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What Are The Benefits and Risks Of Stevia?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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What are the benefits and risks of Stevia? Research studies have shown that some of the health benefits of stevia are lower blood sugar level and lower cholesterol levels. Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from the leaves of stevia plants. It has 0 calories, and it is much sweeter than table sugar. Many people choose the stevia route vs regular table sugar because they feel it is a healthier sugar alternative.

There is some research that has shown that stevia is an effective and safe way to manage blood sugar levels in people that have Type 2 diabetes. There was a small study done in 12 people that showed that consuming a sweetener with a meal lead to a decrease in blood sugar levels compared to a control group that was just given corn starch.

What are the benefits and risks of Stevia? Photo credit: iStock-HandmadePictures

It is important to know there are other types of sweeteners such as dextrose and maltodextrin that can increase blood sugar levels.

When it comes to children replacing sugar with stevia can cut down on added sugar consumption when it comes to young kids. The American Heart Association recommends that a higher consumption of added sugar can increase children’s risk of heart disease by affecting their cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The healthiest route for young kids is to limit their sugar and stevia intake as best possible. The groups that stevia can impact are children, pregnant women and people that have diabetes.

Risks of Stevia

For the most part stevia products is a healthy sugar substitute but there was a research review study that showed that it can negatively interfere with the beneficials of good gut bacteria. And this plays an important role in disease prevention, digestion, and immunity.

There was also some research that showed that stevia and zero calorie sweeteners can lead to consuming more calories throughout the day. There was another study where 30 men drank a stevia sweetened beverage. The study revealed it caused the men in the group to eat more later in the day compared to drinking a sugar sweetened beverage.

The Bottom Line is that stevia is a natural sweetener that is a great alternative to refined sugar. One of the benefits it has is lowering blood sugar levels. If you consume it within moderation, you should experience minimal side effects.

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References

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