Do you prefer sugar or stevia? Which is healthier? This amazing ingredient has gained more popularity these days. Find more information here
What is stevia?
Stevia is a tropical plant native to Paraguay and Brazil. It contains little to no calories and it is used as a sugar substitute for people with illnesses in which sugar can be very harmful, for instance, diabetes. Stevia is used for people who want to lose weight, too.
It can sweeten up to 30 to 45 times more than traditional sugar. Its characteristic flavor comes from its active ingredient Stevioside which has a milder sweetness than synthetic sugar but a longer-lasting taste.
Benefits of stevia
1) Blood pressure
A study has shown that stevia could potentially help lower blood pressure. This is possible thanks to a component known as a glycoside. Certain glycosides in stevia have been found to dilate blood vessels and it is a diuretic. In other words, it increases urine output, eliminating retained body fluids.
2) Weight control
There are plenty of causes of overweight and obesity, but the people who have weight control problems tend to consume high amounts of foods that are rich in fat and added sugars. As a result, professionals advise replacing sugar with stevia. Stevia has little to no calories, so it can be part of a well-balanced diet to help reduce energy intake without sacrificing taste.
Many studies have stated that stevia has no effect on blood glucose or insulin response. So it is a good option for people with diabetes as they can eat a wider variety of foods using stevia instead of sugar.
In addition, stevia acts favorably in many people with anxiety, reduces cholesterol, and helps burn triglycerides.
How to use stevia
The most effective way to use it is by adding the leaves or stevia extract to the meals that you usually sweeten. When it is not possible to obtain fresh from the plant, make sure you are getting a good product. Many store-bought stevia products contain little to no stevia and lots of chemicals.