Disclaimer: we are not medical professionals, consult with your doctor before making any kind of change in your diet!
You don’t need to be on the “healthy internet” for long before you hear about the magic that is stevia. The natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia plant, this alternative to sugar has also been associated with several health benefits, including lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Not to say that it has 0 calories, but is 200 times sweeter than table sugar, so it’s a popular choice for many people looking to lose weight and decrease sugar intake. Oh, and it’s also vegan!
But that was so much information about stevia in a single paragraph. Let’s break it down and see what it’s all about.
Did you know that the sweet-tasting components in stevia sweeteners occur naturally? This is what makes stevia such a great alternative to regular sugar and super beneficial for people who prefer naturally-sourced foods and beverages. Also, the low-calorie count qualifies Stevia to be a healthful alternative for diabetes control or weight loss.
Research has shown that stevia sweeteners do not contribute calories or carbohydrates to the diet. They have also demonstrated no effect on blood glucose or insulin response, which allows people with diabetes to eat a wider variety of foods and comply with a healthful meal plan.
Another review of five randomized controlled trials compared the effects of stevia on metabolic outcomes with the effects of placebos. The study concluded that stevia showed minimal to no effects on blood glucose, insulin levels, blood pressure, and body weight. In one of these studies, subjects with type 2 diabetes reported that stevia triggered significant reductions in blood glucose and glucagon response after a meal. Glucagon is a hormone that regulates glucose levels in the blood, and the mechanism that secretes glucagon is often faulty in people with diabetes.
Glucagon drops when blood glucose climbs. This regulates the glucose level.
Stevia is perhaps unique among food ingredients because it’s most valued for what it doesn’t do: it doesn’t add calories. Also, unlike other sugar substitutes (honey, for example), stevia is derived from a plant, which creates the opportunity for vegan desserts. Being 200 times sweeter than regular sugar, but with none of the calories, stevia is the perfect alternative for those with a sweet tooth and a passion for health!
Of course, there are many causes of overweight and obesity, such as physical inactivity and increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and added sugars, but the intake of added sugars has been shown to greatly contribute to these conditions and it has been linked to weight gain and reduced control of blood glucose levels.
However, on the other hand, stevia contains no sugar and very few, if any, calories. It can be part of a well-balanced diet to help reduce energy intake without sacrificing taste.
And it can play such an important role in decreasing calories from unwanted sweeteners in the diets of children, also! There are now many products that contain naturally-sourced stevia, ranging from salad dressings to snack bars. This availability allows children to consume sweet foods and drinks without added calories while transitioning to a lower sugar diet, which will help them avoid obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Another thing to think about is allergic reactions: there have been no allergic reactions to stevia since 2008! In 2010, the European Food Safety Committee (EFSA) reviewed existing literature to determine if there was any cause for concern regarding the potential for allergic reactions to stevia. The reviewers concluded that “steviol glycosides are not reactive and are not metabolized to reactive compounds, therefore, it is unlikely that the steviol glycosides under evaluation should cause by themselves allergic reactions when consumed in foods.”
So, to sum up: no allergic reactions, 0 calories, 0 carbs, helps regulate glucose levels, safe for adults and children alike, and vegan. These are just some of the benefits of stevia!
Which are also some of the benefits you can enjoy by trying out our White Chocolate Kisses Cake. 100% vegan, due to the super healthy and super delicious stevia, and filled with tangy sour cherries mixed with a sweet, delicious coconut and cashew cream, this is bound to please all tastes and every single one of your guests. Also, just like all of our other cakes, this one’s also gluten-free, lactose-free, egg-free, and completely natural!
Give it a try and experience healthy desserts like never before!