Stevia is a byproduct of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Also known as the “candy leaf.” When the unwanted elements and impurities are removed from stevia, it becomes stevioside. When compared to sugar, stevioside is about 250 times sweeter.
The FDA has approved stevia “as a safe food additive”. It is calorie-free and is believed to not have an effect on blood glucose levels. However, one preliminary study showed that stevioside decreased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance in diabetic mice.
So does stevia break your fast? Since it does have a tendency to trigger a spike in insulin in healthy individuals, it could break your fast.
People who are concerned about the unwanted effects of stevia are calling for more research. When the FDA approved stevia as a food additive, many food manufacturers began jumping on the bandwagon.
Today, stevia can be found in chewing gum, soda, soy sauce, ice cream, yogurt, fruit juices, hard candies and teas. It is utilized as a food flavoring in the United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil, China and Britain.
Is Stevia Cancerous?
During the past few years, Stevia has gained somewhat of a bad reputation. A lot of people have made comments about Stevia being dangerous and even deadly. Just remember that you cannot always believe what you hear. Just recently, a myth formed that Stevia could actually cause cancer.
So, is Stevia actually cancerous? At this point in time, it is tough to say. After all, little research has been performed on Stevia. Nevertheless, the evidence that is available says no. There is no reliable evidence to confirm that this sweetener could be cancerous.
Nevertheless, it is true that Stevia can indeed cause some problems. The clinical studies performed on stevia conclude that it is generally safe for human use. However, there is not enough evidence to determine what the long-term risks could be. Therefore, it is true that you’re going to be taking a slight risk when using Stevia. To avoid potential problems, you should use it carefully and moderately.
Other Side-Effects Of Stevia
Unfortunately, Stevia has not been researched thoroughly just yet. Therefore, the actual risks associated with Stevia are not clearly known right now. With this in mind, you will be taking a small risk when using this type of sweetener. However, there are certain products, which contain Stevia, that are considered safe by the FDA. Nevertheless, you should know about the potential side effects ahead of time. First and foremost, you should know that Stevia can potentially cause your blood sugar to drop. This generally happens to diabetics and normally won’t impact healthy individuals.
There are several other side effects. The most common include gas, bloating, and nausea. If you’re going to be using Stevia, you need to make sure that you follow the instructions thoroughly. Doing so will indeed reduce the likelihood that you’re going to experience problems. While stevia can help with weight management, you have to be cautious about using too much. Remember to combine it with a balanced diet to ensure that you’re able to get the best results.
There is plenty of concern that stevia could damage some of your organs. For instance, it is believed that consuming Stevia may eventually cause problems to the kidneys and reproductive system. This may be enough to convince some people to switch with other sweeteners.
Is Too Much Stevia Bad For You?
When it comes down to it, Stevia on its own is considered safe. However, there are some people who are going to take things too far. This is something you need to be very careful about. A lot of people love this type of sweetener and they’re going to end up adding too much to their drinks. This will result in big problems for a lot of people. However, the risks involved really depend on the type of stevia you’re dealing with at the given time.
One thing to note is that diabetics should probably stay away from stevia extracts and whole stevia leaf. If they consume too much of either, there is a good chance that their blood sugar levels are going to drop. This can be very dangerous for people who need to maintain steady blood sugar levels throughout the day. Simultaneously, taking too much Stevia will increase the likelihood that you’re going to experience major side effects.
The most common side effects associated with excessive Stevia consumption include gas, bloating, and nausea. Animal studies have shown that stevia may do damage to the kidneys, reproductive system, and cardiovascular system. Therefore, you should never consume too much. Limit the amount and you’ll most likely be able to avoid these repercussions.
Other Sweeteners That You Can Use While Fasting
Ultimately, Stevia is not a good choice for people who are fasting. It will indeed break your fast. Therefore, you should avoid it and try something else. The good news is that there are plenty of other sweeteners to enjoy. However, you have to be incredibly careful. After all, most artificial sweeteners are going to result in insulin being released. This will break your fast. Therefore, you really have to be selective when choosing the sweeteners that you’re going to be using while fasting.
If you’re going to be using sweeteners, you’ll have to watch the ingredients very carefully. Look at the label. Do you see anything like Maltodextrin or Dextrose? If so, you’ll want to look for a different sweetener. These are nothing more than sugars. They’re just sugar in powder form and they’re going to act just like conventional sugar. Instead, you should try looking for liquid Stevia or Splenda. Just make sure that they do not contain the two aforementioned ingredients.
Other good sweeteners to try include Truvia and Swerve. Truly, it is tough to say how someone is going to be impacted by using these sweeteners. Some people will actually be able to use Stevia without breaking their fast. Others cannot. If you are intent on using sweeteners during your fast, you should do so carefully. If you get excellent results, you should continue. Otherwise, you should stop using sweeteners while you’re fasting.