5 Myths and 4 Benefits of Stevia
What is Stevia?
Stevia is believed to be among the healthiest natural sweeteners. It is made from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana, a plant species indigenous to Brazil and Paraguay. Stevia is a plant with natural sugar content which makes it a natural sugar substitute. The sweet taste comes from compounds called steviol glycosides that occur naturally within the stevia plant. The best part about Stevia is that it’s a zero-calorie sweetener. Stevia is a fitting ingredient to satiate your sweet tooth. You can easily replace sugar with stevia and enjoy the tempting desserts, beverages, or any sweet treats without feeling guilty.
Some common questions that are frequently raised related to Stevia:
- Is stevia a sugar?
It is possible for people to confuse stevia with sugar as it tastes sweet but stevia is neither a type of sugar nor contains any sugar content. It is rather a sugar substitute, derived from stevia plants and hence it’s sugar free.
- Is stevia good for you?
Yes, stevia is one of the safest and healthiest options among all the sweeteners you find out there. It is even associated with various health benefits.
- Is stevia an artificial sweetener?
No, stevia is a plant-based sweetener that occurs naturally. It is derived from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana. Even the FDA has approved Stevia as a natural low-calorie substitute of sugar.
- Is stevia better than sugar?
Stevia acts as an excellent substitute to sugar, being that low on calories and carbs. It is ideal for people who are health-conscious and looking to manage their weight.
- Is stevia good for diabetics?
Stevia has a low glycemic index (GI) which means it is least likely to affect your blood sugar levels. In fact, it is particularly useful for the people suffering from diabetes, and obesity by keeping their blood sugar levels in control.
Usage of Stevia
Stevia being a sugar substitute, can be put in anything that requires sugar. It may as well be used for cooking several recipes at home. Although it is necessary to keep the quantity of stevia in check as it is countless times sweeter than sugar. Here are some of the food categories:
Stevia is a versatile ingredient and can be put into numerous beverages such as tea, coffee, juices, flavoured water and alcoholic drinks while retaining the actual flavours.
- Dairy products
A lot of processed dairy products already come with a great amount of fat content in them and adding sugar increases it even more. Instead of sugar, stevia can be added to flavoured milk, yoghurt and ice cream.
- Baking products
It is difficult to resist cakes and desserts but not so difficult to avoid sugar as you can replace it with Stevia. Stevia can be a great ingredient in baked goods like breads, cookies, cakes and desserts while you’re trying to cut back on sugar.
- Indian sweets
It is said, everything that tastes good is bad for your health, but we have an exception for you - Stevia sweets. Sweetening Indian sweets with something like stevia that has no calories, is a dream come true for every health conscious person.
Benefits of Stevia
Stevia, a natural sweetener, comes bearing amazing health benefits that you’d not have thought of before. Here are some of them:
- Controls weight
Sick of worrying about the increasing waistline? Good news for all of you who are tired of looking at their weighing scale. You do not need to feel guilty about cheating on your diet anymore with Stevia as an option. It is a low calorie replacement of sugar.
- Diabetic friendly
Studies have shown that stevia doesn’t affect the blood sugar and insulin levels as it is free of calories or carbs. It allows the diabetic patients to freely indulge into a wider variety of foods without worrying about their condition.
- Lowers cholesterol
Research shows that use of stevia brings about a considerable reduction in LDL cholesterol which is bad for health and a hike in the HDL cholesterol levels, which is healthy cholesterol and is vital for a good lipid profile.
- Regulates blood pressure
Stevia contains glycosides that can surprisingly relax the blood vessels, increase urination and eliminate sodium from the body. As a result, there is less strain on the cardiovascular system and can induce a drop in blood pressure. This means that conditions like heart attacks and strokes can be prevented.
As it turns out, everything that tastes good isn’t necessarily bad for your health. Get your hands on our stevia-based Indian sweets at Mithai & More.