Reducing daily sugar intake is a very simple but extremely effective way to help you achieve your physical goals. And it does not matter if you want to build muscle or reduce your body fat percentage. At this point, however, we want to remain realistic, because to refrain from the large number of sweet sins is by far the biggest challenge in clean eating. Nonetheless, the use of Stevia Helping you achieve your goals without sacrificing everything sweet. The sugar substitute mentioned above has the advantage that it does not completely replace the flavor of sugar, but it is quite close to the natural aroma of granulated sugar, making it an excellent substitute. But that's not all, because the natural sweetener also has other health benefits that, in turn, indirectly help you achieve your goals. Find out what these are and what Stevia is all about in detail in this article.

What makes the Stevia sugar substitute?

The term "Stevia" is an abbreviation for "Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni", a plant that is at home in the rainforests of Paraguay and Brazil on the South American continent. However, among the more than 110 currently known species that are assigned to this plant group, there are only 18 species that have the natural sweetness that is suitable for the production of the sugar substitute as we know it. From plants suitable for further processing, concentrated powders and liquid concentrates are obtained by means of drying and extraction processes, which are used in industry for sweetening food, for example. The popularity of the sweetener derived from the stevia plant, however, is also due to the fact that scientists associate the substance with health benefits.

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How does the sugar substitute work?

Mainly responsible for the perceived sweetness and aroma is an active chemical called stevioside. Among other things, this causes us humans to perceive the sweetener 100 to 300 times more than granulated sugar. Since only very small amounts are needed, the sweetness of stevia is calorie-free, which of course leaves you with some design options for use in the kitchen. In addition, the sweetener thus affects neither the blood sugar level nor insulin secretion. Stevia has been officially approved as a dietary supplement in the US since 1995 and has been used for sweetening high quality protein powders for quite some time. By the time of its approval as a feed additive in 2011, Stevia was officially sold in the EU as a bath additive.

What advantages does Stevia offer for a healthy diet?

Stevia-containing foods were consumed centuries ago on the South American continent and used for medical purposes. And that, long before the health-promoting influences of modern science could be proven. The biggest advantage, especially with regard to the overweight problem in highly developed industrial nations, is that adiposity and diabetes can be managed with the help of stevia use. Stevia not only replaces high-glycemic sugar, stabilizing blood sugar levels, but also provides additional micronutrients from the stevia plant. For example, as a study published in 2010 in the International Journal of Food Sciences Nutrition, the substances contained have a positive impact on the natural weight control by a more controlled caloric intake. Furthermore, it is also assumed in science that the so-called phytochemicals of the stevia plant are conducive to the health of the cardiovascular system, the teeth, the digestive tract and the immune system. All in all, of course, this does not mean that stevia use alone suddenly makes you fit like a sneaker. It simply means that the sweetener can boost the health of your organism in addition to other measures such as exercise and a balanced diet.

Is the use of stevia safe at all or are there side effects?

Whenever new sweeteners or food additives appear, the question naturally arises of whether it is safe to use or whether it may even trigger allergies. In recent years, some studies have looked at the possible toxicity of the stevia plant and found that the sweetener is at least as safe to use as any other sweetener currently approved for food production. This applies to the "healthy" population as well as to people with diabetes. In addition, no allergic reactions could be identified to date. However, as with any other substance that you deliver to your body, the old rule of Paracelsus applies: the dose makes the poison. If you take the sweetener in exorbitant amounts to you, of course, side effects are still possible. If you have special nutritional needs due to adverse health conditions or if you need special medication, you should still seek advice from your doctor before stevia use, even though no drug interactions are currently known.

In what form can I buy the sugar substitute?

If you want to buy the sugar substitute, you can either take stevia powder or highly concentrated stevia drops. However, you should always take a look at the label before buying, because by no means all Stevia products are pure. Many are mixed with other sweeteners, such as dextrose, which contain at least a few carbohydrates and therefore calories. Background is not a malicious consumer deception, but simply the fact that thus the natural aroma of sugar can better imitate. So you have the choice whether you opt for maximum aroma or minimum calories.

Are there any alternative names for the sweetener?

A look at the label of various foods already gives you an idea of ​​how many different sweeteners exist on the market and under what name they are used. It is similar with Stevia. Many sweetened with this plant extract substances contain a sweetener mixture for cost-technical or aroma reasons. This is referred to on the back of the packaging, for example as Pure Via or Truvia. On foods containing pure stevia extract, the sweetener is simply noted under its common name stevia.

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