Sweet Solution for diabetes – Stevia

Do you know Stevia Leaf Sugar Substitute ?

There are many Sugar substitutes available now.  According to Lona Sandon, R.D., at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, “The naturally occurring sugar in an apple is fine, but if we can reduce some of the added sugar in our diet, we can remove some of the empty calories. Less than 25 percent of your daily calories should come from the added sugar in foods like cookies, cereal, and ketchup”.

Would like to find sugar substitutes because of your diabetes?  You have to know about these substitutes.   Do you kow about Stevia?   Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitutes extracted from the leaves of the plant species (wikipedia).  It is about up to 100 times sweeter than sugar, but has no carbohydrates, calories, or artificial ingredients.

Good ?   Let’s find more !

If any of the nonnutritive sweeteners have taken the sweetener world by storm, it would have to be the newer stevia-based sweeteners. Food manufacturers love them because they can tout them as being “all natural.” Consumers (at least many of them) love them, too, because, well, they’re seemingly “all natural” and not full of those nasty chemicals, like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. How good are these sweeteners? Are they all they’re hyped up to be?

What is stevia?

The stevia plant belongs to the Asteraceae family and is a cousin of daisies and ragweed. As with many plants, there are different species; the species of stevia that is used to sweeten food (and that’s also been used medicinally for hundreds of years) is called Stevia rebaudiana. It’s native to South America, but it’s also grown in Asia.

What are the concerns about consuming stevia leaf extract?

The appeal of these stevia-based sweeteners, as I mentioned previously, is that they’re derived from a plant, not concocted in a lab. But to say that these sweeteners are completely natural or unprocessed isn’t quite accurate, as the rebiana is extracted from the stevia leaf using chemicals. CSPI believes that rebiana’s GRAS status was granted prematurely by the FDA; they don’t state specific side effects or health concerns from using it, but point out that the FDA didn’t mandate that the extract be tested in both rats and mice prior to approval (which is the norm).

How much stevia leaf extract is safe to use?

The ADI (acceptable daily intake) of stevia leaf extract is 4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day, expressed as steviol equivalents; this is equal to 12 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day of steviol glycosides, which is what rebiana is. Translated, this means that a 150-pound person can safely consume 816 milligrams of stevia leaf extract every day for his lifetime without any adverse effects. That’s equivalent to consuming roughly 40 packets of tabletop stevia sweetener per day.


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