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 >>
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
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: 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?
Written by Jessica Bruso; Updated June 30, 2017 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. 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. 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. 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 aspartame contain fewer calories 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 >>
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 >>
Does Stevia Raise Blood Sugar Levels?
Glucose is the source of life and its 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 Lower Your Blood Sugar Quickly Click To Continue Glucose is the source of life and its 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 dont 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 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. If daily use can eventually cause diabetes, like some of the other artificial sweeteners? Stevia is a natural product made from a plant that grows in South America. Its basically an herb, so its 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. Stevia has been used for centuries and its 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 Stevias safety, so the FDA already approved it as a natural sweetener. Stevia doesn Continue reading >>
Stevia Effectiveness, How It Works, And Drug Interactions On Emedicinehealth
Lowering Blood Pressure Exercise Tips Slideshow Pictures Stevia is a plant that contains natural sweeteners that are used in foods. Researchers have also evaluated the effect of chemicals in stevia on blood pressure and blood sugar levels. However, research results have been mixed. Stevia and chemicals contained in stevia, including stevioside and rebaudioside A, are LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth as a sweetener in foods. Rebaudioside A has generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status in the U.S. for use as a sweetener for foods. Stevioside has been safely used in research in doses of up to 1500 mg daily for 2 years. Some people who take stevia or stevioside can experience bloating or nausea . Other people have reported feelings of dizziness , muscle pain, and numbness. Pregnancy and breast -feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking stevia if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use. Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Stevia is in the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. This family includes ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many other plants. In theory, people who are sensitive to ragweed and related plants may also be sensitive to stevia. Diabetes: Some developing research suggests that some of the chemicals contained in stevia might lower blood sugar levels and could interfere with blood sugar control. However, other research disagrees. If you have diabetes and take stevia or any of the sweeteners it contains, monitor your blood sugar closely and report your findings to your healthcare provider. Low blood pressure : There is some evidence, though not conclusive, that some of the chemicals in stevia can lower blood pressure. There is a concern that these chemicals might cause blood pre Continue reading >>
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 >>
Stevia Effectiveness, How It Works, And Drug Interactions On Emedicinehealth - Are There Any Interactions With Medications?
Are there any interactions with medications? Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination. Stevia might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking stevia might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. In theory, this could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed. Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination. Some research shows that stevia might decrease blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes . In theory, stevia might cause an interaction with diabetes medications resulting in blood sugar levels going too low; however, not all research has found that stevia lowers blood sugar. Therefore, it is not clear if this potential interaction is a big concern. Until more is known, monitor your blood sugar closely if you take stevia. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed. Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination. Some research shows that stevia might decrease blood pressure. In theory, taking stevia along with medications used for lowering high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. However, some research shows that stevia does not affect blood pressure. Therefore, it's not known if this potential interaction is a big concern. Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril ( Capoten ), enalapril ( Vasotec ), losartan ( Cozaar ), valsartan ( Diovan ), diltiazem ( Cardizem ), Amlodipine ( Norvasc ), hydrochlorothiazide ( HydroDiuril ), furosemide ( Lasix ), and many others. The appropriate dose of stevia depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other condi Continue reading >>
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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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 >>
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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 >>