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Monday, October 20, 2014

How Stevia May Help Lower Your Blood Sugar

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 been found helpful to lower blood pressure and as well as better digestion. (1)

What’s the Best Stevia to Buy?

It’s important to know that not all stevia products are the same. Many include fillers such as maltodextrin, dextrose, sucrose (sugar), or insulin, a pre-biotic fiber used as an inexpensive sweetener. You can use stevia for baking, add it to beverages and dishes of all kinds, or use it in anything you would use with another type of sweetener. It is sold in liquid form, powdered form, and in dried leaf form. (5)
Though it’s generally considered safe, not enough research has been performed on stevia to determine its long-term benefits of side effects. (5)
Sources for this article include:

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