March 21, 2016 mdchino

The Truth About Stevia

You know that a low-sugar diet can help you lose weight, get healthier, and even clear up your skin. But it’s hard to say no to a sweet tooth! That’s why so many people turn to artificial sweeteners. They taste a lot like sugar, but have zero calories.

Lately, Stevia is the newest thing on the sugar-free market. It’s derived from a small shrub in the chrysanthemum family, and it has actually been around since ancient times. But nowadays you might see it on store shelves under the name Truvia or Pure Via.

But of course, what you see on the store shelves is not the pure plant itself. A patented refining process extracts Rebaudioside A from the raw plant material, and combines it with sugar alcohols and other “natural flavors”. The result is a zero-calorie, powdered sweetener that looks a lot like sugar – but isn’t.

Is Stevia safe?

The FDA originally banned Stevia in 1991 over concerns that it might cause cancer. But in 2008, makers of Pure Via and Truvia submitted evidence that demonstrated their product’s safety. Stevia was subsequently granted GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status by the FDA, but it is important to remember that Stevia extracts are still considered dietary supplements.

Most likely, Stevia is safe for you to use. It’s probably better than other natural sweeteners on the market, and can even help to increase your glucose tolerance. But because the product hasn’t been around all that long, no long-term health effects studies have been performed. Because of that fact, use Stevia in moderation. You don’t want to go overboard and use it every day, but if a baking the occasional Stevia-laced brownie helps you to satisfy your sweet tooth, it makes a great weight loss aid.

If you have any questions about Stevia or any other dietary supplement, let us know.  We’d be happy to answer your questions and put you on a safe weight loss path!

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