Stevia leaf extract is an all-natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant that has recently become a popular substitute for sugar and artificial sweeteners. The stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana) is native to South America and has been used for centuries as a sweetener and medicinal herb. The leaves of the plant contain unique compounds called steviol glycosides that are up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Since the discovery of these sweet-tasting compounds, stevia leaf extract has been used to sweeten food and beverages around the world.
The popularity of stevia leaf extract has grown in recent years due to its many benefits over traditional sweeteners. Unlike sugar, stevia extract has no calories and does not raise blood glucose levels, making it a great choice for diabetics. Additionally, studies have found that stevia extract may have a positive effect on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and even weight loss. It also has a much lower glycemic index than sugar, making it a healthier choice for people with diabetes.
In addition to its health benefits, stevia extract has a much longer shelf life than other sweeteners. It is also widely available in many forms, including powder, liquid, and tablets. This makes it easy to find and use in a variety of recipes and beverages.
Despite its many benefits, there are some potential drawbacks to using stevia leaf extract. For one, the taste of stevia is not as sweet as sugar, which may put some people off. Additionally, some people may experience side effects such as nausea or headaches when consuming high levels of stevia extract. While these side effects are rare, it is important to consult with a doctor before consuming large amounts of stevia.
Overall, stevia leaf extract is a great natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. It has many health benefits, is widely available, and has a longer shelf life than other sweeteners. It is a great choice for diabetics and those looking to cut down on sugar consumption. However, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects and to talk to a doctor before consuming large amounts of stevia extract.
Stevia Leaf Extract is a natural, zero-calorie sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia plant. The plant, native to Paraguay and Brazil, has been used for centuries as a sweetener and medicinal herb.
The first recorded use of stevia as a sweetener dates back to the 16th century, when the Guarani people of South America used the leaves of the plant to sweeten their traditional beverage, yerba mate. By the late 19th century, commercial production of stevia extract had begun in Paraguay, and it was widely used as a sweetener for beverages and desserts.
Stevia extract was introduced to Europe in the early 20th century, and it gained popularity in the health food movement of the 1960s and 1970s. However, the use of stevia was restricted in some countries due to concerns over its safety. In the early 1990s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified stevia extract as an “unsafe food additive” due to a lack of safety studies.
In 2008, the FDA approved stevia extract as a food additive. Since then, stevia extract has become increasingly popular as a natural, zero-calorie sweetener in food products, beverages and dietary supplements. Today, stevia extract is widely available and is used in many food products and beverages.
In addition to its use as a sweetener, stevia extract has also been studied for its potential health benefits. Studies have shown that stevia extract may help to reduce blood sugar levels, and it may also have potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. More research is needed to determine the exact health benefits of stevia extract.
Side Effects of Stevia Leaf Extract:
The most common side effects of stevia leaf extract are nausea, bloating, dizziness, and rash. Rarely, it may cause allergic reactions, such as hives, itching, or difficulty breathing. Some people may also experience low blood pressure or low blood sugar. People with diabetes or other medical conditions should consult their doctor before using stevia leaf extract.
Summary of Stevia Leaf Extract:
Stevia leaf extract is a natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant that is growing in popularity as a sugar substitute. It is calorie free and up to 300 times sweeter than table sugar, making it an attractive option for those looking to reduce their sugar intake. Studies have shown that stevia leaf extract could potentially benefit people with diabetes and metabolic syndrome, as it has been linked to lower blood glucose levels, improved insulin sensitivity, and decreased fat storage. Additionally, some research suggests that it may have beneficial effects on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation. While more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of stevia leaf extract, it is considered safe for most people and could be a beneficial alternative to sugar for those looking to reduce their sugar intake.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is stevia leaf extract?
Stevia leaf extract is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It is a low-calorie alternative to sugar and is considered to be a healthy alternative as it does not cause an increase in blood sugar levels.
Is stevia safe to consume?
According to the World Health Organization and the US Food and Drug Administration, stevia is safe for consumption. However, some studies suggest that excessive consumption of stevia may have adverse effects on fertility and reproductive health.
How does stevia taste compared to sugar?
Stevia has a different taste compared to sugar and is often described as having a slightly bitter aftertaste. Some people find the taste to be unpleasant, while others prefer it to sugar.
Can stevia be used in cooking and baking?
Yes, stevia can be used in cooking and baking, but it may not provide the same texture and taste as sugar. Bakers often use a combination of stevia and sugar or other sweeteners to achieve the desired flavor and texture.
Is stevia better for you than sugar?
Stevia is a low-calorie alternative to sugar and does not cause an increase in blood sugar levels, which makes it a better option for people with diabetes or other conditions that require blood sugar control. However, it is still important to consume stevia in moderation as excessive consumption may have adverse effects on health.
Does stevia have any side effects?
In general, stevia is considered safe for consumption, but some people may experience side effects such as bloating, gas, and digestive discomfort. Excessive consumption of stevia may also have adverse effects on fertility and reproductive health.
Purium Products that contain Stevia Leaf Extract:
- Aloe Digest
- Cocoa Mint Spirulina
- Coco Hydrate
- Green Spectrum – Lemon
- Super Meal L.O.V. – Original
- Super Meal L.O.V. – Vanilla Chai