Is replacing sugar with stevia a good idea?

Amongst the popular belief of omitting sugar and replacing it with stevia, Nutritionist Pooja Makhija busts the myths around it.

stevia
Should you replace sugar with artificial sweeteners? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Pooja Makhija Updated on: 30 April 2022, 23:17 pm IST
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Be it a spoonful of sugar in your morning tea or the little tint of crushed sugar in those gooey cinnamon buns, refined sugar has never been cited as a healthy option by nutritionists. Relishing sugar, however, is not uncommon. After all, sugar not only induces drug-like effects in the human brain but also acts as an aphrodisiac. But unfortunately, while it stimulates paramount happiness within the body, it has its adverse effects like any other drug. And this makes many resort to artificial sweeteners and stevia instead.

The crimes of excess sugar cannot be vindicated, from debilitating your immunity by interfering with the digestive system, to fostering obesity. Some studies even suggest that consuming a lot of added sugar can cause inflammation, chromium deficiency and cavity issues.

In fact, a World Health Organization advisory recommends that children and adults across the globe take their sugar intake to less than 5 percent of their total energy intake. The recommendation is structured upon the direct causation between increasing high-sugar and high-fat consumption and rising obesity issues. But does switching to other sweeteners cut these health risks?

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Sugar is not just about sweets. It is also hidden in many foods. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Should you replace sugar with healthy sweeteners like stevia?

Then again, considering healthier alternatives for table sugar or refined sugar- can not only considerably reduce the calorie intake but also balance your food cravings while staying fit. Low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) are a revolutionary set of products that can enable a sustainable journey towards a better lifestyle. Adding a healthy cherry, on the sugar-free cake-top, LCS products like stevia also weaken the extremely detrimental triglycerides, while improving high-density lipoprotein- the good kind of cholesterol. In addition to its organic nature, and calorie-free qualities, stevia also ensures a balanced blood-sugar level.

Why is stevia a better sweetener than sugar?

One of the most popular low-calorie sweeteners, stevia leaves are not only 200 times sweeter than white sugar but also a sustainable herbal addition to every diet. Unlike normal sugar, it does not have negative effects on the body. Despite the increased levels of sweetness, it also has a very low-calorie count pushing it in the ‘zero-calorie’ category.

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Want to guard yourself against diabetes? Cut down on sugar, try stevia instead. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

As mentioned, stevia’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels in the body can help you all your favorite food items- be it coffee, cakes, or pastries intelligently – you can now savor them all without feeling guilty about the calorie count or negative effects of blood sugar levels. In addition, stevia is known to reduce bacterial formation in the mouth preventing cavities caused by excess sugar.

Stevia products definitely hold an edge over traditional white sugar with such a maxim of benefits. It is a solution for people with a sweet tooth who do not want the excess calories or dangers of refined sugar.

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About the Author
Pooja Makhija Pooja Makhija

Nutritionist to stars like Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Karan Johar, Mira Kapoor, Twinkle Khanna, Tammana Bhatia, Ishaan Khattar and Sushmita Sen, celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija and nutrition consultant at Fast&Up has, in her fifteen years of practice, transformed the bodies – and the lives – of over twenty-five thousand people and made planet earth more than a 125,000 kilos lighter. Her clientele includes people from all walks of life - models, actors, socialites, CEOs, ace yoga instructors, personal trainers, producers, directors, singers, pilots, architects, builders, media professionals and housewives.Apart from being a celebrity nutritionist, Pooja is also a bestselling author, a television star, an entrepreneur and, above all, a devoted mother of two. She works from her clinic Nourish in Mumbai and has both an MSc in Food Science and Nutrition and a BSc in Dietetics from Mumbai. A vocal and passionate believer in the power of food, Pooja's mission is to help you fall in love with food. To that end, she is on a journey to 'fooducate' the world and help rebuild people’s faith in the power of nutrition.Pooja Makhija offers solutions for metabolic disorders such as diabetes, thyroid, hypertension and heart disease.

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