Stevia

What is stevia made from?

January 24, 2019

What happens when you start using Stevia?

Stevia is a common product that diabetics use when they want something sweet. Since their bodies no longer can break down sugar due to their high insulin resistance, they are unable to take the usual sugar. This also means they cannot take in as many carbohydrates as they used to. To compensate for the lack of sugar, they take in Stevia to add some sweetness to their food.

But before we look as to what happens when you use Stevia, we have to first look at a molecular level of what stevia is made of.

What is Stevia made from?

Stevia comes from a plant known as Stevia Rebaudiana. However, the interesting part of Stevia is although it has steviol glycosides (glyco being the mark for sugar), it doesn’t raise sugar levels. A common herb found in South America, the rise of diabetes and obesity has made companies switch over to alternative forms of sugar.

Unlike artificial sweeteners, Stevia does not have any calories. That’s because the sweet aspect of stevia comes from the plant fibers itself. And in reality, Stevia is actually 150 to 300 times sweeter than regular sugar. The main cause for it is the Steviols and the Rebaudioside. The sweeteners that are used based on Stevia in commercial products are actually a purified form of stevia. They do this via water extraction, by boiling out the other impurities and condensing whatever Rebaudioside and Steviol are left for the sweetness.

What happens when you use Stevia?

When using Stevia, you’ll notice that you won’t be craving for sugar as much. Because Stevia can trick the taste buds into eating something sweet, the sweetness craving is satisfied. And because there’s no “sugar” in it, the body’s sugar levels are kept in check. The body has no need to produce insulin because there’s no sugar involved. Hypothetically, this can lower insulin resistance which is why diabetics can use Stevia to lower their blood sugar or at least maintain the level.

However, some studies have shown that sugar levels can spike due to stevia. This may be because of the release of glucagon. Glucagon is a peptide released by the pancreas when the blood sugar runs too low. When the blood sugar runs low, the body starts to feel all sorts of fatigue. To compensate, the pancreas then produces glucagon which allows the blood sugar to be maintained at a normal level.

During the first few days of using Stevia, you’ll notice that you’re getting a bit sluggish. This sluggishness or “fatigue” is due to your body not being able to find any sugar to burn for energy. The body uses sugar as its primary component to making more energy for the body to function. However because Stevia again does not have sugar, the body has nothing to burn. It will then turn to fats which will be converted into energy.

Stevia and its use for Ketogenic Diets

One of the new fad diets is the Ketogenic diet where there is an elimination of sugars and carbs. In doing so puts your body into a mild form of “starvation”. When your body feels starved, the body will then begin to produce Ketones. These ketones will then serve as a form of energy to help your body keep on going due to the lack of sugar. And, Stevia makes it easier. Why? It stops your craving for sugar.

Like any normal human being, being deprived of a single thing can cause a craving. Especially with food, if a person eats something salty – they will want balance. So, they’ll look for something sweet. This is where Stevia will play a big role. The natural sweetness of Stevia will trick the mind and taste buds into achieving equilibrium and thus ending the craving. All that, without having any sugar at all.

And because of this, the ketogenic process begins. The production of ketones then will serve as a source of energy and which can ultimately allow the person to lose weight. However, doing this, in the long run, might be detrimental especially when you introduce true sugar again into your body. Also, the constant eating of fats can also lead to heightened risks for hypertension and high blood pressure. So before doing this, consult your doctor first. Do not ask Dr. Google; ask your doctor.

Sources:

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