Over the last couple of decades, we had the notion that diabetics need to deprive themselves of all forms of sugar and sweets to keep their levels in check. Now we know that having small and frequent meals and replacing refined sugar with artificial sweeteners helps in controlling blood sugar. While there is wide range of commercially available artificial sweeteners in the market, Stevia, a herbal sweetener is being recommended by doctors for its immense health benefits.
Stevia is not a healthy sugar alternative for just diabetics but for all health conscious people who want to maintain a healthy weight and avoid those excess calories.
So, What Is Stevia?
Stevia rebaudiana is a little known plant that makes a logical substitute for traditional refined sugar. The whole leaf from stevia is about 30 times sweeter than sugar.But Stevia itself does not contain any carbohydrates, so it does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels.
Here Are Some Facts That You Should Know:
-Stevia is a very potent sweetener (almost 300 times sweeter than sugar).
-The sweetness of 1 teaspoon of the liquid is equivalent to a cup of sugar.
-The commercially available Stevia-extract is a zero calorie sweetener.
-It is a rich source of essential vitamins (A, B & C) and minerals (iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium ).
-Studies show that stevia lowers blood pressure and harmful LDL cholesterol.
-Stevia has several medicinal qualities like easing hypertension and alleviating stomach problems.
-Unlike artificial sweeteners, Stevia does not have harmful side-effects.
-It has zero fructose content, hence does not lead to obesity which is a bane of many other natural and artificial sweeteners.
-Stevia also contains antioxidants and improves digestion and metabolism
How Should You Use It?
Owing to its potency, Stevia often interferes with the taste of the dish it is being added to.Not everyone likes the way Stevia tastes. Some people find it bitter, but others think stevia tastes like menthol. So, you will have to add it gradually till you develop a taste for it.Try it in your morning tea or coffee or sprinkle it over your oatmeal to see if you like the taste. You will have to be careful with the quantity. Use 2-3 drops of Stevia extract to substitute a teaspoonful of sugar.
People are also Reading:
Stevia can interfere with certain medications. So, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before you strat using this herbal sweetener. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy