What is Stevia?
One of the many popular sweeteners today is Stevia. It has been recognized as a safe sweetener for people with diabetes, following the good benefits it has recorded from different studies. Stevia is considered a natural sweetener, which is a great substitute because of its low number of calories.
Stevia is known as a native shrub to the North and South America. The said sweetener has been utilized as a top ingredient in many popular brands, such as Pure Via, Truvia, and Sweet Leaf.
As mentioned, Stevia is a natural sweetener. However, it has a bitter aftertaste because of its compounds known as glycosides. The level of sweetness that Stevia has makes it popular and very famous, even for people with diabetes.
The popularity of Stevia among diabetic people is the highlighted interest of knowing if the said sweetener is good for diabetes. According to research, its dried leaf powder is highly capable of lowering the blood glucose levels of people with diabetes. The usage of this natural component convinces everyone that even if diabetes can be caused by high sugar, a sweetener can reduce risk of diabetes complication.
Benefits of Stevia for Diabetes
Aside from the mention of lower sugar levels of Stevia as a benefit, there are other benefits that make Stevia good for people who have diabetes.
- Less episodes of hunger.
- Minimized triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
- The usage of antioxidants in fighting free radicals.
- Can also be used in baking, from which the sweetness is measured.
- Stevia is suitable in different beverages, making it widely consumable.
- Protection against kidney damage and liver complications induced by diabetes.
- Because of the presence of calories in this sweetener, there is minimal consumption of food with high carbohydrates.
Given the benefits stated above, you can say that that there a lot of reasons why Stevia is good for diabetes. However, both AHA (American Heart Association) and the American Diabetes Association have stated that the sweetener is only safe if it is used appropriately and never abused by those diagnosed with diabetes. The ingredient should not be used a lot on a single basis.
Side Effects of Stevia for People with Diabetes
The FDA or Food and Drug Administration states that Stevia is generally safe for people with diabetes. However, if the sweetener is already mixed with other additives which is then produced with a new product, that is where side effects can happen. The belief that Stevia is safe becomes a hearsay, which doesn’t prove its credibility.
One of the many products associated with Stevia is sugar alcohol. Its side effects are as follows:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bloating or belching
- Severe stomach pain
- Episodes of stomach cramping
- Other health complications involving the digestive system
Some of these adverse reactions do not occur in people with diabetes. However, it is still necessary to know the cautions and health measures if you are diagnosed with the condition. Taking Stevia moderately helps in maintaining the blood sugar levels of the body.
Aside from that, monitoring the blood glucose levels regularly plays a significant role in the stability of the blood status. Increasing sugar intake will only make the condition worse, so avoid consuming food that are high in calories or carbohydrates. Also, a regular visit to the physician is a big help to know how your condition improves and how you can better recover from the disease.
Stevia is a sugar substitute for those people who wish to sweeten up their food products, such as baking, to minimize the amount of sugar they can take due to the use of this sweetener. With or without diabetes, people should use this sweetener minimally to avoid acquiring hostile side effects.