Intermittent fasting has become one of the most popular diets in recent years. Intermittent fasting comes in a variety of forms, each with its own set of rules and norms. These distinctions can make the practice complicated for those who are just starting out.
Stevia is a widely used sugar alternative for lowering sugar intake and promoting more balanced blood sugar levels. Many individuals question if they can eat stevia while fasting or if they should store it for times when they are allowed to eat.
This article looks at how stevia affects fasting and whether or not it’s safe to eat it during a fasting window.
Stevia Unlikely to Break a Fast
Stevia is a natural sweetener which is extracted from the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It’s up to 300 times sweeter than conventional sugar, but it’s free of calories and carbs. Some of the most common reasons people choose to practice intermittent fasting are weight loss and improved blood sugar regulation.
Early study suggests that stevia does not significantly raise insulin or blood sugar levels, and that because it is calorie-free. It may aid those who are trying to lose weight by lowering their calorie consumption.
Autophagy is a natural physiological mechanism that recycles damaged parts of your cells. Although human research is sparse, some study suggests that short-term fasting may be an effective strategy to increase your body’s autophagy processes.
Some people practice intermittent fasting in the hopes of reaping the health benefits of autophagy, such as increased energy and better brain function.
Although no studies have directly looked at the effect of stevia on autophagy in humans. Several experts believe that a moderate consumption of stevia is unlikely to have a substantial impact on that cellular process.
How Much is too Much?
Using stevia in moderation is unlikely to break your fast or detract from any of the possible benefits of fasting. However, there is such a thing as having too much of a good thing.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established a daily limit of 1.8 milligrams per pound (4 mg per kg) of body weight for stevia extract use. This translates to around 272 milligrams per day for someone weighing 150 pounds (68 kg).
Serving sizes vary by brand, but a typical serving of pure liquid stevia extract is about 5–7 drops, containing roughly 20–50 mg of stevia.
A 150-pound (68-kg) person should consume no more than five 50-mg servings of liquid stevia per day for safety reasons. Depending on the strength of your product, this translates to around 25–60 drops. Check the product label or contact the manufacturer directly to find out how much stevia the drops provide each serving.
(Stevia has no calories and is unlikely to alter your metabolism much. As a result, a moderate amount of stevia should be fine during a fast.)
Some Stevia Products May be Better for Fasting Than Others
Stevia is sold in a number of forms. Many of which contain fillers and other additives that may be harmful to your fast. Some stevia products, for example, contain trace amounts of dextrose or maltodextrin, both of which are carbohydrates and carry calories.
Many people choose stevia products prepared completely with pure stevia extract to prevent mistakenly breaking their fast with these added additives.
If you’re not sure whether your favorite stevia product contains solely pure stevia, look at the ingredient list on the container.
The Bottom Line: Does Stevia Break a Fast?
Intermittent fasting is a popular dieting method that has a number of health benefits, including weight loss and better blood sugar control.
Stevia is a sugar replacement made from plants that has no calories or carbohydrates. According to preliminary study, moderate use of stevia during a fast is unlikely to significantly obstruct any of the fast’s potential benefits.
However, some stevia products contain trace amounts of carbohydrate-containing substances, which could break your fast if consumed in excess. If you’re going to consume stevia during a fast, look for brands that are produced entirely of pure stevia extract.