What Is Stevia? And Is It Helpful For People With Diabetes?
Home Magazine Diabetes (Singapore) What Is Stevia? And Is It Helpful For People With Diabetes? What Is Stevia? And Is It Helpful For People With Diabetes? Expert-reviewed byAshwini S.Kanade, Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator with 17 years of experience In this article, we talk about another natural substitute for sugar: Stevia. We had previously talked about honey as a sugar substitute as well .But if you are looking for more natural sugar substitutes, then stevia might be the answer for you. For centuries, people in South American countries like Brazil have been using the leaves of the stevia plant as a natural sweetener. Today, stevia is found all over the world and is prized for being a natural sugar substitute. This natural sweetener obtained from the Stevia rebaudiana plant is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. This property is due to the presence of two compounds: stevioside and rebaudioside. (1) Moreover, stevia is non-nutritive, which means it adds zero calories to your diet; thus it can serve as a replacement for table sugar in your diet. Several brands of stevia tablets and powder are commercially available. Most of them tend to have a mildly bitter aftertaste due to the presence of stevioside. If you find the taste off-putting, check if there are brands of stevia powder made of only rebaudioside, which does not have this bitter taste. add stevia instead of sugar to your tea or coffee since stevia is much sweeter, you may need to experiment a little to find the quantity that best suits your taste buds. Generally, a pinch of stevia gives you the same sweetness as one teaspoon of sugar. Read how drinking tea can help you prevent or manage diabetes. sprinkle stevia powder onto your breakfast cereals or on yoghurt. Here are some easy, deliciou Continue reading >>
Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe For People With Diabetes?
As diabetes educators, we are frequently asked if sugar substitutes are safe and which ones are best. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy Over time, there have been many sugar substitutes, and we always tell people that the one you use is a personal choice. They are safe for people with diabetes, and they can be used to reduce both your calorie and carbohydrate intake. Sugar substitutes also can help curb those cravings you have for something sweet. Youll find artificial sweeteners in diet drinks , baked goods, frozen desserts, candy, light yogurt and chewing gum. You can also find them as stand-alone sweeteners to add to coffee, tea , cereal and fruit. Some are also available for cooking and baking. Its important to remember that only a small amount is needed since the sweetening power of these substitutes is (at least) 100 times stronger than regular sugar. There are currently six artificial sweeteners that have been tested and approved by the FDAor placed on the agencys Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list. Numerous scientific studies have been performed on each of them to confirm they are safe for consumption. The FDA has established an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for each of the products. This represents the amount of a food ingredient that can be used safely on a daily basis over a lifetime without risk.Here is a current list of sweeteners that have been approved by the FDA. 1. Acesulfame-potassium, also known as Ace-K This is generally blended with another low-calorie sweetener. Brand names include Sunett and Sweet One It is stable under heat, even under moderately acidic or basic conditions, allowing it to be used as Continue reading >>
Can Diabetics Have Stevia
As diabetic having a craving for sweet things can at times be so wanting. It is so unfortunate that you can’t eat just any sweet thing that comes to your mind without considering the effect it may have on your blood sugar levels. Stevia is a sweet plant low in carbohydrates and can make up a great diet for the diabetic. In fact, several companies have adapted adding stevia as a sweetener to their sugar-free beverages and foods. Benefits of taking stevia Given its richness in minerals and vitamins stevia is a plant with a lot of benefits when made as part of the diet by the diabetic. Stevia also contains magnesium and chromium. Magnesium as a nutrient in the body helps in secretion of more insulin and creates conducive condition for the insulin to work better. Chromium, on the other hand, has quite a handful of benefits to the body. It helps in maintaining a normal glucose metabolism in some cases there have been incidences where a deficiency of chromium in the body has been associated with irregular glucose intolerance. O the positive side, most people with diabetes don’t have a deficiency in chromium. We mentioned earlier that as a plant stevia is rich in vitamins and minerals. These minerals are only found in the plant and not in the powder or liquid substance you buy at the shop. To get the nutrients you can cut the leaves of the plants and add them to your food or beverages. Stevia for diabetics-what does science say? Science has it that stevia is particularly useful to not only people living with diabetes but also other individuals as well. For instance, stevia is promising to individuals diagnosed with type diabetes and hypertension. On a wider perspective, stevia is said to be approved by the FDA as to contain antidiabetic and antioxidants. This is particular Continue reading >>
Splenda Or Stevia ?
Is it better to sweeten with Splenda, the McNeil Nutritionals brand of sucralose, or with one of the many brands of stevia? I keep changing my mind on this question and going back and forth between them. I suspect that I’m not the only one puzzling over this issue. I’ve just switched back to stevia. It wasn’t because of any new information or sudden insight. It was partly because I have begun to accept that people and organizations I respect prefer stevia. The natural foods stores, Whole Foods and Wild Oats, where I almost buy everything else that I eat, don’t sell Splenda. Andrew Weil, M.D., the leading exponent of the integrative medicine, which I believe in myself, prefers stevia to any of the artificial sweeteners. "The only non-caloric sweetener I recommend is stevia, an herb in the chrysanthemum family native to Paraguay," he writes. "Stevia is safe for diabetics and is widely used as a sweetener around the world, especially in Japan and Brazil." Stevia is indeed natural. But natural isn’t necessarily safe. Think of all the poisonous mushrooms, to say nothing of strychnine and curare. It’s hard to determine the advantages and disadvantages of the natural stevia, which is essentially untested, against the artificial Splenda that has been tested. Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, McNeil Nutritionals, advertises that Splenda is "Made from sugar so it tastes like sugar." In fact lawsuits are pending that alleges the company is sugar-coating Splenda to consumers. The Sugar Association, Merisant Worldwide, which makes rival artificial sweeteners Equal and NutraSweet, and a group of individuals have filed three class-action suits again McNeil Nutritionals. They claim that company misleads consumers into believing Splenda is a natural product. Splenda also doe Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
Stevia: Health Benefits, Facts, And Safety
Stevia is an intensely sweet-tasting plant that has been used to sweeten beverages and make tea since the 16th century. The plant is originally native to Paraguay and Brazil but is now also grown in Japan and China. It is used as a non-nutritive sweetener and herbal supplement. A non-nutritive sweetener is one that contains little to no calories . Stevia is used as a healthful alternative to added sugar in many meals and beverages. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the marketing of stevia as a food additive in 1987. However, stevia regained its status as a sweet, sustainable dietary ingredient in 1995. The sweetener has since soared in popularity, with a 58 percent boost in new products that contain stevia. This breakdown looks at the characteristics, uses, health benefits, and side effects of stevia, as well as considering its overall safety. Stevia is primarily grown in Brazil, Paraguay, Japan, and China. The natural sweetener tastes 200 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar. Stevia can be classified as "zero-calorie," because the calories per serving are so low. It has shown potential health benefits as a healthful sugar alternative for people with diabetes . Stevia and erythritol that have been approved for use in the United States (U.S.) and do not appear to pose any health risks when used in moderation. Stevia, also known as Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, is a bushy shrub that is part of the sunflower family. There are 150 species of stevia, all native to North and South America. China is the current leading exporter of stevia products. However, stevia is now produced in many countries. The plant can often be purchased at garden centers for home growing. As stevia is 200 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar. It typically requires about 20 p 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 >>
Stevia & Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you may struggle finding foods to feed your sweet tooth that won’t raise your blood sugar. Stevia may be the answer you’re looking for. A variety of companies are now adding stevia as a sweetener to low-calorie or sugar-free foods and beverages that can be part of a healthy diet for diabetics. Video of the Day In 2008, the FDA labeled stevia “Generally Recognized as Safe” and approved its use as an artificial sweetener in the U.S. The American Diabetes Association agrees it is safe for diabetics to use to add sweetness to the diet without raising blood sugar. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension reports that stevia has been used safely in Paraguay for centuries. It was approved in Japan in the 1970s, and Brazil approved the use of stevia products in 1980. Stevia is currently used all over the world with China being the largest exporter. What the Science Says A study published in 2004 in the journal “Metabolism” reported that participants with type 2 diabetes had lower blood sugar levels after eating a meal supplemented with 1 gram of stevia than those who ate the same meal without stevia. In 2013, a study published in the “Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications” found that diabetic rats given diets supplemented with stevia not only had lower blood sugars, but less damage to their liver and kidneys as well. More studies are needed to determine the benefits of stevia to diabetics, but so far, the findings are promising. It Does a Body Good Because stevia is a plant, it contains a variety of vitamins and minerals including chromium and magnesium. Chromium helps maintain normal glucose metabolism and chromium deficiency has been associated with impaired glucose intolerance, although most diabetics are not deficient in chrom Continue reading >>
Is Stevia Safe For Diabetics?
I'm trying to stay away from artificial sweeteners. Can I use stevia instead? — Cheryl, Ohio Stevia is a no-calorie sweetener extracted from the leaf of a plant grown in Paraguay and Brazil. The ingredients in stevia that make it sweet include the plant chemicals stevioside, rebaudiosides, and dulcoside A. Stevia is about 30 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially approved stevia for use as a food additive in the United States — not as a sweetener — so there was no official acceptable daily intake for this additive. However, based on safety studies in rats, a daily intake of 8 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (4 milligrams per pound of body weight) is considered safe. One packet usually contains 80 mg of stevia. So, you can safely use stevia within this dose limitation. Rebaudioside A is a specific extract of the stevia plant that is the sweetest (about 350 times sweeter than table sugar) and has the least bitter aftertaste of the components of stevia. In December 2008, the FDA approved several rebaudioside A-based products for sale, including the sweeteners Truvia and Purevia. These products have an acceptable daily intake of up to 4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. Learn more in the Everyday Health Diabetes Center. 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 >>
Stevia: A Sweetener Shrouded In Mystery And Debate
Over the past several weeks, we’ve taken a closer look at various nutritive, or caloric, sweeteners, including high-fructose corn syrup. Thank you all for your comments, questions, and suggestions. The use of sweeteners is obviously an important, and often emotionally charged, topic. This week, I thought I’d write about stevia, a sweetener that has grown more popular with many people who are uncomfortable with using artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and sucralose. Stevia is an herb that belongs to the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It’s grown primarily in Central and South America and is sometimes called sweet leaf or sugar leaf. For many centuries, people living in Paraguay and Brazil have used stevia to sweeten a drink called yerba mate. In the early 1930s, scientists isolated the ingredients, stevioside and rebaudioside, that give stevia its sweetness. These ingredients, collectively known as glycosides, are about 300 times sweeter than sucrose, although they are calorie-free and carbohydrate-free (meaning they don’t affect blood glucose levels). Stevia users describe stevia as tasting a bit like licorice. Japan has been manufacturing stevia since the 1970s and happens to be the largest consumer of stevia compared to other countries. Stevia is also used in other Asian countries as well as in Central and South America. Interestingly, stevia has yet to be approved for use as a sweetener by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), by Canada, or by the European Union. It is, however, available as a dietary supplement. Why? Studies done several years ago hinted that stevia may be harmful in several ways. First, large amounts of stevia given to both male and female rodents affected their fertility and led to fewer and smaller-sized offspring. Second, in Continue reading >>
Stevia For Diabetics – Does It Work As Claimed?
How about sweetening your food despite having diabetes? No. This is not the storyline for an upcoming Hollywood science fiction movie. It is the truth. I don’t know if you have heard of stevia before. But that doesn’t matter. Because stevia… ..well, read for yourself. What Is Stevia? Sugar’s cousin. But without the ill effects. This is because almost all sugar substitutes are produced synthetically. But not stevia. Stevia is derived from a plant. Which is why it is sugar’s good cousin. And guess what? Stevia is valued for what it doesn’t do. For instance, stevia doesn’t add calories. The stevia plant is related to the daisy and ragweed plants. Several of the stevia species are native to Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. But the most prized species grows in Brazil and Paraguay. The people in these areas have been using the leaves of this plant to sweeten food for hundreds of years. The traditional medicine in these regions also promotes stevia as a treatment for burns, stomach problems, and sometimes even as a contraceptive. Stunningly enough, stevia is 250 to 300 times sweeter than sugar (1). But it contains no carbohydrates, calories, or artificial ingredients. Stevia For Diabetics – What Does Science Say? Science says many things. And one of them is this – stevia might have benefits – not just for diabetics, but for other individuals as well. According to Massachusetts General Hospital, stevia is promising for people suffering from hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Stevia is made from a leaf related to popular garden flowers like chrysanthemums and asters (2). It is approved by the FDA and is known to possess antioxidant and antidiabetic properties. It can suppress your plasma glucose levels and help improve the symptoms. The other benefits of stevia Continue reading >>
Nasty Surprise: Stevia In The Raw
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please,join our community todayto contribute and support the site. This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies. After doing well for months and getting my BGs better and better I got a nasty surprise today. Around 1 1/2 hrs after breakfast I had a reading of 162! :eek: and this is after I started the day with FBG of 96! What went wrong? First I just couldnt understand it as I eat basically the same thing every day. But then I remembered what was different today. You see, I always liked strong coffee with lots of sugar to balance the bitterness, but since my diagnoses I proceeded with the caution and was drinking it either without any sweeteners or with Truvia (1-2 packets) and was OK BG wise but meh and blah taste wise. So I am still on a lookout for other sweeteners as Truvia is on expensive side and I was hoping to find something maybe cheaper and closer to sugar by taste. And I bought this Stevia in the Raw in the GNC store and so far used one packet at the time (I didnt care for the taste much, but it wasnt too bad either) and it seemed to be OK with my BG and while I probably wouldnt buy it anymore, but its here already, so cheapskate me got to use it! Today I decided to up my sweets in my coffee I figured why not? If there is nothing to spike me, why not make my coffee more enjoyable? So I put in 2 Truvias and 2 "Stevias in the Raw" and my coffee tasted very nice...... you know the rest. :thumpdown So Im reading the label and it says; Ingredients: Dextrose, Stevia Extract. Total Carbohydrate less than 1 gr (hmmm.) EACH SERVING CONTAINS LESS THAN 4 CALORIES WHICH THE FDA CONSIDERS DIETETICALLY ZERO. (Capital letters are original). Suitable for people with diabetes. Really? My guess would be that l Continue reading >>
Can Diabetics Use Stevia?
Based near Boulder, Colo., Amber Olson has been writing health-related articles since 2009. She has served as a respiratory therapist, exercise specialist and yoga instructor. Olson holds a bachelor's degree in health, physical education and recreation from South Dakota State University and an associate's degree in respiratory care from Dakota State University. Continue reading >>