While we all know about sugar and we have heard about artificial sweeteners, we must gain some knowledge about what exactly Stevia is before finding answers to the above question.
Stevia is a natural sweetener, derived from the Stevia Rebaudiana plant that was first discovered centuries ago in Paraguay by the native population. However, it was documented only in the late 19th century by a Swiss Botanist working in South America. It is also known as the ‘Sweet Leaf’.
The two glycosides that make stevia leaves sweet are Stevioside and Rebaudioside. Stevioside is sweet but also has a bitter aftertaste that many complain about when using stevia, while Rebaudioside is better tasting, sweet, and less bitter.
Stevia has found its use in various industries across the globe in the past few decades. The raw leaves of Stevia are approx. 40 times sweeter than sugar and the powdered form is 250-300 times sweeter.
Some benefits of using Stevia over sugar and artificial sweeteners are –
Great for diabetics
Sugar is extremely harmful to diabetics because it contains carbohydrates. The Glycemic Index, a system that illustrates which food is safe for diabetics and which is not, states that food types with a GI value < 50 are considered safe. While table sugar has a GI rating of 80, French Fries has 95, but Stevia’s GI rating is 0. Stevia reduces post-meal blood glucose and insulin levels.
Helps weight loss
Stevia is a plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener. On the other hand, sugar contributes heavily to obesity as it contains a lot of calories. Hence, even though Stevia is not essentially a weight loss product, replacing sugar with Stevia helps prevent obesity and reduces weight.
Improves cholesterol levels
Researchers have concluded that Stevia extract effectively decreases elevated serum cholesterol levels, including triglycerides and LDL (“bad cholesterol”), while increasing good HDL Cholesterol.
Helps to suppress cravings
Sugar is addictive. While most used artificial sweeteners such as aspartame do not have any calories, they still promote a craving for sugary sweets. Moreover, they have side effects such as headache, dizziness, rashes, and stomach pains. Whereas, Stevia reduces sugar cravings. Stevia is the number one sweetener in Japan with a market share of over 40%.
Stevia is good for teeth
It is well known that sugar leads to dental plaque and cavities in the long run. While chewing gums use sugar alcohols (erythritol, maltitol, etc.) as they do not harm the teeth, they still contain a lot of calories and have a high GI. Stevia has the same benefits as Sugar alcohols but without the side effects.
Stevia is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, which means that it has to be consumed in very little quantity and has a high shelf life.
Apart from these benefits, research is being done to use Stevia to cure breast cancer, and use it to reduce blood pressure, and hence, hypertension.
Zevic promotes the use of Stevia and offers a wide range of high quality, authentic products such as the Stevia Zero Calorie Liquid, Stevia Zero Calorie Sachets, Stevia Zero Calorie Powder, and the Stevia Handpicked Leaves Box.