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benefits and risks of stevia

Benefits and Risks of Stevia for Health

Stevia, the all-natural sweetener, has taken the market by storm as a zero-calorie and healthy sugar substitute. It's 200 times sweeter than sugar but doesn't cause blood sugar spikes. Stevia has been around since ancient times, and people are hooked on it for its sweet taste and health benefits. But is there a catch? As with all things, there are some potential risks to consider.

So, let’s explore the benefits and risks of using stevia as a sugar substitute, so you can make an informed decision about whether it's right for you.

What is Stevia?

Stevia is a sweet-tasting plant that is used as a natural sugar substitute and flavouring ingredient. It's famous for its health benefits and is regarded as a healthy alternative to sugar. Unlike most sugar substitutes, Stevia does not add any calories, making it a unique food ingredient. It's made from steviol glycosides which is a stevia leaf extract and purified from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, which is native to South America. Stevia is about 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, but it's a zero-calorie sweetener.

Stevia has been in use for hundreds of years as a natural sweetener and flavouring ingredient, and today, it's being used globally to reduce energy and added sugar content in foods and beverages. Besides sweetening foods, Stevia has many health benefits. It can aid in weight management and diabetes control, among other benefits. However, some people may find that it has a bitter or metallic taste. Despite its drawbacks, Stevia is an excellent alternative for people who want to reduce their calorie intake or manage their sugar intake. Overall, Stevia is a fantastic natural sweetener with numerous health benefits.

Benefits of Stevia for Health:

In recent years, it has gained popularity as a healthier alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners due to its numerous health benefits. So, is Stevia healthy? Absolutely! Here are some of the stevia benefits:

  • Good for Diabetics: Stevia is an excellent sweetener for people with diabetes. It has natural sweetening properties that can be enhanced by the addition of sugar. It does not contain calories or carbohydrates, which is an added benefit of using stevia. Moreover, it has no effect on insulin or blood glucose levels which makes it a safe and healthy alternative for diabetics.

  • Helps in Weight Control: Stevia helps you to maintain a healthy weight. Unlike sugar, which is high in calories, stevia contains very few calories. By using stevia to sweeten your food and drinks, you can control your calorie intake and maintain a healthy weight.

  • Helps in reducing the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: Stevia contains numerous sterols and antioxidants like kaempferol. Kaempferol has been found to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by 23%. This makes stevia a great addition to your diet if you want to reduce your risk of cancer.

  • Help in reducing High Blood Pressure: Stevia extracts are believed to dilate blood vessels, which increases the excretion of sodium and the output of urine. This helps to lower blood pressure and regulate the heartbeat which makes it a great natural remedy for people with high blood pressure.

  • Does not cause Allergies: Stevia is a safe sweetener that does not cause allergies. Steviol glycosides, the active compounds in stevia, are non-reactive and are not mobilized to reactive compounds. As a result, there is less chance of stevia causing skin or body allergies.

  • Good for Children's Diet: Children often consume sugary meals and snacks that contribute to obesity and other health problems. Stevia is a safe and healthy alternative which can satisfy their sweet tooth without raising their blood sugar levels. Parents can use stevia to sweeten drinks and snacks for their children and help them maintain a healthy diet.

  • May improve Cholesterol Levels: Some studies have suggested that stevia helps to improve cholesterol levels, although more research is needed to confirm this.

  • Antioxidant Properties: Stevia contains antioxidant compounds that help to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, which contributes to the development of diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

  • May help with Digestion: Stevia has been shown to have a prebiotic effect, which means it helps to promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and improve digestion.

  • Safe for Pregnant Women: Stevia is considered safe for pregnant women and can be used as a sweetener during pregnancy without any adverse effects.

So, Stevia is a healthy and natural sweetener that can be used to replace sugar and artificial sweeteners in a variety of foods and drinks.

Risks of Stevia for Health:

Some of the potential risks of using stevia and their impact on health.

  • Kidney Damage: Stevia is known to increase the rate at which the body flushes out water and electrolytes in the form of urine, which is the primary role of the kidney. Long-term consumption of stevia damages the kidney and causes various kidney-related problems.

  • Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Some stevia products have added sugar alcohols that lead to common health problems like nausea, vomiting, bloating, and cramping. Another stevia sugar side effect is indigestion and a low metabolic rate, which can lead to some health hazards.

  • Hypoglycaemia: Hypoglycaemia is a condition characterized by low blood sugar levels. Increased consumption of stevia causes hypoglycaemia, which leads to dizziness, confusion, and even loss of consciousness.

  • Low Blood Pressure: While stevia is known to help reduce high blood pressure, regular consumption lowers blood pressure to dangerous levels. People with chronic blood pressure should consult their doctor before consuming stevia.

  • Endocrine Disruption: Stevia is a type of steroid that interferes with hormones that are controlled by the endocrine system. This system is responsible for regulating various bodily functions, including metabolism, growth, and development. The endocrine disruption caused by stevia leads to hormonal imbalances, which can have a severe impact on health.

To sum up, Stevia may have little risks when consumed excessively, but it has a greater number of health benefits. Thus, incorporating stevia into your diet can be an excellent way to reduce your overall sugar intake without sacrificing taste. So why not give it a try? Our Organic Stevia powder is a perfect option to add natural sweetness to your drinks and foods while keeping you healthy. Make a switch to Stevia today and enjoy the sweetness of life!

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