Stevia - An All-Natural Sugar Substitute That's Great for Diabetics With a Sweet Tooth

Are you a diabetic? Naturally, your diet would be of utmost concern and by now you've been constantly reminded that sugary foods are not for you. If you happen to have a sweet tooth that would really be a problem. So you've found some sugar substitutes and used them until you've read that some artificial sugar substitutes aren't that safe.
If you're looking for a natural sugar substitute you've probably heard of that sweet plant called stevia. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have your coffee, cakes and snacks sweetened again?
Stevia belongs to the family of the sunflower with over a hundred species. The important species we call stevia which has the sweet leaves is scientifically termed Stevia rebaudiana or just known simply as stevia. The phytochemicals steviol glycosides endow the sweetness to the stevia leaves and are 40 to 300 times sweeter than sucrose. This isn't new! In Paraguay, a Latin American Country, stevia has been used as a sweetener for centuries while Japan has used stevia for decades.
By now it is generally known that stevia extracts have a lot of health benefits. It is of utmost importance to diabetics because it doesn't cause any hyperglycemic effect. A hyperglycemic effect means a sky rocketing blood glucose level just like what happens when you eat a sweet treat made from sugar. This isn't hype as clinical studies suggest that they can help in diabetes.
Stevia natural sugar substitute
Stevia natural sugar substitute

Essentially, stevia contains very low calories which are crucial for overweight people trying to lose weight.
Scientific studies done by Himanshu et al entitled, "Antidiabetic Activity of Medium-polar extract from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana Bert (bertoni) on alloxan-induced diabetic rats" concluded that stevia extracts produced good anti-diabetic effects. Other clinical studies have shown the same thing. Extract from Stevia rebaudiana could decrease blood glucose levels in experiments in diabetic rats. Thus, it is recommended that stevia extracts would be great to use in cough syrups and cold beverages for diabetics.
Other studies also have shown that in diabetic induced rats stevia have "revitalizing effect on the β cells of the pancreas" The beta cells are the cells that produce insulin and regulates blood sugar. If you're diabetic you either have inadequate insulin or none at all.
Still other clinical studies have shown that extracts of stevia have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Other studies show that apart from its anti-diabetic effects, it is also great for
· weight loss
· high blood pressure
· heartburn
· lowering uric acid levels
· tooth decay
There had also been some reports that extracts of stevia is mutagenic - meaning it can cause cells to mutate into abnormal form that can evolve into cancer. In 2006, the WHO investigated the matter and concluded that stevia or its extracts aren't mutagenic or genotoxic.
In Japan and other countries, stevia had been used as a sweetener for maybe centuries. In the UE it was approved as a sweetener in 2011. While in the USA, it was approved if labeled as a dietary supplement and not as a sweetener.
In the USA, stevia as a dietary supplement is available in liquid or powdered form. The FDA took a long time to allow it as a food additive pending some investigation on the matter.
Stevia is easy to use. Stevia food supplements are available in liquid formulation. Just add a drop or some drops until the desired sweetness is reached. It's great for anything when you need a sweet fix - coffee, oats, soups, veggies, appetizers, snacks, and yes desserts! Sound amazing! However, experts caution that like everything else, use this herb sweetener in moderation.
Now, just think about all those artificial sugar substitutes and the harmful effects of too much sucrose in your diet. Aren't you glad you've found an all-natural, low calorie and safe sweetener scientifically proven to work for your diabetes? At the same time it can fix your sweet tooth!
A B Stephens is a chemical engineer by profession. Her passion to help diabetics stems from the fact that members of her family and her husband's family are diabetics. They launched in 2007 - one-stop shop for people who have diabetes - a life-style store complete with whatever a diabetic would need to live his/her life to the fullest! Stevia is a nutritional supplement that a sweet-toothed diabetic shouldn't go without. Here's a Nutritional Supplement Stevia Liquid for Glucose Control by Bronson

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