Are you deciding whether or not to use stevia or other sugar replacements? It seems like most of the artificial sweeteners on the market are bad for you. Many doctors and dietitians believe they contribute to health problems in the long run.
Are stevia sweeteners bad for you? The answer might surprise you. This article will discuss everything you need to know about red sweeteners.
Is Stevia Natural or Unnatural?
Stevia sweeteners are derived from the stevia plant, a natural, high-intensity sweetener. Therefore, stevia is considered a natural sweetener.
The main components of stevia are steviol glycosides, extracted from the stevia leaf, refined, and mixed in with bulking ingredients (in some cases sugar alcohols and other cereals) to make a sweetener product.
Therefore, dependent on which stevia product is being utilized, stevia may appear to be either natural or unnatural. Generally, most stevia sweetener products are considered safe yet are still not void of safety concerns and side effects.
Benefits of Stevia Sweeteners
Stevia sweeteners are natural, calorie-free sweeteners made from the stevia plant.
They offer a healthy alternative to table sugar and artificial sweeteners, as they are minimally processed and don’t contain any of the added stevia sugars and chemicals found in other sweeteners. The benefits of stevia sweeteners are far-reaching.
Studies have shown they can help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and even help lower cholesterol.
Furthermore, these low carb sweeteners have a low glycemic index. This makes them ideal for those with diabetes or other blood sugar issues. Overall, stevia sweeteners are safe for most people, with no known side effects.
However, if you have certain health conditions, it’s best to consult your doctor before using natural or otherwise sweeteners.
Risks of Stevia Sweeteners
Overall, research on the risks of stevia sweeteners is still limited. Some studies suggest that consuming too much of specific components of stevia, such as glycosides, can pose potential health risks.
Additionally, some of the components isolated from stevia plant leaves can resemble hormones, which could interfere with hormonal balance. Moreover, since stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar, it is possible to overconsume to achieve the desired level of sweetness.
Too much stevia can cause stomach discomfort, nausea, and headaches due to its laxative effect because stevia can increase the frequency and ease of bowel movements. As a result, it is important to use stevia in moderation.
Individuals should also be aware of potential interactions with medication, as some components of stevia have been found to affect the absorption of specific drugs.
Different Types of Stevia Sweeteners
In the current world, everyone is obsessed with health and nutrition. This notion has led to an increase in different types of stevia sweeteners as an alternative to traditional ones.
However, the question of whether stevia sweeteners are bad for you remains up for debate. There are several different stevia sweeteners, including:
- crude stevia leaves
- crude stevia extracts
- concentrated steviol glycosides
- stevia blends
Crude stevia leaves and extracts are much closer to natural stevia and, thus, are much more highly recommended for health purposes. Concentrated steviol glycosides come from stevia extract in a much sweeter form and can be used as a sugar substitute.
Lastly, stevia blends steviol glycosides and other artificial sweeteners such as:
If consumed in moderation, stevia sweeteners may be a positive health development and decrease sugar intake levels, but only if consumed in moderation.
Potential Interactions With Stevia Sweeteners
Stevia sweeteners are generally considered safe, and consumption is not associated with many adverse effects. However, potential interactions with stevia sweeteners should still be taken into consideration.
In stevia sweeteners, some people may experience sensitivity to certain compounds, such as:
- rebaudioside A
These compounds may also interact with certain medications, such as those used to treat:
- high blood pressure
Some studies suggest that higher doses of stevia may affect blood sugar levels and even interfere with blood clotting. While research is ongoing, it’s best to ask your doctor if you should use stevia sweeteners if you take medications for these medical conditions.
Recommended Amount of Stevia Sweeteners
Are Stevia Sweeteners Bad for You? Numerous studies suggest that stevia sweeteners are safe to consume in moderation.
While current research indicates that large amounts of the sweetener are safe to consume, it is recommended that you consume no more than 4 mg of stevioside per kilogram of body weight per day.
Pregnant women should limit their consumption to no more than 4 mg per kilogram of body weight per day. In comparison, breastfeeding women should limit their intake to no more than 3 mg per kg of body weight per day.
It is important to be aware of the amount of stevia sweetener you are consuming, as consuming too much may result in adverse reactions, such as abdominal pain and bloating.
Learn What Stevia Sweeteners Can Do for You
In conclusion, Stevia sweeteners seem to be a great alternative to sugar, as they don’t appear to lead to any negative side effects. However, further studies are still needed to determine their long-term effects.
For now, if you want to minimize your sugar intake, try incorporating stevia sweeteners into your diet and see if they work for you.
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