Is stevia bad for gut health?
Are you a health enthusiast who can’t seem to live without their daily dose of sweetener? Look no further because today we are going to delve into the world of stevia, a popular sugar substitute that has taken the health industry by storm.
But the question is, is stevia bad for gut health? Before you switch back to table sugar out of fear, let’s have some fun exploring this topic.
What Exactly is Stevia?
Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It has zero calories and does not raise blood glucose levels in your body like other sugars do. This makes it an ideal replacement for table sugar if you’re trying to maintain or lose weight while satisfying your sweet tooth cravings.
But Wait…Is it Safe For Your Gut?
Ah yes, the million-dollar question – is stevia safe for consumption?
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) views high-grade purified steviol glycosides as generally recognized as safe (GRAS), meaning they don’t see any significant risks when using this ingredient in food. However, research on its long-term impact on our health continues (1).
Now before you start panicking over whether or not there are bugs lurking under your skin after consuming tons of products containing stevia powder, remember that everything should be consumed in moderation – including sugar substitutes (2)!
With such little data on this subject matter though admittedly it’s hard to come up with concrete conclusions but hey humor me won’t ya??
The Pros and Cons Of Consuming Too Much Stevia
Can I get a drum roll please?? Let’s play Devil’s advocate here by examining both sides of the coin- with pros only since there aren’t really cons anyways!
- Zero calorie content
- Does not spike blood sugar levels
- Reduces the risk of diabetes and obesity development. Stevia does not disrupt glucose metabolism because it doesn’t contain glucose (3).
- Decreases tooth decay due to lack of fermentable carbohydrates found in stevia versus regular sugar which promotes bacteria growth on teeth, leading to cavities.
Okay okay so that’s actually pretty impressive right? That said- side effects have been tied to consuming large quantities often of some artificial sweeteners over a sustained period – this is what I mean about moderation people.
Still Not Convinced?
Here are two points to note:
1)Stevia tastes very different than white sugar or honey! So don’t expect them to be interchangeable 1:1 A little may take you far and put more smiles on your tastebuds🥰
2) The main issue with foods containing stevia isn’t consumption amounts rather a combination factor as usually they come packaged with other non-needed ingredients like additives & fillers such as Maltodextrin (a food additive used to thicken certain products, also seen in prepackaged snacks). This one was hidden gem among my findings during research!!
Stevia And The Microbiome
As gut health talk becomes louder we can’t forget those happy microbes living inside us going about their day😊They are responsible for several functions including our digestion and immune system –no pressure tho 😂
That said- given how new Stevias use compared to others like Cane Sugar assessment is still ongoing regarding its impactHmmm
One study conducted found that while no negative effects were observed when participants consumed stevia, there were neither positive impacts noted either. Hmmmm Its kinda like meh (4)🙅♀️but sometimes not playing up could be good!
For instance maybe scientists will find out down the line that its invisible benefits include keeping away disgruntled friends on your desert🤦♀️
Keep in mind though that individual responses to sweeteners like stevia may vary based on overall diet, lifestyle and more.
Different Forms of Stevia
If you’ve been delighted by this content so far I bet you’re excited for the next section😉- Non-Sugary ways we can play with stevia!!Unlike white sugar, there are several other forms to experiment with. Add to desserts as a sprinkle or bulk up salad dressings without adding calories. Here are some ideas:
- Liquid Stevia Extract
- Stevia leaves
- Powdered organic stevioside
Another positive is it blends well into liquids which makes adding sweetness not need an extra stir stick!
Not all brands create interchangeable versions-larger studies show production methods & quality matters-So unless you’re growing your own plant-pick a high-grade commercially produced one!
Bottom line: Is stevia bad for gut health? There’s no significant evidence it negatively impacts gut function in moderation! 🎊In fact,it’s probably universally better than alternatives like Cane Sugar.Oh..wait (Joke!) Hopefully this article has opened up conversations & most importantly provided those giggles necessary 😂