STEVIA. THE HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVE.
There has been a lot of hoopla the past few years about whether or not Stevia is a good substitute for sugar. Based upon medical research on Stevia and my own personal experience the answer is undoubtedly yes. I realize that eliminating sugar from ones diet completely is an unrealistic expectation for most people. There are just too many foods that contain sugar in one form or another. However, when provided with a conscious choice I suggest you choose the healthier alternative; Stevia. I have been a Stevia convert for several years now. Let me explain why I like Stevia so much.
Stevia comes from a small shrub that grows primarily in western North America and tropical regions in South America and is a genus of the Sunflower, Chrysanthemum family. Stevia extracts (called Steviosides) can be up to 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar with minimal, if that, effect on blood glucose. It is natural, safe, calorie free, carbohydrate free and curbs that sweet craving. No other sugar substitute that I know of does that safely.
In my opinion having a little sugar in your diet, or moderate consumption, is not such a big deal. On the flipside too much sugar in sufficiently large or excessive quantities in any form can promote weight gain. The best way to offset the possibility of gaining weight is by using a sugar substitute such as Stevia. You won't feel deprived because Stevia curbs the sugar urge.
The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry concluded that Stevia can be a rich source of antioxidants. Stevia has also been shown to aid in managing diabetes. The key to managing the epidemic of diabetes is in the control of blood sugar, or glucose levels. Controlling what you put into your body has a significant effect in regulating blood sugar levels. The latest research shows that carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels in the same way. Stevia is carbohydrate free.
It is not a sin to crave sweets. We all get that urge for something sweet once in a while. A practical solution is to use a calorie-free, carbohydrate-free sugar substitute. Stevia does not affect blood pressure or increase the levels of blood sugar. In fact a key benefit of Stevia is that it normalizes blood glucose levels.
If I haven't convinced you that Stevia is an awesome substitute for sugar yet I suggest you go out and try some Stevia for yourself!
By Michael George
Michael George is an internationally recognized author, lifestyle coach and fitness expert transforming the health and fitness field with his innovative training philosophies and motivational voice.
The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Chem. 2007 Nov 27 Links:
-Oxidative DNA Damage Preventive Activity and Antioxidant Potential of Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) Bertoni, a Natural Sweetener.
-Ghanta S, Banerjee A, Poddar A, Chattopadhyay S.
Curi, R; Alvarez, M; Bazotte, R B; Botion, L M; Godoy, J L Bracht, AFrom Abstract: The effect of aqueous extracts of Stevia rebaudiana leaves on a glucose tolerance test... was also studied to eliminate possible stress effects.
Brazilian journal of medical and biological research: Revista brasileira de pesquisas médicas e biológicas / Sociedade Brasileira de Biofísica 19, No. 6 1986, pp. 771-4.