Healthy PicksThe Bitter and Sweet Truth About Stevia

The Bitter and Sweet Truth About Stevia

Stevia is essentially an herb that is commonly being used as artificial sweetener. This compound was approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2008 to be sold as an ingredient to sweeten food items. The FDA categorized stevia as a generally recognized as safe product. If you are looking into using stevia as a substitute to sugar, it is best to learn about its pros and cons first.

Pros

Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels

One advantage of using stevia is that it does not raise blood sugar levels when consumed. This only means that it can be an excellent sweetening agent among those suffering from diabetes.

Zero Calories

A health benefit of stevia is that this herb does not contain any calories. Zero calories means that you can sweeten up food items without having to think about weight gain. Since the human body is unable to metabolize stevia, you are consuming zero calories altogether.

Natural Source

Stevia is derived from the leaves of the stevia plant. It is native to Asian and South American countries. Since it comes from a plant, it contains zero artificial additives to give that sweet flavor. According to its users, stevia is sweeter than table sugar and will need water or solvent to fully dissolve it.

Cons

Gastrointestinal Upset

As a result of consuming stevia, some people may experience stomach upset. Some of the most common side effects are nausea and bloating a few hours after consuming food items that contain stevia.

Unpleasant Drug Interactions

According to experts, diabetics should not consume stevia as its components may cause unpleasant side effects when mixed with anti-diabetic medications. Some of the side effects include hypotension and hypoglycemia.

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Bitter Aftertaste

Although stevia is sweeter than table sugar, this sweetener is said to have a bitter aftertaste. According to some users, its taste is similar to that of licorice.

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