Do you ever wonder whether there is any truth to the rumors circulating about stevia? Well, I certainly did which prompted me to do a little research to set the record straight.
First, let’s take a look at what stevia really is .Stevia is a natural plant-based sweetener that is derived from a shrub native to Paraguay. It is sold in different forms, typically in liquid or powdered form, and can be found in most grocery stores on the same aisle as sugar and artificial sweeteners. You may be wondering what the big deal is about stevia. After all, doesn’t sugar come in a natural form? Isn’t sugar ultimately derived from a plant? What about cane sugar or raw sugar? We’ve all heard that the more natural forms of sugar are better than white sugar. Better, yes. But that doesn’t mean they are good for you.
Sugar, in any form, has been found to spike blood sugar in humans. This is bad news, especially for diabetics. But for those of us who aren’t diabetic and think we can handle a little blood sugar spike from time to time, think again. We may be doing our bodies an injustice in the long run by using sugar as our sweetener of choice. Ever notice how you feel tired or sluggish about 30 minutes after drinking that mocha latte and eating that honey bun for breakfast? Not only does sugar contribute to this energy crash, but it can also contribute to a “brain crash”. Many of us find it difficult to concentrate after consuming sugar. With continued consumption of sugar hidden in our cereals, juices and processed foods, those energy and brain crashes become a continuous feeling of fatigue and fogginess ultimately leading to weight gain and less productive workdays.
Now that we’ve covered some of the sugar dangers, let’s get back to the so-called stevia dangers. According to multiple studies and research on the effects of stevia consumption, there has been no conclusive evidence of dangers resulting from the plant-based sweetener. In fact, many large soda companies are now selling drinks sweetened with stevia and the Food and Drug Administration is taking measures to govern its use in commercial foods. While there has been no significant proof of stevia dangers, we have seen significant evidence of some health benefits from its consumption. Stevia has shown no signs of spiking blood sugar in humans (good news for our diabetic friends) and it has been shown to aid in digestion.
In conclusion, I believe it’s safe to say that stevia is a better choice when it comes to adding a sweetener to our food and drinks. If we can eliminate an ingredient that leads to fatigue and weight gain and supplement with an ingredient that helps stabilize our blood sugar and aid in digestion, why not make the switch? As for those nasty rumors about stevia dangers, perhaps a moneymaking giant called the sugar industry is feeling a little threatened these days.