Is stevia healthy?
Is Stevia healthy or not? Read all the health benefits here and learn more about this topic.
Opinions are divided on this subject. One thinks it's healthy and the other unhealthy because it's a sweetener, but what are the facts? What health benefits does Stevia bring and what can you use Stevia for?
- What is Stevia?
Stevia comes from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant species, native to Brazil and Paraguay. Stevia is a natural sugar substitute and sweetener. The Stevia leaves contain steviol glycosides, which are about 250 to 300 times sweeter than normal sugar.
Because the power of Stevia is so great, you only need a little bit in the processing of, for example, a recipe. To obtain the powder, the leaves are first soaked in water and ground into a pulp. This ensures that the steviol glycosides end up in the water. Subsequently, the steviol glycosides are filtered out of the water and some other substances that do not belong to it are removed. After this is done, you are left with a white powder with almost exclusively steviol glycosides.
According to the World Health Organization, only pure stevia extract is allowed in foods and beverages. Pure stevia extract consists of 95% or more steviol glycosides . What you should pay attention to with pure stevia is that the following ingredients have not been added: aspartame, erythirol, sucralose and maltodextrin.
Stevia is therefore a natural sweetener and brings a number of good benefits, such as:
- Low in calories
Stevia contains no calories (0 kcal per 100 grams), making it a lot healthier to use the sweetener in recipes. As a result, the sweetener can also contribute to weight loss, since sugar contains quite a lot of calories. 1 tablespoon of sugar already contains 60 calories.
You also need little of the sweetener, since the concentration is very high . This also makes a huge difference in the amount of sweetener you consume. For example, our protein powders contain only 0.2 grams of Stevia per portion (25 grams = 2 scoops) and still taste sweet enough.
- No effect on blood sugar levels
If you eat sugar, you get a high blood glucose peak. Your body then has to produce insulin to get this down again. The advantage of Stevia is that Stevia ensures that you do not get a blood glucose peak and therefore no insulin peak after eating.
A lot of glucose causes your insulin housekeeping to get upset and that is bad for your hunger regulation and weight.
- Heat resistant
Stevia can withstand high temperatures and is therefore a good ingredient to use in recipes. Think of muffins, healthy pancakes or other tasty dishes. There are plenty of recipes to be found at Green Harvey. Click here to view the recipes.
- Tooth friendly
Sugar is known to be bad for your teeth. This is because sugar produces acids, which can cause you to get cavities. Stevia does not produce those acids , so you will not get cavities through it.
To put everything in a row, below are a number of disadvantages of Stevia:
- More expensive than regular sugar
Because Stevia is a unique product, Stevia is more expensive than normal sugar.
- Can awaken your appetite for sweet
Because Stevia is an intensive sweetener , it can actually stimulate your appetite for sweets.
- Bitter aftertaste
The taste of Stevia does not become more intense the more you use it. This is different from sugar, but if you use too much Stevia you can get a bitter aftertaste . Some also find that Stevia has a somewhat metallic aftertaste anyway.
- How to use?
As mentioned earlier, Stevia can be used well in baking, but certainly also in various other recipes to make it a bit sweeter. Our protein powders contain Stevia as a natural sweetener, so you do not have to add extra Stevia and can enjoy delicious recipes. Click here to discover our Vegan protein powders with the most delicious flavours .