What is Stevia Extract (98% Rebaudioside A)?
Stevia is a sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the herb Stevia rebaudiana. Its primary active
compounds are the steviol glycosides stevioside and rebaudioside. Rebaudioside A is sweeter, less
bitter, and more stable than stevioside. It is also 240 times sweeter than sugar. The body doesn’t
recognize or absorb steviol glycosides, which is how the extract has zero calories.
Potential Stevia Extract Benefits
Many individuals use stevia extract to sweeten their food and beverages without the added calories from
sugar. Individuals that need to regulate their blood sugar also use stevia extract, as it doesn’t affect
blood glucose levels.
Stevia has several other surprising beneficial properties. Stevia extract may help individuals manage
their weight through two mechanisms. Stevia extract reduces the calories of food and beverages, which
can contribute to the calorie deficit needed to lose weight. It also has novel effects on satiety.
Individuals feel just as full after eating a meal made with stevia as those who eat the same meal using
traditional sugar. These mechanisms allow people to feel full despite consuming fewer calories.
Stevia also provides anti-inflammatory effects. Rebaudioside A can preserve Nrf2 expression, which is
essential for regulating the body’s detox and antioxidant defenses. The body actives Nrf2 in response to
oxidative distress, a known cause of chronic inflammation. Stevia also inhibits the expression of genes
that promote inflammation.
Stevia may provide antioxidant benefits too. Stevia extract protects cells from oxidative stress damage.
It scavenges and prevents free radicals from damaging cells. One study noted that stevia extract has
superior antioxidant efficacy than quercetin, another powerful antioxidant.
What is the Best Sugar Substitute?
Stevia is a natural sugar substitute that contains zero artificial ingredients. However, it is not the
only sugar substitute available on the market. Determining which sugar substitute is the best comes down
to personal preferences and tastes. Some other zero- and low-calorie sweeteners include:
How To Use Stevia
Stevia extract is significantly sweeter than sugar. A standard serving size is 20mg, which correlates to
approximately one teaspoon of sugar. Refer to the table below for additional sugar and stevia extract
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