Can Stevia Hurt Insulin Sensitivity And Lead To Weight Gain?
One staple in natural, sugar-free baking is stevia, a South American herb used as an alternative to refined sugar. Since stevia extract is free from carbohydrates, it does not raise blood sugar levels (or calories, unless fillers are added, like dextrose or maltodextrin). Stevia does, however, raise insulin levels according to some research, which can be both good and bad. A reason why I stay away from sugar is because it raises both blood sugar and insulin. Over time, spikes in blood sugar can cause chronic inflammation, a key contributor to aging, cancer, and even metabolic syndrome. High blood sugar and insulin levels also cause insulin resistance, or type 2 diabetes. While our cells prefer glucose as a prime energy source, if cell receptors are not–well, receptive–to insulin, the glucose just floats around and causes damage. Can Stevia Lead to Diabetes and Weight Gain? It seems that our bodies have a knack for responding to any sweet taste by secreting insulin. Whether the sweet taste be from pure sugar, artificial sweeteners, or natural sweeteners like stevia, the body provides similar insulin responses. This happens when a receptor on our tongue, namely T1R3, is stimulated by a sweet taste (natural or artificial), which then stimulates insulin to bring the “proposed” glucose into the cells. But if there is no measurable rise in blood glucose, like after drinking a tea sweetened with steviaor artificial sweetener, the insulin will store any excess sugar in the body as fat. This may be a reason why diet sodas have been linked to weight gain. It is proposed that our ancestors, when confronted with a carbohydrate source like berries or fruits, would consume them quickly and sometimes in one sitting because they didn’t come across these carbohydrate sources o Continue reading >>
Does Stevia Effect Blood Sugar?
Posted at 18:11h in Diabetes , Dieting , Insulin Resistance , Metabolic disease , Reduce Sugar , weight loss , Wellness by Thomas King Does Stevia Effect Blood Sugar? Do artificial sweeteners effect blood sugar? OK This is going to be a long post but, what I feel is an important one. I was asked by a consumer the following after they heard me on Glenn Johnsons podcast Live Fit and Lean find it at Heres the question I found your show on Stevia very interesting but I have one question: Stevia does not seem to raise Insulin levels as much as fructose BUT it does to certain extend as it sends sweet signal to the brain. Stevia is sweet on the palate, so the body assumes it is receiving sugar and primes itself to do so. Glucose is cleared from the bloodstream and blood sugars drop, but no real sugar/glucose is provided to the body to compensate. Do you think this can have negative affect on someone who consumes Stevia Products for a long time? I asked because Im more interested on using Stevia products for my kids. I personally dont use stevia at all since i dont care for sweets. I do eat whole fruit and thats plenty sweet for me. I am not a physician and I do not give medical advice. However, I have been involved with stevia and natural sweetening systems for nearly 20 years. I have done many controlled studies on the short term and long term effect of stevia usage. In my research I have found evidence that stevia does not effect blood sugar level nor does it elicit a hormonal response. What I have found is both aspartame and sucralose do effect blood sugar levels in some cases. I say some cases because my test group consisted of three subjects including myself. I am asserting that the sweet constituents in the stevia leaf are classified as glycosides. Glycosides are found Continue reading >>
Does Stevia Impact Blood Sugar Levels?
Sweetness in Practice Contributor - Jan 3, 2016 As the holiday season comes to a close, New Years resolutions are top of mind for many. Year after year, one of the most popular resolutions is to lose weight and improve overall wellness. For individuals with diabetes, this can often mean making dietary changes such as reducing sugar and replacing with a zero-calorie sweetener. In this months article for healthcare professionals, Truva Healthcare Ambassador, and Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator, Sweetness in Practice Contributor, discusses industry research on stevia leaf extract and its impact on blood sugar levels, and what this means for patients. Does stevia leaf extract impact blood sugar levels? A major source of empty calories in the typical American diet comes in the form of added sugar, with an estimated 20 teaspoons of caloric sweetener being consumed daily.1 Consuming high sugar diets has been linked to weight gain2 and has been shown to have adverse effects on glucose tolerance in healthy individuals.3 Because of this, reducing intake of caloric sweeteners is one of the first areas people target when trying to lose weight and reduce blood sugar levels. As a first step, many of these individuals begin turning toward low calorie or no calorie sweetener options in the hopes of achieving their weight goals without having to sacrifice taste. For individuals with diabetes, incorporating a non-nutritive sweetener, for example one made from stevia leaf extract, can help patients enjoy their favorite recipes while maintaining the ability to manage blood sugar levels. Recommending sweeteners made from stevia leaf extract, such as Truva Natural Sweetener, can be a great way to help your patients manage their blood sugar and weight goals coming out of t Continue reading >>
The Best Sugar Substitutes For People With Diabetes
With a low to no calorie sugar count, artificial sweeteners may seem like a treat for people with diabetes. But recent research suggests that artificial sweeteners may actually be counterintuitive. Especially if you’re looking to manage or prevent diabetes. In fact, the increased consumption of these sugar substitutes may correlate to the increase of obesity and diabetes cases. The good news is that there are sugar alternatives you can choose from. You’ll still want to count your intake for glucose management, but these options are far better than the marketed “sugar-free” products. Stevia Stevia is a FDA approved low-calorie sweetener that has anti-oxidant and anti-diabetic properties. Unlike artificial sweeteners and sugar, stevia can suppress your plasma glucose levels and significantly increase glucose tolerance. It’s also technically not an artificial sweetener. That’s because it’s made from the leaves of the stevia plant. Stevia also has the ability to: increase insulin effect on cell membranes increase insulin production stabilize blood sugar levels counter mechanics of type 2 diabetes and its complications You can find stevia under brand names like: PureVia Sun Crystals Sweet Leaf Truvia While stevia is natural, these brands are usually highly processed and may contain other ingredients. For example, Truvia goes through 40 processing steps before it’s ready to be sold, and contains the sugar alcohol erythritol. Future research may shed more light on the health impacts of consuming these processed stevia sweeteners. The best way to consume stevia is to grow the plant yourself and use the whole leaves to sweeten foods. What’s the difference between Truvia and stevia? » Tagatose Tagatose is another naturally occurring sugar that researchers are s Continue reading >>
Study: Artificial Sweeteners May Trigger Blood Sugar Risks
By Dan Vergano, National Geographic PUBLISHED September 17, 2014 There's no such thing as a free lunch, or at least a free artificially sweetened one, a new study suggests. Saccharin and other artificial sweeteners may raise blood sugar levels—a condition the sugar substitutes aim to help prevent—by altering digestive bacteria, Israeli researchers reported on Wednesday. (Related: "What Lives in Your Gut?") Sugar-free sodas and diet snacks abound with artificial sweeteners, invented more than a century ago as a cheaper sugar substitute. Amid an obesity epidemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has to date approved six artificial sweeteners, which are widely used and roughly 500 times sweeter than sugar. These additives cut calories from foods and drinks, and are seen as precluding the elevated blood sugar, or glucose intolerance, that often precedes diabetes. (See "Sugar: Why We Can't Resist It.") But a first-of-its-kind study suggests one reason why diet sodas and their ilk don't seem to have made much difference in the obesity crisis. The answer may lie within ourselves, or at least in the bacteria in our intestines that are exposed to artificial sweeteners, a joint team headed by Eran Segal and Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot report in the journal Nature. "This huge and poorly understood microbial world which resides within each one of us, starting from birth, has been shown to have a huge effect on our physiology," Elinav says. Although cautioning that the findings are preliminary, he says, "our results suggest the consumption of artificial sweeteners may affect the microbiome in ways that cause glucose intolerance in some people." Over decades of study, research results on artificial sweeteners have been mixed, with some pointin Continue reading >>
Stevia: Can Nature’s Sweetener Help Your Blood Sugar?
You know that awful feeling when a sugar low is coming. I break out into a cold sweat, feel panicky, get nauseated, and have trouble answering extremely simple questions like “Do you need to eat?” Well, I was feeling it again, and again, and I didn’t know why. That’s what I hate the most: When things go wrong, but I think I’ve been doing everything right. Blood sugar problems run in my family. My grandpa was an insulin-dependent diabetic, and my mom is a type 2 diabetic on medication. For some reason, I got the other end of the problem, reactive hypoglycemia, but ironically, I did get gestational diabetes during pregnancy. So I guess you could say I’ve lived on both sides of the blood sugar coin. My diet restrictions are about the same as yours, but I have to avoid sugar like the plague. I can usually handle three bites of my husband’s dessert (if he’s willing to share!), but any more than that will have consequences. Sometimes I give in and eat dessert on the ridiculous premise that perhaps I’ve been cured and I’ll just eat this chocolate cake to check and see. That always ends up badly. So, probably like you, in order to enjoy things that taste sweet without feeling like I’m going to die around 2:00 in the morning, I am an avid fan of artificial sweeteners.But, also probably like you, I’ve read the reports on their dangers. The huge lists of possible side effects make me feel rather guilty for putting the stuff in my mouth, but not guilty enough to stop. That is, until just a couple of weeks ago, when I decided to go off artificial sweeteners and try the natural, latest-fad-of-health-gurus, non-sugar sweetener, Stevia. Stevia has been around for awhile, and you’ve probably heard it praised to the skies by anyone who regularly buys organic foo Continue reading >>
Does Stevia Affect Blood Sugar?
Using stevia to sweeten your foods and beverages can save you a lot of calories, since this sweetener, made from the plant Stevia rebaudiana, is 250 times sweeter than sugar and contains almost no calories. However, some types of stevia preparations may affect your blood sugar levels differently than others. Types of Stevia Preparations The most studied compounds from the stevia plant are rebaudioside A and stevioside. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved only the stevia products made from purified rebaudioside A, not the stevia products made from whole stevia leaves or crude stevia extracts, since it has concerns about how these products will affect your heart, reproductive system, kidneys and blood sugar levels. Effect on Blood Sugar Stevia won't raise your blood sugar levels, and some forms of this sweetener may actually lower blood sugar levels. A study published in Planta Medica in 2005 found that there was a dose-dependent effect of stevioside on blood sugar levels, with stevioside lowering blood glucose levels and decreasing insulin resistance in rats with diabetes. However, this research is preliminary, and the FDA-approved forms of stevia for use in food don't contain stevioside, so most of the stevia products you can buy in the baking section in grocery stores won't have this effect on your blood sugar levels. Compared to Other Sweeteners A study published in Appetite in August 2010 compared the effects of preloads before meals containing stevia in the form of stevioside with those containing aspartame or table sugar. During the day, participants who had the stevia and aspartame preloads didn't eat any more or less than the participants who consumed a table sugar-based preload, although they did consume slightly fewer calories since stevia and as Continue reading >>
Does Stevia Affect Blood Sugar?
Stevia tablets, powder and liquid on a wood surfacePhoto Credit: Studio-Annika/iStock/Getty Images Jessica Lewis has published professionally since 2005 and is a registered dietitian and nutritionist. Her work is regularly found in the "National Post" and "Oxygen Magazine." She holds degrees from the University of Guelph and McMaster University. A marathon runner and yoga enthusiast, she is also interested in alternative medicine. A plant-derived sweetener, stevia is used as a no-calorie sugar substitute in foods and drinks. Made from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, it is originally from South America, although it is now widely available in grocery stores and health food stores. Stevia is much sweeter than refined sugar, and some stevia preparations may affect your blood sugar levels. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has only approved stevia that is made from rebaudioside, a natural compound in Stevia rebaudiana. Rebaudioside must be purified before it can be used as an additive, and stevia sweeteners made from stevia leaves or crude extracts of the plant are not approved for use. The sweetener made from refined rebaudioside is considered safe for use. A 2005 publication of Planta Medica found that stevia sweetener made from stevioside, another component of the leaves similar to rebaudioside, lowered blood sugar levels, reducing insulin resistance in diabetic rats. When administered twice daily, stevioside was also found to have an effect on blood glucose levels during glucose tolerance testing, lowering the rise of blood glucose levels in the test subjects. While the results are promising, long-term study on humans is needed, and stevioside is not currently approved for use in foods. A 2010 issue of Appetite reported that human participants in a study preferred the Continue reading >>
Why I Quit Stevia
Is stevia bad for you? As you know, the transition to real food is a journey. It doesn’t happen overnight. There are bumps in the road. It’s a learning process. One bump in my road toward healing? Stevia. I’ll be honest… I previously used stevia with abandon, before I came to the conclusion that stevia does not support health. I added stevia to sweeten my tea and I occasionally I used it in desserts or baking, like my Coconut Flour and Stevia Zucchini Muffins. I found that stevia was very convenient. It dissolves instantly and works well in beverages or liquids. Further, because a little goes a long way, it is less expensive than many other sweeteners. But , for me, the cons outweigh the pros, and so I have quit stevia for good. 1. Stevia Taxes the Adrenals Our bodies are not designed or evolved to handle calorie-free sweeteners – be it natural or artificial. Experiencing a sweet taste from a food that is not going to provide glucose confounds our body’s sugar-handling process. Kate, from one of my favorite health blogs Nutrition By Nature, explains how eating a sugar-free sweetener like stevia can trick the body into a state of hypoglycemia: Stevia is “sweet” on the palate, so the body assumes it is receiving sugar and primes itself to do so. Glucose is cleared from the bloodstream and blood sugars drop, but no real sugar/glucose is provided to the body to compensate. When this happens, adrenaline and cortisol surge to mobilize sugar from other sources (liver and muscle glycogen, or protein, or body tissue) to bring blood glucose back up. (Source) The frequent release of the stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) in response to the stevia-induced hypoglycemia is damaging to our adrenal glands and overall health. These stress hormones are designed to Continue reading >>
Does Stevia Raise Blood Sugar
Glucose is the source of life and it’s primarily found in carbohydrates – even though both protein and fats can also convert to glucose. Every cell in your body needs glucose to create energy. The problem is when you have TOO much glucose and thus, your blood sugar levels are elevated most of the day and your body OVER secretes insulin. What most people don’t know is that elevated blood sugar and insulin levels is a large contributor in causing heart disease, weight gain, accelerated aging and of course – a major cause in type 2 diabetes.4,5 But I Like Sugar – I Like My “Sweets” Now, the problem with regular table sugar is that it raises your blood sugar levels sky high. And artificial sweeteners such as Sucralose or Aspartame, are just loaded with negative side-effects. So, today I want to talk about Stevia… What Is It?… Is it safe?… Does it raise your blood sugar?… If daily use can eventually cause diabetes, like some of the other artificial sweeteners?… What Is Stevia? Stevia is a natural product made from a plant that grows in South America. It’s basically an “herb”, so it’s not artificial like other sweeteners such as Aspartame (Equal®), Saccharin (Sweet N Low®) or Sucralose (Splenda®). The active compounds of Stevia are up to 150 times the sweetness of sugar1 are heat-stable (good for cooking), pH-stable, and non fermentable2. Is Stevia Safe? Stevia has been used for centuries and it’s extremely popular in Japan. One of the features that make it so famous is that it has virtually no calories and… being sweeter than candy can be a plus for many people. There are over 90 studies about Stevia’s safety, so the FDA already approved it as a natural sweetener. Does Stevia Raise Blood Sugar Levels? Stevia doesn’t just keep your g Continue reading >>
How Stevia May Help To Control Blood Sugar
An increasing number of people are opting for more healthful alternatives to sugar, and stevia has become a popular choice, particularly among people with diabetes. Studies have suggested that the natural, no-calorie sweetener can help to control blood sugar levels, although exactly how it achieves this has been unclear - until now. Researchers from the United Kingdom and Belgium have found that stevia activates a protein called TRPM5, which is associated with taste perception. This protein also plays a role in the release of the hormone insulin after eating. Study co-author Koenraad Philippaert, of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at KU Leuven in Belgium, and colleagues say that their findings could open the door to new treatments for type 2 diabetes. The researchers recently reported their results in the journal Nature Communications. Stevia is a sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant - commonly known as sweetleaf - which is native to South America. Stevia is around 200 to 400 times sweeter than table sugar, and it is often used as a sugar substitute in diet soda, candy, yogurts, desserts, and other foods and beverages. Stevia targets protein responsible for sweet taste, insulin secretion The plant-based sweetener is generally considered safe for people with diabetes in moderation, and previous research has indicated that stevia may even help to control blood sugar levels. The mechanisms underlying stevia's positive effect on blood sugar levels have, however, not been well-understood. The new study from Philippaert and colleagues aimed to shed some light. In experiments involving cell cultures, the researchers found that stevia activates TRPM5, which is a protein important for the perception of sweet, bitter, and umami tastes Continue reading >>
Warning: Stevia Shown To Affect Hormones And Blood Sugar
Stevia is a highly convenient calorie-free sweetener, which is naturally derived. It dissolves easily and is affordable, so a lot of health-conscious folks have flocked to stevia as a go-to sugar alternative. Possible health benefits include the following: Stevioside, the bitter part of the stevia leaf, increases the death of cancer cells while down-regulating certain stress processes that contribute to cancer growth. Stevia contains antioxidants and can be synergistic with other antioxidant anti-cancer compounds, such as blackberry leaf. By removing sugar from the diet, fasting blood glucose can be normalized, possibly helping those with obesity or diabetes. Unfortunately we find that when we look beneath the surface, this popular health food may not be the harmless sweet angel we think it is. The body is complex, and stevia may cause underlying imbalances to hormones and blood sugar. Let’s first review the different types of stevia on the market. Green leaf stevia: This is essentially the whole stevia leaf, dried and ground into a powder so all the natural constituents remain. This is the way stevia is used traditionally in South America and Japan. This type of stevia is only 30–40 times sweeter-tasting than sugar. Extracted stevia: The bitter-tasting constituent (stevioside) is removed, leaving only the sweeter-tasting rebaudioside. This version is likely to lose the health benefits associated with stevia, since these are thought to come mainly from the stevioside. The result is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. Chemically-processed stevia: Popular brands of stevia tend to be this type. The natural stevia is subjected to a 42-step process to create a highly refined extract, using chemical solvents and GMO additives. This type is 300–400 times sweeter tasting Continue reading >>
Artificial Sweeteners: Any Effect On Blood Sugar?
Can I use artificial sweeteners if I have diabetes? Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D. You can use most sugar substitutes if you have diabetes, including: Saccharin (Sweet'N Low) Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) Acesulfame potassium (Sunett) Sucralose (Splenda) Stevia (Pure Via, Truvia) Artificial sweeteners, also called sugar substitutes, offer the sweetness of sugar without the calories. Artificial sweeteners are many times sweeter than sugar, so it takes a smaller amount to sweeten foods. This is why foods made with artificial sweeteners may have fewer calories than those made with sugar. Sugar substitutes don't affect your blood sugar level. In fact, most artificial sweeteners are considered "free foods" — foods containing less than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carbohydrates — because they don't count as calories or carbohydrates on a diabetes exchange. Remember, however, other ingredients in foods containing artificial sweeteners can still affect your blood sugar level. More research is needed, but studies are increasingly finding that the benefits of substituting sugar-sweetened food and beverages with those that have been sweetened artificially may not be as clear as once thought, particularly when consumed in large amounts. One reason may be a "rebound" effect, where some people end up consuming more of an unhealthy type of food because of the misperception that because it's sugar-free it's healthy. Also, be cautious with sugar alcohols — including mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. Sugar alcohols can increase your blood sugar level. And for some people, sugar alcohols may cause diarrhea. Continue reading >>
Stevia sweeteners are based upon extracts from the leaves of the stevia rebaudiana plant, and was approved for sale in the EU in 2012. Until 2012, stevia had not been approved for sale in the EU and its availability had been eagerly anticipated by people with diabetes looking to have a naturally derived low calorie sweetener. Stevia’s sweetening effect Steviol glycosides, the compounds which give stevia its sweet taste, have a level of sweetness graded at 250-300 times sweeter than sugar (sucrose). Steviol glycosides, whilst sweet, can have a bitter aftertaste when stevia is consumed in its purest form.  Stevia and effect on blood sugar levels Using pure stevia preparations in relatively small amounts should have no significant effect on blood glucose levels. A research study from Brazil, published in 1986, showed that taking stevia preparations at 6 hour intervals over 3 days helped to significantly improve glucose tolerance. The study will be welcome news for people with diabetes, particularly those with insulin resistance, although it should be noted that the study was small, with 16 participants in the study. Stevia based sweeteners that are blended with other sweetening ingredients may have blood glucose raising properties, depending on what they are blended with and in what proportion. Refer to the packaging or contact the manufacturer if you have questions about how the product may affect your blood glucose levels. Stevia extracts are free from calories so can be beneficial for weight loss if used as an alternative to sugar. Why are some stevia products blended with other sweeteners? As stevia extracts can have a bitter aftertaste, a number of commercially available stevia based sweeteners blend in other sweeteners to improve the taste. Stevia sweeteners ma Continue reading >>
5 Sugar Substitutes For Type 2 Diabetes
1 / 6 A Small Amount of Real Sugar Is Best, but Sugar Substitutes Can Help If you think that people with diabetes should always avoid sugar, think again — they can enjoy the sweet stuff, in moderation. "The best bet is to use a very minimal amount of real sugar as part of a balanced diabetic diet," says Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, of Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice based in New York City. That being said, sugar substitutes offer sweetness while controlling carbohydrate intake and blood glucose. There are many sugar substitutes to choose from, but they’re not all calorie-free and they vary in terms of their impact on blood sugar. "The major difference between the sugar substitutes is whether they are nutritive or non-nutritive sweeteners," says Melissa Mullins, MS, RD, a certified diabetes educator with Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, Va. "Non-nutritive sweeteners provide no calories and no changes in blood glucose levels, which is perfect for people with diabetes.” Here are six sweet options to consider. Continue reading >>