Sugarcane and sugar beet have long been the primary sources of sugar. Despite having sweetening characteristics, it is not advisable for diabetics to consume the prescribed sugars. Stevia-derived sugar is seen as an useful alternate supply for these folks.
Common names for Stevia Rebaudiana include “sweet leaf,” “honey leaf,” “sugar leaf,” and “stevia.” This herbal plant has an obscene capacity to sweeten food without adding calories.
Its leaves are 300 times sweeter than sucrose and 250 times sweeter than table sugar. By taking the place of artificial sweeteners like saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose, etc., it has emerged as a potential substitute source.
In addition to stevioside, rebaudiside-A, and six other sweetening chemicals with insulin-balancing capabilities, stevia leaves also offer functional and sensory qualities. Stevioside, in contrast to many other low-calorie artificial sweeteners, is stable at high temperatures (100 C). In addition, it has no calories, is not fermentable, and does not become dark when cooked, according to Prateek Jain, founder of Arihant Resources.
Why would you choose to start your day with a chemical sweetener when you have the choice of a natural sweetener, asks Dr. Rajeev Chawla, Senior Diabetologist, North Delhi Diabetes Center? As a natural plant, stevia is safe and advised for usage in diabetics because it is also healthful.
“Stevia is attractive as a natural sweetener to persons on carbohydrate-controlled diets since it has a minor effect on blood glucose,” Chawla continued.
Additionally, stevia’s anti-microbial property makes it possible for it to prevent the growth of specific bacteria and other infectious organisms, which helps to explain why it has long been used to heal sores, wounds, and gum disease. Stevia sweetener can be used as a digestive aid, to improve dental care, to reduce weight and hypertension, to boost energy and mental activity, and to care for the skin. Stevia is also helpful in reducing the frequency of colds and the flu.
However, stevia is advantageous for those who have diabetes and are health aware, and it will eventually take over as a significant source of high-potency sweetener for the expanding natural food market.
Stevia, a natural alternative sweetener made from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant species, is a healthier sugar substitute. Stevia is a great option if you’ve been seeking for a sugar alternative that will sweeten everything you put it to while not raising your blood sugar levels. Unlike other sweeteners, this one is 100% natural and has no calories or carbs.
Stevia has no calories and is 200–300 times sweeter than sugar, thus it only needs to be used in very little amounts. Many businesses produce a variety of foods, drinks, and baked goods using stevia in place of sugar. While not all baked goods need sugar to caramelise, some do, and sugar is frequently a crucial element in the weight and volume of the baked good.
If you have any questions, If the usage of this sugar substitute has no calories or carbs is safe for diabetics, then the answer is yes. Despite the fact that diabetics are encouraged to eliminate all sweets and sugar from their diets, stevia does not count in this regard. Nevertheless, it is sweet. It enhances glucose tolerance and prevents an unnecessary surge in blood glucose levels.
Stevia benefits for diabetics
This is true if you’ve heard of it previously. Since stevia has no calories, it makes lowering blood glucose levels easier than artificial sweeteners, which raise blood glucose levels. It decreases blood glucose levels, improves glucose tolerance, and invariably raises blood glucose levels.
Furthermore, research has indicated that stevia stimulates the release of glucagon in persons with type 2 diabetes, which lowers blood sugar levels. The hormone glucagon, which controls the body’s blood glucose levels, typically performs poorly in patients with diabetes.
Where does stevia come from?
Stevia sweeteners are made from Bertoni plant leaves. South America, Brazil, and Paraguay are the original home of the Stevia rebaudenia plant species. It has been used to sweeten food, tea, and medicine in these nations for a very long period. As dietary supplements, its leaves and unprocessed extracts have also been employed. Steviol glycosides, which are extracted from the stevia plant’s leaves to make stevia sweeteners, are regarded as crude extracts. After being filtered to remove all bitterness characteristics, the crude extract is used.
Steviol, along with other substances like stevioside, steviobioside, and numerous variations of rebaudioside, including rebaudioside A, C, D, E, and F, are present in all steviol glycosides. The most prevalent is rebaudioside A, also known as Reb-A, and many stevia products instead contain Reb-A, a highly purified leaf extract. For instance, the raw forms of Truvia, Pure Via, SweetLeaf, and Stevia, as well as Reb-A products, are available as liquids, powders, and granules.
Additionally, some Reb-A products typically combine stevia with sugar alcohols such as erythritol, dextrose, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, and xylitol. For instance, stevia in the raw is a combination of stevia and dextrose, whereas Truvia is a combination of stevia and erythritol.
Comparison of stevia and sugar
Consuming excessive amounts of sugar is unhealthy for everyone, not just those who have diabetes. It can lead to blood sugar increases, weight gain, and ineffective diet management. For this reason, a natural sweetener with low calories and carbs, such as stevia, is frequently recommended to patients who love sweet foods. Nutritional comparison of stevia and table sugar.
One teaspoon of table sugar, or 4.2 grammes, is as follows:
- 16 calories
- 0g protein
- Fat: 0g
- 4g carbs
- 0g of fibre
- 4g sugars
In contrast, stevia contains the following in each packet:
- 0 calories
- 0 g of protein
- Fat: 0 g
- 1 g of carbs
- 0 g of fibre
- 1 g of sugars
There is no reason you shouldn’t go from table sugar to stevia because it is the better alternative and also sweeter, as this will be to your health’s advantage.