STEVIANA® FROM STEVIA LEAVES
Steviana Sweetener Natural sweetener from stevia leaves Steviana is sweetener that contain of stevia Rebaudiana which is an outstanding sweet tasting herb that has remarkable health promoting qualities ,contains zero calories. Steviana has many favorable and exciting health benefits and is completely non-toxic . Steviana is nutrient rich , containing substantial amounts of calcium , phosphorous as well as sodium ,magnesium ,zinc ,rutin ,vitamin A ,Vitamin C and over 100 phytonutrients . Steviana is also being used as an aid to weight loss and weight management ,since it contains zero calories and reduces the craving for sweet and fatty foods. Therefore weight watchers love it . Unlike sugar , steviana does not trigger a rise in blood sugar levels . Enjoy the sweetener , taste and health benefits of good quality steviana products without the guilt and ill effects of consuming sugar and other sweeteners. Produced by : Said S Bawazir Toothpaste and Sweetener Factory Jeddah- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [email protected] -www.misfaco.com
Nutrition Per Serving
Is Stevia a Good Substitute for Sugar? Benefits and Downsides
Stevia is growing in popularity as a plant-based, calorie-free alternative to sugar.
Many people prefer it to artificial sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame, as it’s extracted from a plant rather than made in a lab.
It also contains little to no carbs and doesn’t rapidly spike your blood sugar, making it popular among those who have diabetes or poor blood sugar control. Nonetheless, it may have some drawbacks.
This article reviews stevia, including its benefits, downsides, and potential as a sugar substitute.
What is stevia?
Stevia is a sugar alternative extracted from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant.
These leaves have been enjoyed for their sweetness and used as an herbal medicine to treat high blood sugar for hundreds of years ().
Their sweet taste comes from steviol glycoside molecules, which are 250–300 times sweeter than regular sugar ().
To make stevia sweeteners, the glycosides must be extracted from the leaves. Beginning with dry leaves that have been steeped in water, the process is as follows ():
- Leaf particles are filtered out from the liquid.
- The liquid is treated with activated carbon to remove additional organic matter.
- The liquid undergoes an ion exchange treatment to remove minerals and metals.
- The glycosides that remain are concentrated into a resin.
What remains is concentrated stevia leaf extract, which is spray dried and ready to be processed into sweeteners ().
The extract is usually sold as a highly concentrated liquid or in single-serve packets, both of which are only needed in very small amounts to sweeten food or drinks.
Stevia-based sugar equivalents are also available. These products contain fillers like maltodextrin but have the same volume and sweetening power as sugar, with none of the calories or carbs. They can be used as a 1:1 replacement in baking and cooking ().
Keep in mind that many stevia products contain additional ingredients, such as fillers, sugar alcohols, other sweeteners, and natural flavors.
If you want to avoid these ingredients, you should seek out products that list only 100% stevia extract on the label.
Stevia nutrition facts
Stevia is essentially calorie- and carb-free. Because it’s so much sweeter than sugar, the small amounts used add no meaningful calories or carbs to your diet ().
Though stevia leaves contain various vitamins and minerals, most of them are lost when the plant is processed into a sweetener ().
Furthermore, as some stevia products contain additional ingredients, nutrient contents may vary.
Stevia leaves can be processed into liquid or powdered stevia extract, which is much sweeter than sugar. The extract is virtually calorie- and carb-free and contains only trace amounts of minerals.
Benefits and potential downsides
Stevia leaves have been used for medicinal purposes for many centuries, and the extract has been linked to decreased blood sugar and blood fat levels in animal studies. The sweetener may also aid weight loss.
Nonetheless, the extract also has potential downsides.
Benefits of stevia
Though it’s a relatively new sweetener, stevia has been linked to several health benefits.
Because it’s calorie-free, it may help you lose weight when used as a replacement for regular sugar, which provides about 45 calories per tablespoon (12 grams). Stevia may also help you stay full on fewer calories ().
In a study in 31 adults, those who ate a 290-calorie snack made with stevia ate the same amount of food at the next meal as those who ate a 500-calorie snack made with sugar ().
They also reported similar fullness levels, meaning the stevia group had an overall lower calorie intake while feeling the same satisfaction ().
Additionally, in a mouse study, exposure to the steviol glycoside rebaudioside A caused an increase in several appetite-suppressing hormones ().
The sweetener may also help you manage your blood sugar.
In a study in 12 adults, those who ate a coconut dessert made with 50% stevia and 50% sugar had 16% lower blood sugar levels after eating than those who had the same dessert made with 100% sugar ().
In animal studies, stevia has been shown to improve sensitivity to insulin, the hormone that lowers blood sugar by allowing it into cells to be used for energy (, ).
What’s more, some animal research has linked stevia consumption to decreased triglycerides and increased HDL (good) cholesterol levels, both of which are associated with reduced heart disease risk (, , ).
Though stevia may offer benefits, it has downsides as well.
While it’s plant-based and may seem more natural than other zero-calorie sweeteners, it’s still a highly refined product. Stevia blends often contain added fillers like maltodextrin, which has been linked to dysregulation of healthy gut bacteria ().
Stevia itself may also harm your gut bacteria. In a test-tube study, rebaudioside A, one of the most common steviol glycosides in stevia sweeteners, inhibited the growth of a beneficial strain of gut bacteria by 83% (, ).
Moreover, because it’s so much sweeter than sugar, stevia is considered an intense sweetener. Some researchers believe that intense sweeteners may increase cravings for sweet foods (, ).
Additionally, many observational studies have found no link between the consumption of zero-calorie sweeteners and improvements in body weight, calorie intake, or risk of type 2 diabetes (, ).
Furthermore, stevia and other zero-calorie sweeteners may still cause an insulin response, simply due to their sweet taste, even if they don’t increase blood sugar levels (, ).
Keep in mind that as stevia sweeteners have only recently become widely available, research on their long-term health effects is limited.
Stevia may help manage your weight and blood sugar levels, and animal studies show that it may improve heart disease risk factors. However, it’s an intense sweetener that could negatively affect your health.
Is it healthier than sugar?
Stevia has fewer calories than sugar and may play a role in weight management by helping you eat fewer calories.
Because it’s free of calories and carbs, it’s a great sugar alternative for people on low-calorie or low-carb diets.
Replacing sugar with stevia also reduces the Glycemic Index (GI) of foods, meaning that they affect blood sugar levels to a lesser extent (, 21).
Whereas table sugar has a GI of 65 — with 100 being the highest GI, causing the most rapid rise in blood sugar — stevia contains nothing that increases blood sugar and thus has a GI of 0 ().
Sugar and its many forms, including sucrose (table sugar) and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), have been linked to inflammation, obesity, and the development of chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease (, , ).
Therefore, it’s generally recommended to limit your intake of added sugar. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans stipulate that added sugars should account for no more than 10% of your daily calories ().
For optimal health and blood sugar control, this amount should be limited even further ().
Because sugar has been linked to many negative health effects, replacing sugar with stevia may be advisable. Still, the long-term effects of frequently consuming stevia are unknown.
Though using small amounts of this zero-calorie sweetener may be a healthy way to decrease sugar intake, it’s best to use less sugar and fewer sugar substitutes overall and simply opt for natural sources of sweetness, such as fruits, whenever possible.
Stevia has a lower GI than table sugar, and using it may be a healthy way to reduce your calorie and added sugar intakes. Added sugars should be limited to less than 10% of your daily calories.
Is it a good substitute for sugar?
Stevia is now widely used as a sugar replacement in home cooking and food manufacturing.
However, one of the biggest problems with stevia is its bitter aftertaste. Food scientists are working on developing new methods of stevia extraction and processing to help remedy this (, ).
What’s more, sugar undergoes a unique process called the Maillard reaction during cooking, which allows foods that contain sugar to caramelize and turn golden brown. Sugar also adds structure and bulk to baked goods (30, 31).
When sugar is completely replaced with stevia, baked goods may not have the same look or feel as a sugar-containing version.
Despite these issues, stevia works well in most foods and drinks as a replacement for sugar, though a blend of sugar and stevia is usually the most peferable in terms of taste (, 21, , ).
When baking with stevia, it’s best to use a 1:1 stevia-based sugar replacement. Using more concentrated forms, such as liquid extract, will require you to alter the amounts of other ingredients to account for losses in bulk.
Stevia sometimes has a bitter aftertaste and doesn’t possess all of the physical properties of sugar during cooking. Nevertheless, it’s an acceptable sugar substitute and tastes best when used in combination with sugar.
The bottom line
Stevia is a plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener.
It may reduce calorie intake when used to replace sugar and benefit blood sugar control and heart health. Still, these benefits are not fully proven, and research on its long-term effects is lacking.
For optimal health, keep both sugar and stevia to a minimum.
What Is Stevia?
Stevia is perhaps unique among food ingredients because it's most valued for what it doesn't do. It doesn't add calories. Unlike other sugar substitutes, stevia is derived from a plant. There is some question as to its effectiveness as a weight loss aid or as a helpful diet measure for diabetics.
The stevia plant is part of the Asteraceae family, related to the daisy and ragweed. Several stevia species called candyleaf are native to New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. But the prized species, Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni), grows in Paraguay and Brazil, where people have used leaves from the stevia bush to sweeten food for hundreds of years.
Moises Santiago Bertoni, an Italian botanist, is often credited with the discovery of stevia in the late 1800s, even though the native Guarani people had used it for centuries. Known as kaa-he (or sweet herb) by the native population, the leaves of the plant had many uses. In traditional medicine in these regions, stevia served as a treatment for burns, colic, stomach problems and sometimes as a contraceptive. The leaves were also chewed on their own as a sweet treat.
It took Bertoni over a decade to find the actual plant, leading him to initially describe the plant as very rare. About the same time, more farms started growing and harvesting the stevia plant. Stevia quickly went from growing in the wild in certain areas to being a widely available herb.
Today, stevia is part of the sugar substitute market. According to the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) high-purity steviol glycosides, an extract of the stevia plant, is considered generally safe for use in food. On the other hand, the FDA stated that stevia leaf and crude stevia extracts are not generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and do not have FDA approval for use in food.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates Americans added more sugar to their diet every year since the 1970s until 2000. When Americans dropped the added sugar, they turned to sugar-like extracts. The sugar substitute market was estimated to be worth $13.26 billion in 2015, according an analysis by Markets and Markets research firm. The firm projected that the market would reach $16.5 billion by 2020.
Just 18 percent of U.S. adults used low- or no-calorie sweeteners in 2000. Now, 24 percent of adults and 12 percent of children use the sugar substitutes, according to a 2012 review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Does stevia work?
Stevia has no calories, and it is 200 times sweeter than sugar in the same concentration. Other studies suggest stevia might have extra health benefits.
According to a 2017 article in the Journal of Medicinal Food, stevia has potential for treating endocrine diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension, but that more research is needed.
Other studies also suggest stevia could benefit people with Type 2 diabetes, but Catherine Ulbricht, senior pharmacist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and co-founder of Natural Standard Research Collaboration, says more research is needed. Her group reviews evidence on herbs and supplements.
"Available research is promising for the use of stevia in hypertension," said Ulbricht. Ulbricht said Natural Standard gave stevia a "grade B for efficacy" in lowering blood pressure.
A no-calorie source of sweetness is an obvious diet solution in theory. But a few studies show that replacing sugar with artificial or low-calorie sweeteners may not ultimately lead to weight loss in real life.
A 2004 study in rats found low-calorie sweeteners led the animals to overeat, possibly because of a mismatch between the perceived sweetness and the expected calories from sugar, according to the paper in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. The author of that study later argued that people who use artificial sweeteners may suffer health problems associated with excess sugar, including metabolic syndrome, which can be a precursor to diabetes.
"A number of studies suggest people who regularly consume ASB [artificially sweetened beverages] are at increased risk compared with those that do not consume ASB," Dr. Susan E. Swithers said in a 2013 opinion letter in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Yet there is also evidence that stevia does nothing to change eating habits or hurt metabolism in the short term. A 2010 study in the journal Appetite tested several artificial sweeteners against sugar and each other in 19 lean people and 12 obese people.
The study found people did not overeat after consuming a meal made with stevia instead of sugar. Their blood sugar was lower after a meal made with stevia than after eating a meal with sugar, and eating food with stevia resulted in lower insulin levels than eating either sucrose and aspartame.
Yet another study published in an issue of the International Journal of Obesity, Dec. 13, 2016, found that after eating no-calorie sweeteners, such as stevia, test subject’s blood sugar spiked much more than when they ate real sugar. Though, when using a zero-calorie sweetener, the subjects didn't consume any more calories than when regular sugar was consumed. "The energy 'saved' from replacing sugar with non-nutritive sweetener was fully compensated for at subsequent meals in the current study," Siew Ling Tey, who was a study researcher and is at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore, said in a statement.
Is stevia safe?
As mentioned earlier, the question of whether stevia is safe to consume largely depends on what someone means by "stevia." The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved stevia leaves or "crude stevia extracts" for use as food additives. Studies on stevia in those forms raise concerns about the control of blood sugar and effects on the reproductive, cardiovascular, and renal systems, the FDA warns.
However, the FDA has allowed companies to use Rebaudioside A, an isolated chemical from stevia, as a food additive in their sweetener products. The FDA classifies these products, such as Truvia, as GRAS, but, according to the FDA, these products are not stevia. "In general, Rebaudioside A differs from stevia in that it is a highly purified product. Products marketed as 'stevia' are whole leaf Stevia or Stevia extracts of which Rebaudioside A is a component," the FDA said.
There are some health concerns surrounding the stevia plant. Stevia may cause low blood pressure, which would be of concern to some taking blood pressure medications. There is also continuing research going into certain chemicals naturally occurring in stevia that may cause genetic mutations and cancer.
"Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. People taking insulin or drugs for diabetes by mouth should be monitored closely by a qualified health care professional, including a pharmacist," Ulbricht said.
Stevia may also interact with anti-fungals, anti-inflammatories, anti-microbials, anti-cancer drugs, anti-virals, appetite suppressants, calcium channel blockers, cholesterol-lowering drugs, drugs that increase urination, fertility agents and other medications, Ulbricht said. People should talk with their doctor before deciding to take stevia in large amounts, she said.
Additional reporting by Alina Bradford, Live Science contributor.
Stevia Nutrition Facts
A plant native to South America and Central America, stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) produces sweet leaves that have long been harvested to flavor foods and beverages. In recent years, a stevia extract—called rebaudioside A—has become increasingly popular as a natural sugar substitute.
With zero calories, stevia extract looks like sugar but tastes even sweeter. Now found in foods like soft drinks, candy, and pre-packaged baked goods, stevia extract is also sold as a tabletop sweetener. Suggested uses include sweetening coffee and tea, as well as sprinkling onto cereal, oatmeal, fruit, and yogurt.
The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one packet (1g) of stevia
- Calories: 0
- Fat: 0g
- Sodium: 0mg
- Carbohydrates: 0g
- Fiber: 0g
- Sugars: 0g
- Protein: 0g
Carbs in Stevia
There is about one gram of carbohydrate in a single packet of stevia. Since many users will use more than one packet, you may consume more than a gram of carbs in your coffee or beverage when you use this sweetener, but it will not contribute substantially to your carbohydrate intake.
The estimated glycemic load of stevia is one.
Fats in Stevia
There is no fat in stevia.
Protein in Stevia
Stevia provides zero grams of protein.
Micronutrients in Stevia
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals (such as calcium and iron) that your body needs to stay healthy and function properly. Stevia provides no vitamins or minerals.
Stevia-extract-sweetened foods and beverages are most likely a healthier option than similar items made with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. But for optimal health, it's best to cut back on processed foods and choose naturally sweet alternatives such as fruit in its fresh or dried form.
If you're seeking a new natural sweetener, you may also consider erythritol (a nearly calorie-free sugar alcohol extracted from plants).
Since it contains no calories or carbohydrates and does not cause a spike in blood sugar levels, stevia is considered safe for people with diabetes. But claims that all forms of stevia extract can actually boost health in diabetes patients may be unfounded.
While tests on animals have determined that stevioside may help lower blood pressure and regulate blood sugar in people with diabetes, a 2005 study concluded that rebaudioside A failed to provide similar benefits.
If you're considering using stevia regularly for diabetes (or any health condition), make sure to consult your doctor first. Self-treating and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences.
Where do I buy stevia?
Stevia is the generic name of the sweetener made from the plant extract. You'll find the sweetener sold under brand names like Truvia, and Pyure in grocery stores around the country. Look for it in the aisle where you would find sugar and other sweeteners.
If I use stevia instead of sugar do I use the same amount?
Stevia is estimated to be 250 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. So you won't use as much in your food and beverages.
The conversion factor depends on the brand and the type of stevia that you buy. Depending on the way that the sweetener is produced, you may use anywhere from 1/8th to 1/2 teaspoon of stevia for every teaspoon of sugar.
Can I use stevia in baked goods?
Several brands make stevia sweeteners especially for use in baked goods
Recipes and Tips for Use
If you are trying to reduce your intake of sugar, try using stevia in your morning coffee or tea. Stevia also blends well, so it's easy to use in smoothies and oatmeal. You can even top your cereal with stevia if you like a boost of sweetness.
You'll also find many online recipes to help you use stevia in other foods such as barbecue sauce, baked goods (muffins, bread, and cookies), and in sweet desserts such as panna cotta and chocolate mousse.
Some people taste a difference in their food when they use stevia instead of sugar, so you may need to experiment to find the right blend for you and your family.
Allergies, Side Effects, and Safety of Stevia
In 2008, after several major food companies (including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo) performed scientific reviews that deemed stevia extract to be "generally recognized as safe" or GRAS, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its use as a food additive. Prior to the FDA approval, stevia could only be marketed as a dietary supplement and was commonly sold as a liquid extract in natural foods stores.
Some health advocates condemn the FDA's approval of stevia extract, citing research showing that stevia consumption may cause DNA damage in rats. It's important to note that this research tested the effects of stevioside (another compound found in stevia) and not rebaudioside A. To date, there's no compelling evidence that rebaudioside A is unsafe for human consumption.
According to the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology there are numerous lay stories about allergic reactions to stevia (and other sweeteners). But aside from one published report of an allergic reaction to stevia these anecdotal cases have not been studied. The organization suggests that skin tests could be performed to potentially diagnose an allergy.
If you suspect an allergy to stevia or any other sweetener, discuss the symptoms with your healthcare provider to get a personalized diagnosis.
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Nunes AP, Ferreira-Machado SC, Nunes RM, Dantas FJ, De Mattos JC, Caldeira-de-Araújo A. Analysis of genotoxic potentiality of stevioside by comet assay. Food Chem Toxicol. 2007;45(4):662–666. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2006.10.015
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Calories steviana sweetener
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