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Stevia is much sweeter than sugar and it does not have a glycemic load like sugar. This natural sugar substitute can vary and may range from 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, depending on the specific steviol glycosides present in the product. It is totally natural herbs and does not contain sweeting agent. Stevia is used in many food and beverage as a replacement of sugar, It will sweeten the food without adding sugar.
Stevia is also known as Stevia rebaudiana. It is naturally extracted from stevia plant. Stevia was first commercially produced in Japan by the Japanese firm Morita Kagaku Kogyo Co. Ltd in 1971 but now this herb is cultivated in many other countries, like India, Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia and Argentina. Stevua is mostly produced in Paraguay, Kenya, China and the United States.
Stevia helps to balance blood pressure level, blood sugar level and cholesterol level. Stevia is gaining popularity as it’s safer alternative for sugar.
Uses of stevia:
Stevia is a natural sugar substitute that may be used in almost any recipe. From beverages to baked goods, breakfast to dessert, and everything in between, stevia is a great way to add sweetness to your favorite dishes while lowering your calorie intake. There are various uses of stevia, It can be used to sweeten the food, drink or other beverage without adding extra calories.
Uses of Stevia in Beverage
The most common application for stevia is to sweeten coffee and tea, especially now that single-serve packets are available. Over half of all adults in various nations consume coffee or tea on a daily basis. The majority of people add a sweetener, milk or cream, or both, increasing daily caloric intake by 69 calories on average. 1 Many strong coffee and tea drinkers consume their whole daily allowance of little more than 5-10% of total calories from added sugars over the course of a day (about 6-12 teaspoons). 2 This is especially true for coffee shop patrons, where blended coffee drinks can include up to 25 teaspoons of added sugar.
Stevia is an appealing alternative to sugar in coffee and tea. It has a sugary flavor and dissolves quickly in both hot and cold liquids. Smoothies, refreshing non-alcoholic beverages, and alcoholic cocktails all benefit from the inclusion of stevia.
Uses of Stevia in Cooking and Baking:
Stevia can be substituted for some or all of the sugar in most recipes for cooking and baking. You don’t need to worry about adding extra ingredients (such as applesauce, yogurt, or egg whites) when replacing sugar because most refined stevia leaf extracts are already combined with other components. Many manufacturers provide online recipes that have been specifically formulated to taste wonderful when using stevia to make things easier.
When it comes to cooking and baking, stevia has a number of advantages. Stevia, unlike many artificial sweeteners, is stable at high temperatures. When coupled with caloric sweeteners like honey, molasses, or sugar, stevia can boost sweetness. Other components in recipes, such as vanilla and chocolate, may benefit from the addition of stevia.
Stevia can be used to replace all of the additional sugar in a variety of recipes. Stevia is delicious in baked oatmeal or pancakes for breakfast. It’s ideal for creamy puddings and frozen desserts created from scratch. Stevia can also be used to replace hidden sugars in a variety of foods, including salad dressings, sauces, side dishes, and entrees.
When baking, stevia and sugar are a great combination. Most sweet baked product recipes should contain at least 14 cup of sugar as a general guideline. Because stevia does not caramelize like sugar, a small amount of sugar is required to achieve browning. Sugar also contributes to the crisp texture of baked items like cookies. Stevia cannot be used to replace the minimal amount of sugar required to activate yeast in yeast-raised baked items such as bread.
Medicinal use of stevia:
Stevia sweeteners, according to research, do not add calories or carbohydrates to the diet. They had no effect on blood glucose or insulin responsiveness, either. This helps diabetics to enjoy a larger variety of foods while still sticking to a healthy diet plan.
Another study evaluated the effects of stevia on metabolic outcomes to the effects of placebos in five randomized controlled trials. Stevia had limited to no influence on blood glucose, insulin levels, blood pressure, or body weight, according to the study.
Subjects with type 2 diabetes reported significant reductions in blood glucose and glucagon response after eating stevia in one of these investigations. Glucagon is a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels, and the mechanism that secretes it is frequently defective in diabetics.
When blood glucose levels rise, glucagon levels fall. The glucose level is regulated as a result of this.
Physical inactivity and increasing consumption of energy-dense meals heavy in fat and added sugars are among the many causes of overweight and obesity. Added sugars account about 16 percent of total calories in the American diet, according to studies. Weight gain and poor blood glucose management have both been connected to this.
Stevia has no sugar and extremely few calories, if any. It can be used as part of a well-balanced diet to help you save calories without compromising flavor.
Kaempferol is one of many sterols and antioxidant chemicals found in stevia. Kaempferol has been shown in studies to reduce the incidence of pancreatic cancer by 23%.
Blood arteries have been discovered to dilate when certain glycosides in stevia extract are consumed. They can also help you excrete more sodium and produce more pee.
Stevia was found to have the ability to help decrease blood pressure in a 2003 study. According to the findings, the stevia plant may have cardiotonic properties. Blood pressure is normalized and the heartbeat is regulated via cardiotonic activities.
However, more recent research has found that stevia has no effect on blood pressure. More research is needed to validate stevia’s health benefits.
Stevia-containing foods and beverages can help reduce the number of calories consumed by undesired sweeteners in children’s meals. Thousands of items containing organically derived stevia are now available on the market, ranging from salad dressings to snack bars. While transitioning to a lower sugar diet, this availability allows youngsters to consume sweet foods and drinks without adding calories.
Obesity and cardiovascular disease are connected to excess sweets and calories.
The European Food Safety Committee (EFSA) assessed the literature in 2010 to see if there was any reason to be concerned about the possibility of allergic reactions to stevia.
“Steviol glycosides are not reactive and are not converted to reactive chemicals, hence it is unlikely that the steviol glycosides under consideration will cause allergic reactions when taken in foods,” the reviewers found.”
Even the purest forms of stevia extract are unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction. Since 2008, no cases of stevia allergy have been reported.