People now are more aware of the hazards of too much sugar intake to their health. It is already widely-documented to be the cause of a number of lifestyle diseases like obesity. Ayurvedic medicine expert and Nirogstreet founder Ramkumar believes that refined white sugar creates toxins and clogging inside the body. He further discussed the healing effects of herbs, and how they help restore sugar damages and beat addictions.
Along with this awareness, different alternatives for sugar have emerged. Unfortunately, these alternatives not only taste unnatural, they also bear side effects. Aspartame and saccharine, two kinds of sugar substitute, have been rumored to cause fatal diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
A new sugar substitute called stevia has also emerged and there is much discussion about it.
Stevia is extracted from the leaves of the herb called Stevia Rebaudiana which originally grew in South America. It has three hundred times the sweetness of sugar but does not increase your blood sugar. For thousands of years it has been used by different native South American tribes as food and drink sweetener. Navneet Singh from PURECIRCLE, the leading distributor of stevia, said that National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB) listed stevia as a priority for cultivation. International food regulating bodies have branded stevias of high-purity as safe for consumption by kids and adults.
How safe is stevia?
According to timesofindia.com, stevia does not have calories, yet it is still regarded on varying levels by countries in the different parts of the world. In the US, it is legal to sell and consume high-purity stevia, but the leaf itself and crude extracts are still forbidden by the Food and Drugs Administration. The European Union also permitted the consumption of stevia in 2011 while the Japanese people have already been using it for several decades.
Stevia is so far the best know sugar substitute, especially for people who suffer from diabetes. But just like any other food, it must still be moderately consumed.
Sandhya Gugnani, a celebrity nutritionist, warns that despite there are benefits we get from Stevia, it is still best to take caution in consuming it as there are still no adequate study of the long-term effect it may bring.