Zero calorie sweeteners are all the rage in health-conscious circles.
As consumers realize how dangerous sugar can be, they’re looking to see how they maintain a diet full of sugary-tasting foods that don’t harm their metabolism and don’t raise insulin levels.
One of the most popular sugar-free sweeteners is stevia.
Stevia is popular because it’s a low-cost, healthy alternative to many of the artificial low-cal sweeteners sold on the market.
But stevia’s ability to replace sugar isn’t the only reason consumers should consider using it.
As a matter of fact, stevia has the observed power to improve health in a myriad of ways.
4 Reasons You Should Use Stevia
Stevia is a plant-based 0-calorie sweetener that comes from the stevia rebiana plant.
Stevia is 40x more sweet than sugar but does not have an affect on blood sugar levels. This is why it’s growing in popularity.
Available in powder, granules and in liquid form, stevia will replace sugar in variety of applications. This includes baking as well as in beverages.
Aside from being an adept sugar replacement, stevia also has positive effects on a few areas of human health.
Here are 4 reasons to consider adding stevia to your diet.
1 – May Help to Lower Bad Cholesterol Levels
Including stevia in your diet could help to protect your heart by helping to lower your LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is known as your body’s “bad” cholesterol. When it’s lowered it allows for the increase of your body’s “good” HDL cholesterol.
Stevia offers a therapeutic benefit for heart health as the simultaneous increase of HDL cholesterol and lowering of LDL cholesterol may create a balanced lipid profile that reduces the risk of various cardiovascular threats.
2 – Could Help Strengthen Your Bones
First off, new studies indicate too much sugar in the diet has an adverse affect on bone health.
High levels of dietary sugar have been observed to lead to the formation of acid-forming bodies in your blood. Excessive acidity leads to compromised bone structure which could one day cause the development of osteoporosis.
Stevia, on the other hand, doesn’t create acid-forming bodies, which is helpful for bone health.
In addition to not harming the bones, there are even some studies (in animals) that indicate taking stevia will help increase how much calcium is absorbed in your bones and teeth. While more studies need to be done, both of these aspects of how stevia influences how your bones form may mean you want to use stevia over any other zero-calorie sweetener.
3 – May Help Improve Symptoms Of Diabetes (Including Weight Loss)
“The most widely praised aspect of stevia for human health concerns is its ability to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. This is an ideal replacement for normal sugar for diabetics or people on carbohydrate-controlled diets because they can eat sweet foods without having to worry about diabetic complications.
Opposed to sucrose, which is what normal table sugar consists of, stevia sweetens food in a similar way as sugar, but it contains stevioside, which is a non-carbohydrate glycoside compound.
As explained above, when stevioside breaks down, the glucose-containing particles are absorbed by the bacteria in the colon, rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream and affecting glucose levels in the body.
Stevia is very low in calories and is anywhere from 40-300x sweeter than sugar, depending on the prevalence of certain extracts in the species variety. This means that people can eat foods like cakes, cookies, and candies made with stevia without worrying about gaining plenty of calories from sugars, so they won’t hurt their chances of successfully losing weight. This can also help in controlling excess sugar content in children’s diet.”
4 – Helps Improve the Appearance Of Skin
Sugar is linked to skin conditions like acne and cellulite.
Stevia may help positively affect how the skin looks.
While sugar feeds bacteria, studies show that topical application of stevia can inhibit the spread of bacterial organisms that are linked to damaged skin. Researchers have shown that stevia acts as a steroid which makes it a potential option for people who struggle with clearing their skin up from conditions like acne, eczema and dermatitis.