“This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions, twists all our arms collectively, but if sweetness can win, and it can, then I’ll still be here tomorrow to high-five you yesterday, my friend. Peace.”
If you have a “sweet tooth” and you are having trouble restraining from sugar, do not despair, there is still hope for you. Introducing stevia – an all natural alternative to sugar that is 350 times sweeter, has zero calories and none of the negative effects that sugar has.
Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, or commonly know as stevia, is a plant that belongs to the chrysanthemum family and is native to South America. It has been used by the indigenous Guarani people as medicine and as a sweetener for hundreds of years.
The leaves of the stevia plant contain a number of different components with a sweet taste scientifically called steviol glycosides, ten of which are the most abundant in a typical leaf and they all have different levels of sweetness intensity and a unique taste profile.
The steviol glycosides are extracted from the stevia plant and purified with a very similar process that is commonly used to extract other ingredients such as cane sugar or vanilla. This purified stevia extract is what is actually approved for use in the food and beverages industry by many regulatory authorities such as the European Food Safety Authority(EFSA). Today many companies including Coca-Cola, use stevia extract to create tasty low-calorie food and beverage products.
Stevia is also available in many forms that are suitable for domestic use. You can buy stevia packs online and you can take your coffee and tea sweet without feeling guilty that you’ll gain a couple of extra pounds.
Besides not being harmful, there are actually many health benefits that are associated with stevia. First of all, the reason why stevia extract is a zero-calorie alternative to sugar is because steviol glycosides are hard to absorb in the body and they simply pass through the gastrointestinal tract fully intact. This means that stevia lowers your blood sugar levels, increases insulin resistance, and promotes the health of the pancreas. In addition, stevia is also great for lowering blood pressure, increasing insulin sensitivity, may help with gingivitis, cavities, and tooth decay, it can be used to treat osteoporosis, skin conditions, and much more.
Based on scientific research, there are no reported side effects of Stevia when taken, of course, in moderation. However, if you are taking any diabetes or hypertension medications or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, supervised stevia consumption is advised.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you feel more confident in your decision to replace the harmful sugar and turn to this healthier solution. Since the demand for stevia packs online or in stores is only set to rise, you have your sweet answer within reach – just a few clicks or blocks away.