is stevia good for diabetes
Nutrition

Is Stevia Good for Diabetics?

Many people with diabetes worry that stevia might contain high content of sugar. But can stevia be used for diabetes? Yes, stevia sweeteners do not contain any calories. It is also a good choice for people interested in losing weight. For people with diabetes, stevia can prove a good alternative to sugar in daily meals and diet for diabetes. They are available in many forms, such as granules, powdered and liquid. Intaking stevia daily does not make any changes in blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. Lets read more about "‘is stevia good for diabetes"

Stevia and Diabetes

Stevia sweeteners are some healthy and natural sweeteners that can be one of the best alternatives to artificial sweeteners and sugars. Stevia can be a good choice to add to their meals for people with diabetes. With these sweeteners, there will not be any change in blood sugar levels, insulin levels, lipid levels, and HbA1C diabetes range.

Stevia sweeteners are made up of leaves taken from the stevia plant. So if you are still wondering, ‘is stevia good for diabetes?’ There is no doubt that the answer to this question is yes. People with diabetes can add these sweeteners without worrying about an increase in their blood sugar levels.

Benefits

There are many health benefits of stevia, such as-

  • They have low quantities of calories.
  • They do not contribute carbs to the diet of people with diabetes.
  • There is no effect on insulin and blood glucose by having stevia sweeteners.
  • A significant reduction in blood sugar level can be seen in people with type 2 diabetes after having a meal in which stevia is included.
  • For people with obesity, stevia can prove to be highly useful in controlling the intake of energy and sugars.
  • The chance of getting pancreatic cancer is reduced by 23 per cent as stevia contains kaempferol which plays a great role in reducing the risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • Blood pressure can be normalised with stevia.
  • The number of calories can be reduced in the diets of children
  • They do not cause any allergic reaction in the body.
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What Research Says

More than 200 studies and research proves that stevia is safe to use. JECFA stated that the ADI of the weight per day is 4 mg/ kg, in the form of equivalents of stevia. They guarantee the consumers that stevia is safe to use. Other 5 random controlled trials were held where the outcomes had to be concluded based on the effect of stevia on metabolic systems. The study stated that, in Bottomline to the effect of stevia on metabolic outcomes, there is minimal or no effect on insulin levels, blood pressure, body weight, and levels of blood sugar by stevia. Stevia sweeteners are a great alternative to artificial and other sugars in daily diet.

Can Stevia Treat or Cure Diabetes?

For Stevia to act as diabetes cure or treatment is not fully possible. Many other factors and medications play an important role in curing and treating people with diabetes. Nonetheless, stevia is a great alternative to sugar in daily meals so that the sugar and insulin levels do not increase. A study in 2013 stated that stevia powder from leaves could be used as a supplement in diets, which helps to reduce blood sugar levels.

Risk and Side effects

There are mainly no risks of stevia for diabetes side effects or other harms. People who are sensitive to sugar alcohols and such things might experience abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, nausea, and bloating. All the stevias that are purified highly and used in moderate amounts will not cause any risk or side effects.

Pure stevia glycosides can be easily added to food and daily meals, and they are GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the administration of food and drug. Stevia plants can be used in many ways and can easily be grown in homes.

Earlier, it was thought that maybe stevia is a danger to the health of kidneys. Later, a study was done on rats which suggested that stevia has qualities that can also protect the kidneys and reduce chances of diabetes.

Stevia Alternative for People with Diabetes

Reducing the intake of sugar is very difficult for people with diabetes. But replacing it with stevia can prove successful and beneficial for health. Many other natural sweeteners are found in nature and can be used as alternatives to stevia. Some of those are given below.

  • Erythritol- It is another sweetener that is low in calories. It is sugary alcohol that is naturally found in some fruits.
  • Xylitol is another sweetener that is sugary alcohol and tastes similar to sugar. It has many benefits for a person's dental health.
  • Yacon syrup- It is a unique sweetener that is produced from the yacon plant. It has many soluble fibres, which are good for people with diabetes.
  • Monk fruit- Monk fruit is a fruit from Southeast Asia. Carbs and calories are not present in the monk fruit sweetener. It also has some components that are good for treating inflammation.

Bottomline

Sweeteners can prove to be the best alternative for people with diabetes. Stevia sweetener is harvested from the stevia plant. These sweeteners are safe for people with diabetes. They contain many soluble fibres and other vitamins that help maintain the level of blood sugars and improve the digestive system's health. People who are sensitive to sugar alcohol might want to consider other sweeteners. Stevia sweeteners are much better than artificial supplements.

FAQs

Is stevia safe for long term consumption? 

Stevia is safe for consumption in moderate quantities. For those who have a hard time leaving sugar, Stevia is a great replacement. However, it cannot be used in excess. It is safe for long term consumption as long as the daily consumption is monitored. The recommended consumption is 4 mg per kilogram of body weight per day. 

What are side effects of stevia?

There are no notable risks related to Stevia if consumed in moderate quantities and in normal cases. However, there are a few exceptions like – 

  1. People who are sensitive to sugar alcohols may go through abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and bloating. 
  2. Previously, it was believed that Stevia is a danger to kidneys but a study showed that stevia has properties that can protect the kidneys and reduce the chance of diabetes. 

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