Sugar is an inseparable part of the food we consume, but too much sugar is not ideal for our health. That is where naturally sweetened products have begun to attract consumers. This trend of consuming low-calorie sweeteners has rapidly increased among consumers, be it for medical reasons or a healthy lifestyle.
With the shift in global trends towards consuming more natural/organic products, a similar pattern has been observed in tabletop sweeteners. Stevia being a natural sweetener with zero calories has gained great popularity around the world. Not only that but almost 5 billion people are consuming Stevia today in different food and beverages as a sweetening ingredient, which itself defines its authenticity.
What Is Stevia?
The stevia plant is native to South America. It was first consumed over 200 years ago in South America where the Local people used stevia leaves to sweeten beverages or chewed them for their sweet taste. Stevia leaf extract was first commercially adopted as a sweetener by Japan in the 1970s, where it is still a popular ingredient today.
More specifically, high purity stevia leaf extracts are used as a sweetening ingredient in foods and beverages in over 65 countries and counting around the world. High purity stevia leaf extracts, chemically known as steviol glycosides, are safe for human consumption, as shown in over 200 scientific studies conducted on stevia.
Multiple major regulatory agencies around the world have concluded that high purity stevia leaf extracts are safe to be consumed as a sweetener. In 2008 and 2009, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/ World Health Organization (WHO) Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), a global panel of food ingredient safety experts, and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated the use ofsteviol glycosides which has a purity level (≥95%) is safe for human consumption.
Stevia can be found in various food and beverage products around the world, including tea, soft drinks, juices, sweetened water, flavored milk, yogurt, baked goods, cereals, salad dressings, sauces, confections, and as a table top sweetener.
Health Benefits of Stevia
Sweet News for Diabetics
Stevia can prove to be very beneficial for diabetic patients. As they need to limit their sugar intake, consuming stevia can help them maintain their blood sugar level. Consuming it before a meal reduces blood sugar and insulin levels after eating.
Supports Weight Loss
Studies have proven that sugar consumption adds approximately 13 percent to total calories consumed in a day. Hence, high sugar intake has been linked to weight gain and adverse effects on blood sugar, two things that can have serious negative impacts on health.
Stevia is a plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener. So it’s time to switch from harmful table sugar to Stevia, which can help you cut back on weight gains too. Keeping your sugar and calorie intake in a healthy range can help protect against several other health problems linked to obesity, like diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Improves Cholesterol Levels
Stevia also plays a vital role in improving cholesterol levels to help keep your heart healthy and strong.
Lowers High Blood Pressure
From weight loss to a healthy diabetic diet plan, Stevia also supports to keep healthy blood pressure levels.
Stevia has been found to reduce bacterial formation in the mouth, making it a popular additive for toothpastes and mouthwashes. It also prevents cavities and gingivitis, which sugar certainly doesn’t do!
You could also use it in cooking various dishes at home. However, it is important to check the amount before adding it as a substitute for sugar because it is many times sweeter than sugar.
Best part about it is that you can finally experience natural Stevia in your diets in the shape of Equal Stevia in Pakistan.
Equal Stevia is a Stevia based zero calorie natural sweetener that is introduced in Pakistan by the brand ‘Equal.’
Equal is a leading zero calorie sweetener brand from the US which is available in more than 15 countries around the world.