Health Benefits of Stevia
San Antonio TX. Sweet foods tend to be a source of carbohydrates needed for energy. However, according to the Global Stevia Institute (GSI), the consumption of sugars in excess may contribute to an energy imbalance in the diet, which is often accompanied with sedentary lifestyle and limited physical activity. A positive energy balance may contribute to overweight or obesity and related chronic diseases. The GSI says that it may be beneficial to reduce excess added sugars for improved energy balance and weight management and an option to achieve this is including stevia as part of a healthful, balanced diet in addition to regular physical activity. The GSI states that purified stevia leaf extract is safe for people of all ages.
According to the GSI, other health benefits of stevia are that it is a plant extract and a natural origin sweetener and that it is zero-calorie since it adds a delicious sweet taste without adding calories because the steviol glycosides in stevia pass through the body without effect. Dr. Cathy Kapica, from the Awegrin Institute and Former Chair of the GSI Board of Advisors, says that expert studies have shown that the antibacterial properties of stevia may help with gingivitis, cavities, tooth decay and mouth sores. Cavities develop when oral bacteria forms acids that damage healthy teeth. Stevia may inhibit the reproduction and growth of oral bacteria, which can prevent mouth and gum diseases.
In 2004, scientists from the University of Agricultural Sciences of Bangalore, Indiadetermined that stevia has anti-hypertensive effects. Kris Gunnars, a nutrition researcher with a Bachelor’s degree in medicine, states that different studies have shown that taking stevioside (one of stevia’s sweet compounds) as a supplement can reduce blood pressure.
The GSI states that purified stevia leaf extract can be found in hundreds of foods and beverage products around the world. People may find stevia-sweetened teas, soft drinks, juices, yogurt, soymilk, granola and snack bars, and baked goods. Stevia is also found in snacks, cereals, salad dressings, savory sauces, alcoholic beverages, chewing gum, canned fruit and jams, confections, and as a table top sweetener.
Stevia can be the sole sweetener in a product or blended with other natural caloric sweeteners or other non-caloric sweeteners.
- Magnuson, Bernadene, PhD GSI Advisory Board Member, Stevia Safety Review, Global Stevia Institute.
- Kapica, Cathty, PhD, Awegrin Institute, Former Chair of the GSI Board of Advisors Sweet stevia leaf extract promotes dental health, Global Stevia Institute, http://globalsteviainstitute.com/consumers/nutrition-health/stevia-safety/
- Gunnars, Kris Gunnars, Bsc: Stevia – A Natural Sweetener With Proven Health Benefits, April, 2014|http://authoritynutrition.com/stevia/
- S.M. Savita, K. Sheela, Sharan Sunanda, A.G. Shankar, Parama Ramakrishna and Srinivas Sakey Health Implications of Stevia rebaudiana University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bangalore 560 065, Karnataka, India, 2004. http://www.krepublishers.com/02-Journals/JHE/JHE-15-0-000-000-2004-Web/JHE-15-3-161-236-2004-Abst-PDF/JHE-15-3-191-194-2004-Savita/JHE-15-3-191-194-2004-Savita.pdf
SVETIA® Calorie – Free Sweetener is made with cane sugar and stevia extract. One packet of SVETIA® contains only one gram of carbohydrates. People with diabetes are advised to check with their registered dietitian or physician.