Stevia Health Benefits, Safety And Inside Information

stevia health benefits
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When I was little girl I loved going to my beloved Nanny’s house to make and eat baked goods with her. People admired her for her kindness, for teaching home economics for over 30 years and baking the best desserts west of the Mississippi. Just ask her favorite (okay, only) granddaughter.

Baking is definitely an art and she was an artist.

She taught me how to bake cookies and cakes, pies and fudge, all so deliciously rich and delightfully sweet.

However, eating the sweet treats truly did not compare to the time we spent smiling, laughing and playing the occasional practical joke on my unsuspecting Papaw. She made me feel special and I treasured our times together.

What About Sugar?

In the 80’s people weren’t concerned with sugar.

Back then fat was (erroneously) considered the dietary evil. I’m glad the horrible myths about fat have been cleared up, because (grass-fed) butter does make everything better. 😉

Processed sugar may end up being the worst culprit to the American diet despite earlier beliefs of its innocence.

But why?

Because sugar:

  • is full of empty calories
  • causes tooth decay
  • is highly addictive (1)
  • raises your cholesterol and risk for heart disease (2)
  • causes cancer (3)
  • causes insulin resistance (4)
  • can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (5)

(For more about the harmful impact of sugar you may want to check out 20 Reasons Why Refined Sugar Is Bad For Your Health.)

Now that we know the dangers sugar presents to our health we can look to a healthy alternative for the sweetness we crave.

What Is Stevia?

Stevia is an all-natural sugar substitute belonging to the Asteraceae family. This herb is an extract taken from a plant originally grown in South America. It is super sweet, 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. So, as you might have guessed, a little goes a long way.

Based on a 1 gram serving, it has zero calories and does not raise blood glucose levels, something that could be an issue for those with diabetes.

You can use it in baking. It is also stable in a freezer and heat. But because it is so sweet you’ll have to make some

stevia health benefits
Natural, minimally processed stevia is an excellent substitute for sugar, without all the dangerous side effects.

adjustments.

Here are some basic conversions to help you when baking: 

  • 1 teaspoon sugar = 1/2 packet, or 1/8 teaspoon powdered stevia or 5 drops liquid
  • one tablespoon sugar = 1 .5 packets, or 1/3 teaspoon powdered stevia or 15 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 cup sugar = 24 packets, or 2 tablespoons powdered stevia or 2 teaspoons liquid stevia

Two compounds in stevia make the leaves sweet:

  1. stevioside
  2. rebaudioside

You may have also heard of Truvia, which is a highly processed form of stevia.

Is Stevia Safe To Use?

Generally speaking, most people do fine consuming stevia, especially in its purest form. But, it is essential to understand the different forms of stevia because some are more processed than others. Also as we know, the more processed foods are, the less healthy, and more harmful our health they are.

  1. The green leaf stevia is the all-natural plant form you can grow. The leaves can be dried and ground to a powder. This is the healthiest form.
  2. Stevia extracts
  3. Highly processed stevia (such as Truvia) is not recommended. It runs through 42 different processes, including the addition of harmful chemical solvents and GMO corn products. Consequently, at the end of all this processing it barely resembles natural stevia at all. (You can read more about Truvia here.)

Stevia Health Benefits

  1. May lower blood sugar (6)
  2. Reduces the growth of breast cancer cells (7)
  3. Lowers blood pressure (8)
  4. Improves overall cholesterol (9)

Please check out this video I made about natural stevia:

The Takeaway

Stevia is an excellent all-natural alternative to sugar, as long as you use the more natural forms and avoid the highly processed ones, such as Truvia. Not only can stevia sweeten your morning coffee or tea, but it can also offer some pretty impressive health benefits.

The quality and purity levels of different stevia brands can vary drastically. It’s essential to do a little investigating before purchasing stevia to make sure you get a quality product.

We use NuNaturals Pure Liquid Clear Stevia and are pleased with the high quality and purity level.


Do you use stevia? What did you think?

Please share below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


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38 Comments

  1. I am always amazed at how large companies with profits on the brain will falsely put out information to the public at large. I do feel overwhelmed at times since the information seems to change every other year. This is good for; now this is bad for you; no actually it’s great for you. I can see why people simple phase out the info an go with what is presented in front of them via marketing.

    thrifting diva
    http://www.thriftingdiva.com

    1. Yes, great points, Ayana! Unfortunately it happens way to much. And you’re right…it can be overwhelming when we are told one thing, then the next. Makes it hard to know what to believe. It’s so important to look at who is conducting and sponsoring the studies.

      I’m a bit of a research nerd and it floors me how much is presented as fact but is truly manipulation by some of these big corporations. You really have to do your homework.

  2. Oh great to know about this Stevia. It is exactly important to pay attention on our sugar intake, but for sure we all need to taste the sweets of this world, good that Stevia exists.

  3. This is a very helpful resource on Stevia. It has a lot of benefit but you have to be sure that you are getting in its most natural form because several of the brands available aren’t as healthy as they claim to be.

    1. Thank you, Cindy – This is true and I’m so glad you mentioned it!

      There are definitely differing levels of quality and purity when it comes to Stevia, so it’s best to do a bit of research before purchasing.

      I’m currently using NuNaturals Clear Stevia Extract and have been pleased with it, but I know there are several other quality brands on the market.

  4. We were definitely taught a lot of false things about sugar. It’s unfortante how big companies are allowed to be unhonest and how it’s drastically affected us. I don’t know anything about Stevia, definitely have to try it out.

    1. It is incredibly frustrating to me too, Angela. When it comes to public health I can’t understand how some of these deceptions are carried out for so long.

      People deserve to know the truth about nutrition and factors that are going to impact their health. Then they can make educated decisions about what foods they choose to eat and serve to their families.

  5. I would have to try this and see how I like it. I know some sugar substitutes are better than others so maybe this is a good one.

  6. I have never really got into sugary goods, especially since diabetes runs rampantly on both sides of my family. I love that there are sugar alternatives like Stevia, though!

    1. That’s so good that you’re conscious about sugar.

      Growing up, my mom was always a very health-conscious cook and we ate delicious meals. But we always left room for dessert too, and that was my downfall, the sweets. I never realized what they were doing to my body until I cut way back.

      I love Stevia too!

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