Stevia, The Sweet Low Calorie Substitute for Sugar

Stevia, The Sweet Low Calorie Substitute for Sugar

The taste is sweeter and does not contain calories, making stevia begin to be glimpsed as a substitute for ordinary sugar. Stevia can be used for people with certain diseases who are advised to limit sugar consumption in their daily diet.

The fast-paced lifestyle makes many people choose fast food and drinks without realizing the sugar content in it. Whereas excess sugar intake is associated with various diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, toothache, and heart disease. It is important to know, the limit for sugar intake for men is 37 grams or 9 teaspoons per day. As for women as much as 25 grams or 6 teaspoons per day.

Replacing Sugar with Stevia

Stevia is an artificial sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Stevia tastes sweet thanks to the steviol glycosides in it. These compounds make stevia taste 250-300 times sweeter than sucrose or regular sugar.

Because it tastes much sweeter, stevia does not need to be used in large quantities as a sweetener in food or drinks. For example, if you are used to adding 2 teaspoons of sugar as a sweetener in coffee or tea, with stevia you can simply use 1 teaspoon to get a sweet taste.

Although much sweeter than regular sugar, stevia contains no calories. Even if there is, it usually comes from other food ingredients mixed in it. In comparison, one teaspoon of regular sugar (about 40 grams) contains 16 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates, while 1 teaspoon of stevia has 0 calories and only 1 gram of carbohydrates.

Stevia Benefits for Health

Here are some possible benefits of stevia that we can take:

Good for diabetes

Besides not containing carbohydrates and calories, stevia can also improve the body's performance in processing glucose (blood sugar) by increasing insulin production.
Research shows that post-meal blood sugar levels in diabetics are reported to be reduced when consuming stevia. Several other studies suggest that the possibility of replacing regular sugar with stevia can reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

Help reduce weight

Since stevia does not contain calories, your total daily calorie intake will be reduced if you replace sugar intake with stevia. This method can help you maintain or lose weight, as long as you don't overeat.

Lowering blood pressure

Substances in stevia extract can lower blood pressure, if consumed regularly. However, studies to prove this benefit have not shown consistent results.

Prevent the risk of kidney disease

The habit of eating foods that are too sweet can increase the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. Both of these diseases can lead to kidney disease.
Based on a study, stevia is thought to be effective in reducing the risk of kidney disease because it can help prevent diabetes and high blood pressure. This study also states that stevia is a better sweetener alternative for people with kidney failure.
Until now, stevia has been proven safe for consumption. However, you must still pay attention to your daily food and drink intake, so that the amount of sugar and calories consumed is not excessive.

Keep in mind, eating sugar-free foods does not mean you are free from calories. Calories can be obtained from other ingredients in the food or drink. In addition, it is not enough to just rely on stevia, without living a healthy lifestyle.