.
Helps Manage Cholesterol:
High bad cholesterol may lead to several health issues by blocking proper blood circulation through arteries. This can lead to a heart attack. So it is quite essential to manage cholesterol.
According to a research published in 2009, the participants consumed 20 milliliters of stevia extract daily for one month. It was found that stevia benefits in managing cholesterol. The researchers also concluded that the consumption of stevia helped in lowering the bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides levels. It also increased the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
Helps Cut Down Added Sugar Consumption in Children:
Stevia is beneficial for children as it can help in lowering the added sugar consumption. According to American Heart Association, the consumption of added sugar by children can increase the risk of heart disease by increasing the cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which also leads to weight gain. So when sugar is replaced with stevia could help minimize these health issues and support the overall health.
Stevia can be used as a table sugar replacement in your day-to-day lives. It is suitable for both cooking and baking purposes. Stevia is available in different varieties, including powder, liquid, and dried leaves. You can choose the perfect variant as per your usage.
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