We all know that refined sugar is not good for you. It’s bad for your teeth, liver, heart and waistline. The inclusion of lots of refined sugar in the diet is also linked to cancer and diabetes. It may make foods and beverages taste better, but refined sugar can actually leave your health in a terrible state.
If you are thinking of replacing refined sugar with artificial sweeteners in order to stay in the pink of health, think again. Some types of artificial sweeteners are actually linked to a variety of nasty side effects and health problems. This is exactly the reason why all eyes are currently on stevia.
Are you wondering what this relatively newcomer in the world of sugar substitutes really is? Continue reading to know some of the most important things you need to know about stevia.
It’s an Herb Native to South Africa
Originally, stevia is from South Africa. However, due to the numerous benefits this saccharine herb has to offer, it is now being cultivated in so many regions on the planet. This is the reason why you can find stevia sugar substitutes practically anywhere you look — supermarkets, health food shops, convenient stores, pharmacies, etc.
You Can Grow It in Your Garden
Stevia is so easy to cultivate that you don’t have to have a green thumb just to grow it in your garden. Whenever you want to make something sweeter, all you have to do is pick a leaf, crush and add to whatever it is that you want to enjoy. Yeah, a single leaf is usually enough because of the interesting piece information which will be tackled below.
Stevia is Several Times Sweeter Than Sugar
No other artificial sweetener can come close to stevia when it comes to sweetness. That’s because it is said that it’s up to 200 times sweeter than sugar! You only need a little of this product to make just about anything right in front of you perfect for your sweet tooth, from baked treats to a cup of coffee.
It Won’t Raise Blood Sugar Levels
Unlike sugar, stevia won’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike. This is the reason why this highly popular alternative to refined sugar is ideal for individuals who are suffering from diabetes. Since it won’t raise blood sugar, stevia also won’t leave you with fatigue, lethargy and other symptoms that occur once the levels of sugar in your blood drop.
The Sweet Herb Contains Absolutely No Calories
Frustrated that you have to steer clear of a lot of sweet stuff because you want to shed off excess pounds? All you have to do is use stevia in improving the taste of just about anything that’s better when sweet. This healthy sugar alternative contains no calories that can sabotage your weight loss goals.
It Won’t Make You Eat More
Several studies have shown that people who took artificial sweeteners were at risk of gaining unwanted weight as it increased their appetite and slowed down their metabolism. However, a 2010 study reveled that stevia was nothing like some artificial sweeteners because it did not change the eating habits of the participants.
The Sugar Alternative has Other Health Benefits
For years now, stevia is actually being used as a medicinal herb. Some studies say that stevia may actually ward off metabolic syndrome, something that can lead to diabetes. Stevia can also lower the blood pressure. However, someone with already low blood pressure should avoid sweetening food and drinks with stevia.
Not All Stevia Products are Good for You
Most stevia products on the current market have undergone extensive chemical processing in order to reach their final form — powdered and bleached. When shopping, it’s a good idea to get your hands on dried stevia leaves or in tincture form. Better yet, simply grow some stevia plant in your garden for a chemical-free alternative to sugar.