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Blood Sugar And Stevia

Warning: Stevia Shown To Affect Hormones And Blood Sugar

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 >>

How Natural & Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar

How Natural & Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar

I have wanted to write a post about sweeteners for a while now. Mainly because I get a little frustrated when reading or hearing outright incorrect claims about how some of the natural and artificial sweeteners affect your blood sugar. As a person with diabetes, I want to know exactly what will happen to my blood sugar when I eat or drink something, and I don’t take kindly to half-true marketing claims. I’ve decided to focus on how natural & artificial sweeteners impact blood sugar rather than on whether they are healthy or not, since I think that is somewhat out of my domain and because plenty of others have already covered that. What are natural & artificial sweeteners? FDA defines sweeteners as: “…commonly used as sugar substitutes or sugar alternatives because they are many times sweeter than sugar but contribute only a few or no calories when added to foods”. This means that regular sugar, honey, and Agave nectar/syrup don’t fall into the sweetener category. However, I do want to address these shortly before moving on to the real artificial sweeteners, since I’ve seen claims of how honey and agave won’t impact blood sugar in the same way as sugar. Honey and agave nectar Let’s start with honey because, let’s face it, it’s sugar in liquid form. It’s delicious, but an October 2015 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that when subjects were given honey, cane sugar, or high-fructose corn syrup, they saw no notable difference in blood sugar increase. As for agave, I think that the corporate marketing machine has been very clever when declaring this a health food, for as Dr. Jonny Bowden points out“..It’s basically high-fructose corn syrup masquerading as healthy food.” Agave nectar may have a lower glycemic index than sugar or honey, but Continue reading >>

Does Stevia Affect Blood Sugar?

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 >>

Stevia And Diabetes | Global Stevia Institute

Stevia And Diabetes | Global Stevia Institute

If you are living with diabetes or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, you know that good nutrition is perhaps one of the most important factors in achieving good health. The foods that you choose to eat, as well as being physically active and taking medications, if recommend, can make a big difference in your daily health.1 There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diabetic diet.2In fact, it is essentially the same balanced and healthy eating plan that everyone, whether or not they have diabetes, should follow. But if you do have diabetes, then managing the amount, quality and timing of the foods you eat and beverages you drink particularly those containing carbohydrates becomes even more important. Fortunately though, having diabetes does not mean having to give up all of your favorite foods. You can literally have your cake and eat it too occasionally of course so long as you work it into your eating plan. That is where stevia fits in. It is a zero calorie, plant-based sweetener of natural origin that has been used for hundreds of years dating back to indigenous people in South America. Stevia itself contains no carbohydrates, so it does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. And in many foods and beverages you buy, it helps cut calories while still allowing you to enjoy the sweet tastes you love. Since stevia is sometimes used in combination with other types of sweeteners, it is always important to check the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel for carbohydrate amounts to make sure the product fits into your eating plan. You will find stevia in a wide range of food and beverages, including teas, soft drinks, juices, yogurt, soymilk, baked goods, cereal, salad dressings, confections and as a tabletop sweetener. Stevia is a great option to use in recip Continue reading >>

Stevia

Stevia

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. [86] 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 >>

Effects Of Stevia, Aspartame, And Sucrose On Food Intake, Satiety, And Postprandial Glucose And Insulin Levels

Effects Of Stevia, Aspartame, And Sucrose On Food Intake, Satiety, And Postprandial Glucose And Insulin Levels

Go to: The twin epidemics of obesity and Type 2 diabetes continue to increase in industrialized nations. Approximately two thirds of adult Americans are currently overweight or obese and therefore at increased risk for a number of deleterious health conditions including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer (Roth, Qiang, Marban, Redelt, & Lowell, 2004). Although there is not specific evidence that sucrose, a disaccharide that consists of 50% glucose and 50% fructose, consumption affects the development of diabetes (Laville & Nazare, 2009), diets consisting of high amounts of sucrose have been found to cause weight gain (Raben, Vasilaras, Moller, & Astrup, 2002) and to have adverse effects on glucose tolerance in healthy volunteers (Cohen, Teitelbaum, Balogh, & Groen, 1966). Overconsumption of fructose has also been found to cause dyslipidemia and ectopic lipid deposition in healthy subjects with and without a family history of type 2 diabetes (Le et al., 2009), as well as increase visceral adiposity and decrease insulin sensitivity in overweight individuals (Stanhope et al., 2009). In animal models, high glycemic diets and high consumption of the natural sugar fructose have been shown to induce a number of metabolic complications including hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance (Barros et al., 2007). Moreover, recent human studies demonstrate that fructose infusions can induce hepatic insulin resistance (Wei, Wang, Topczewski, & Pagliassotti, 2007). The consumption of added sugars in the United States has increased by almost 20% over the past few decades with current consumption estimated to be 142 lbs per person per year (Wells & Buzby, 2008). Consumption of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages can significantly influence the glycemic Continue reading >>

New Insights Reveal How Stevia Controls Blood Sugar Levels

New Insights Reveal How Stevia Controls Blood Sugar Levels

New insights reveal how stevia controls blood sugar levels Related tags: Blood sugar levels , Insulin , Diabetes mellitus How stevia controls blood sugar levels has remained a mystery until now as researchers think they have unravelled the natural, no-calorie sweetener's action that results in its observed health benefits. Writing in the Nature Communications journal, the research team have identified a protein called TRPM5 that is activated by stevia. This protein plays a role in taste perception as well as in the release of the hormone insulin after eating. TRPM5 is first and foremost essential for the taste perception of sweet, bitter, and umami on the tongue, explained Dr Koenraad Philippaert from the University of Leuven in Belgium. The taste sensation is made even stronger by the stevia component steviol, which stimulates TRPM5. Steviols effectiveness in controlling blood sugar levels has raised the possibility of the sugar alternative itself forming a new treatment to control or possibly prevent diabetes. Stevia extracts have been shown to possess insulin stimulating properties as well as anti-hyperglycaemic effects in type 2 diabetic animal models. However, insights into the mechanisms of action of the stevia extract and its glycosides are currently lacking. Nevertheless, its 2011 approval in the European Union as a sweetening food additive has made it a first-choice candidate in the plans of food makers looking to reformulate their products in order to reduce sugar content. Its adoption in drinks such as Coca-Cola Life and Pepsi True has propelled stevia further into the limelight althoughCoca-Cola recently announced its product was to be withdrawn from UK markets from June. Coca-Cola recently announced its product Coca Cola Life was to be withdrawn from UK ma Continue reading >>

Does Stevia Raise Blood Sugar

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 >>

5 Sugar Substitutes For Type 2 Diabetes

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 >>

Could A Natural Sweetener Help Control Blood Sugar?

Could A Natural Sweetener Help Control Blood Sugar?

Stevia isn’t just a sweet substitute for those on a sugar-free or low-calorie diet. The plant-based sweetener helps control blood sugar, according to a recent study published in Nature Communications—above and beyond what you’d expect from cutting back on sugar. The way stevia works could make it an ally in the fight against diabetes. (For other blood sugar tamers, see 10 of the best herbs and supplements for diabetes.) Researchers at the University of Leuven in Belgium monitored mice for two weeks while giving them stevia in their drinking water. In particular, the researchers were interested in a protein called TRPM5 that is stimulated by stevia: TRPM5 is essential for taste perception, but it’s also involved in the release of insulin—the hormone that helps control blood sugar. Sure enough, when the mice got stevia, TRPM5 activity increased and the mice produced more insulin. Study author Rudi Vennekens, a biochemist, said in ScienceDaily that the mice actually gained “protection against diabetes.” (Don’t miss this go-to guide on superfoods for diabetics.) To test the findings, Vennekens and colleagues gave the sweetener to mice who lack the protein. “Stevia did not have this protective effect on mice without TRPM5,” said Vennekens. “This indicates that the protection is due to the TRPM5 stimulation.” The next step for researchers is figuring out whether the sweetener has the same effect in humans. While the results will be a few years coming, if you decide you want to give the sweetener a try, make sure you’re getting the real thing. “Many commercial stevia products are highly purified extracts and are not always as healthy as some of their ‘natural’ labels would lead you to believe,” writes nutritionist Jo Lewin in BBC Good Food. Continue reading >>

Does Stevia Affect Blood Sugar?

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 >>

Why I Quit Stevia

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 >>

How Stevia May Help To Control Blood Sugar

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 >>

Stevia: Can Nature’s Sweetener Help Your Blood Sugar?

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 >>

Stevia Has Been Found To Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Stevia Has Been Found To Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Stevia is an all-natural herb from South America that’s used as a healthier sweetener. Unlike refined sugar and other natural sweeteners, stevia does not raise blood sugar and does not contain any calories. (1) Pure stevia in its natural form also contains no chemicals or artificial ingredients like other artificial sweeteners. The leaves of the stevia plants are 200-300 times sweeter than sugar (depending on how it’s processed into a sweetener) and contain no sugar alcohols unlike other alternative sweeteners such as xylitol or erythritol. But is stevia all it’s cracked up to be? Apparently so, according to various research studies that shows the herb isn’t just incredibly useful for sweetening coffee and tea. It’s also pretty helpful for lowering your blood sugar levels. (1) How Stevia May Help Lower Your Blood Sugar A research study in Brazil found that after taking pure stevia extract every six hours for three days, individuals showed a remarkable reduction in blood glucose levels. (2) Another study detailed by Metabolism Journal showed that individuals who took stevia after a meal had 18% lower blood glucose levels than those consuming a sweetener from corn. The authors of the study states, “Stevioside reduces postprandial blood glucose levels in type-2 diabetic patients, indicating beneficial effects on the glucose metabolism.” (1,3) This is good news for those with diabetes looking for a better alternative than artificial sweeteners that contain harmful chemicals. Glucose intolerance is a risky health issue for anyone whether they have diabetes or not. It can lead to metabolic syndrome, obesity, hypoglycemia, and/or diabetes. (4) The benefits of stevia for blood sugar come from the herb’s natural compounds known as steviosides. Stevia has even bee Continue reading >>

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