There can be plenty of reasons that compel a person to ditch sugar. Doctors often advise diabetic people to avoid eating food that is loaded with refined sugar as they already have excess levels of sugar in their blood.
Eliminating sugar from the diet deprives the food of all the sweetness. Due to his reason, many opt for sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners that provide the required sweetness but are very low in calories.
One such alternative to conventional sugar that has gained popularity lately is stevia. It is a natural sweetener that is derived from the stevia rebaudiana plant which is also called candy leaf or sweet leaf. In terms of taste, the stevia sugar is very strong and is about 100 to 300 times sweeter than the normal cane sugar.
While for some people, the taste of stevia is bitter and unpleasant, many consume it for its health benefits. People with diabetes or with poor sugar control prefer this alternative over cane sugar as stevia is free of carbohydrates and calories.
However, the question still remains if you should completely replace the cane sugar in your diet with stevia. For this, let us look at some of stevia’s health benefits.
- Stevia helps with weight management as it contains no sugar and nearly zero calories. Munching on sugar-loaded drinks and foods leads to weight gain and a reduced control of blood sugar levels. Replacing this sugar with stevia helps in cutting down the calorie intake without compromising on the taste.
- Stevia is considered tooth-friendly as it doesn’t produce the acids that lead to tooth decay. Cane sugar, meanwhile, comes in contact with the bacteria present in our mouth and gets fermented. This fermentation produces lactic acid that is responsible for cavities and erosion of the enamel. Stevia solves this problem as it has a different chemical structure and responds differently to the bacteria in the mouth.
- In addition, unlike table sugar that can raise blood sugar levels, stevia helps in controlling it. Stevia sugar can also be effective in lowering the blood pressure while some studies have also found that it promotes cardiovascular health and reduces hypertension.
Originally published at www.news18.com