Is Stevia healthy?
Stevia is produced from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, which is native to South America. There, humans have used it for centuries because of its extraordinary sweetness. The stevia sweetener is made from the steviol glycosides obtained from the stevia plant, with the sweetening power of the leaves mainly stemming from two ingredients: stevioside and rebaudioside A. Not only does it have 200 times the sweetening power of sugar – unlike sugar, it has no effect on our blood sugar levels.
Does Stevia have any health side-effects?
The steviol glycosides were authorised in the EU in 2011 and are declared in foods as additive E 960. During the authorisation process, the stevia sweetener had to pass a range of toxicological tests to ensure that the sugar substitute is neither carcinogenic nor genotoxic and has no negative impact on human reproductive organs.
Precisely defined maximum usable doses apply for the individual food categories. The ADI value (acceptable daily intake – link to Wikipedia) defines the amount of a substance we can safely consume on a daily basis throughout our lives. For steviol glycosides, the ADI value is 4 milligrams per kilogram body weight. At a body weight of 60 kg, this amounts to 240 mg of steviol glycoside – an almost absurdly high amount that nobody would ever consume. Converted to sugar, this would amount to 120 kg of sugar per day!
For whom is stevia suitable as a sweetener?
Regular household sugar has a major impact on blood sugar levels. This is one of the reasons many people look for an alternative to sugar. But is stevia suitable for everybody or are there limitations?
The steviol glycoside sweetener we use for all SteviaSweet products, as well as the other purely plant-based ingredients, have no influence on blood sugar or insulin levels. SteviaSweet products therefore offer the perfect neutral sweetness that even people suffering from diabetes can enjoy.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers can also safely replace sugar with stevia. However, a woman’s nutritional needs change when pregnant or nursing. Therefore make sure you meet your daily calorie needs with other foods and always follow the advice of your doctor.
Children can safely consume stevia. However, we only recommend consumption from the age of 3 years, as babies and younger children have different dietary requirements to adults and children over 3 years old.
SteviaSweet sweeteners are lactose-free, vegan and gluten-free and can be consumed without hesitation by people with coeliac disease. As gluten-free foods, SteviaSweet products are easily digestible for everyone and thus conducive to general well-being as part of a balanced diet.
Advantages and disadvantages of the stevia plant
The natural sugar alternative offers many advantages, as well as some potential disadvantages.
|0 calories||Lack of volume in baking|
|Suitable for diabetics||Defined maximum quantity per day|
|Does not cause dental caries||Bitter aftertaste|
|Various dosage forms||More expensive than household sugar|
Not all perceived weaknesses are always considered as such and objective disadvantages do not have to remain that way for ever.
We at SteviaSweet have already come up with a few ideas: In SteviaSweet Crystal for example, the combination of stevia and erythritol ensures the required volume in baked goods. How can you get perfect baking results with SteviaSweet? We have collected some tips and tricks for you here.
Everyone has a different sense of taste. Some even enjoy the slight liquorice taste of Stevia. Our product managers work closely with developers worldwide and always take care to take the most recent findings and the needs of our customers into consideration in order to provide the perfect product with the best possible quality for you.
Why do most sugar substitutes containing stevia cost so much more than normal household sugar? The steviol glycosides obtained from the stevia plant cannot be enjoyed in their pure form as they are 200 to 300 sweeter. One teaspoon would be enough for an entire cake! You would probably find it difficult to find the dosage you need. To make handling this easier for you, we have put a lot of effort into developing suitable dosage forms for every use case. One way is by enriching the fine small glycosides of the stevia plant with erythritol. To receive the perfect mixture and homogeneity, the individual ingredients today undergo a highly complex mixing process that ensures the high quality of our SteviaSweet products.