What Is Stevia? Side Effects, Safety Dangers and Health Benefits as a Natural Sweetener...
Joyce Park stashed this in Food
Lots of scientific info about stevia, and help figuring out which brands to try.
It's best to have no sweeteners in your diet but Stevia seems best of the sugar substitutes.
Regardless of the very possible nutritional and medicinal health benefits of stevia, the simple act of eliminating sugar out of your diet is sure to bring benefits of its own. You already knew that sugar is one of the primary causes of diabetes, obesity and most other metabolic diseases, but did you actually know that cancer cells FEED on sugar?
And stevia helps you rid a lot of sugar out of your diet. Take a look:
Is Stevia Safe to Use?
There were and still are some question marks about the dangers of stevia, mainly concerns related to reproductive toxicity and decreased fertility.
It is probable that some stevia compounds posses some medicinal anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour properties, though the exact mechanism by which those compounds bring those effects isn’t precisely known yet. Natural stevia sweetener products are especially useful for type-II diabetic patients and the relevant science was very convincing.
On the other hand – we’d be glad to have some more conclusive studies when it comes to fertility and reproduction effects of stevia, so for now.. i’d say avoid it if you’re trying to concieve or if you’re pregnant. Just in case. You should also avoid it if you’re allergic to the plants in the Compositae or Asteraceae family (marigolds, daisies, ragweed, chrysanthemums, etc) or if you just sense anything unusual.
Do remember that the studies we’ve gone through used doses much higher than real-life use, doses so high that almost any plant tested would probably produce some kind of side effects. And some of the studies were also in-vitro (petri-dish like environment), not always very applicable in a real living animal.
For non pregnant/allergic people, if all you do is use stevia sparingly as a sweetener for your tea and baked foods, you’ll most probably be completely safe. Make sure you choose a good brand with no harmful fillers, and preferable with inulin insoluble fiber for the possible HDL and lipid profile benefits. And always listen to your body.
As for me, I personally don’t use it much – and not because of all those stevia side effects and warnings. I simply like my coffee unsweetened and i’ll usually add some raw local honey (the cloudy-waxish type, no the commercial liquid ones) to my tea. It’s more of a whole food than a sweetener, and it’s a nice nutritional boost if you’re trying to gain weight or just wouldn’t mind the extra calories.
I've been using stevia since the late 90s. the biggest thing you need to look for is purity > 80% rebaudioside, which most powders these days exceed, but most stevia-sweetened products do not, causing that weird flavor and aftertaste.
If it can fight diabetes and cancer at the same time, Stevia is just awesome!! Thanks for posting!!
You're welcome Milind. Jason, thank you for the tip!