Stevia for Diabetics: Is it Safe?


Diabetes can occur in children and adults. Most often, this disease occurs due to a poor diet. However, there are a number of other reasons why this disease begins such as heredity or other medical conditions. Regardless, the disease must be controlled whether the sugar levels are low or high.

Stevia, for most, is a relatively new product although this product is made from a plant that has been used for centuries by the Paraguay Indians and other civilizations. It is considered 100% natural and is actually an herb found in the Chrysanthemum family. This herb grows in the warmer, tropical regions; in fact, there are over 300 species of the Stevia growing on our planet today.

For those who have opted to use Stevia, diabetes symptoms can be controlled to a point. Like many other sugar substitutes, it can be used to sweeten drinks and used in cooking and baking. In fact, Stevia is a prominent product within the Japanese culture. It is found in Wrigley’s sugar-free gum to Diet Coke on any Japanese store shelf.

Before making any changes in your diet, especially if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should consult with your doctor or nutritionist. Controlling diabetes can be a challenge and with so many different foods today, it can be difficult to choose the best ones. Our lifestyles are fast paced and we tend to eat foods that are not as healthy as they could be. Making simple changes in one’s diet is easy but it can be a difficult step.

But by beginning with small changes, the bigger changes will be easier to make. For a diabetic, one small change is by switching from sugar to Stevia. Diabetes symptoms will not be seen overnight as there is more to controlling this disease than just reducing the sugar intake. Adding exercise and making other changes in one’s lifestyle needs to occur also.

If you love food, and many of us do, by making a healthy change to a healthier sweetener can benefit our bodies in the long term. Using Stevia to sweeten coffee or tea and by substituting it in recipes is a good start for anyone who is concerned with their sugar intake and overall health; not just if you may be a candidate or have been diagnosed with diabetes. This natural sweetener can be purchased at most supermarkets and natural food stores.

Stevia tends to have a green tint to it as this is because it comes from a plants leaves. If you don’t opt for this product, there is also a white powdered extract and a clear liquid that are also available. Keep in mind that this product is not sugar so will react differently when mixed with other ingredients. One characteristic is that it doesn’t caramelize like sugar nor will it brown.

In addition, it is much sweeter than natural sugar so smaller amount should be used. For example, 6 drops of a liquid form of Stevia is the same as one tablespoon of sugar. When deciding to use it, Diabetes sufferers should first consult with their doctor and if approved to start implementing the change as soon as possible.

Other Health Benefits for Stevia

Health conscious people all over the world have started using Stevia sweetener instead of sugar or other artificial sweeteners. This is very clearly a superior product that offers a great many health benefits. The problem with most artificial sweeteners available in the markets these days is that they tend to come with negative effects. As a matter of fact, doctors state that certain artificial sweeteners have a direct link with cancer.

Stevia sweetener, on the other hand, offers many health benefits:

1. It has the ability to reduce blood sugar

Interestingly, this product has the ability to reduce blood glucose levels without taking them abnormally low. A person who needs to be on a low carbohydrate diet for health reasons or in order to lose weight can benefit greatly from taking Stevia. In other words, this product has the ability to reverse the symptoms of diabetes at least to some extent. However, a person who suffers from hypoglycemia should avoid consuming too much.

2. It helps a person reduce weight

The biggest problem that people encounter when dieting is that they find it hard to do without sugar. Stevia is an ultra-sweet product that can be used in regularly consumed beverages such as tea and coffee and also in desserts. Since this product does not break down upon being heated it can easily be used in cooking and baking. A person can therefore eat delicious sweet foods without consuming a lot of calories.

3. It lowers blood pressure

Medical research indicates that Stevia also helps bring down the blood pressure levels of people who consume it regularly. This product should therefore not be consumed in large quantities if the person is taking medications to reduce blood pressure or already suffers from hypotension.

4. It increases the strength of bones

Stevia sweetener has been found to increase the body’s ability to absorb calcium. It is therefore beneficial for people approaching old age as well as menopausal women who are at risk for having brittle bones.

5. It has the ability to control bacterial growth

Since this plant has the ability to control bacterial growth it is often used in antibacterial creams. Many toothpastes also contain this substance because of this property and its ability to increase calcium levels.

Since Stevia sweetener does not have any negative side effects, one does not have to ask the question is Stevia safe. It can be used frequently without any concern.

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