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Any of a genus (stevia) of composite herbs and shrubs of tropical and subtropical america. [1]

History of stevia

House of the stevia plant

Stevia is a perennial plant, but can be grown as a yearly or seasonal depending upon the growing region. Today, the plant is mostly grown commercially in south america and asia for the sweet parts in its leaves. Stevia generally is grown to 1 meter in height prior to the plant is collected and its leaves are dried.

Discovery of the sweet taste

In 1901, the discovery of the stevia plant’s sweetness was credited to an italian-swiss botanist, dr. Mois├ęs s. Bertoni. However, scientists think making use of the stevia plant to sweeten medications and foods by indigenous individuals dates prior to the 16th century. The sweetness of the stevia plant is because of the production of sweet substances, also known as steviol glyocsides, in the plant’s leaves.

In 1931, french scientists, m. Bridel and r. Lavielle initially recognized the specific glycosides noting their sweetening power which is 50-450 times as sweet as sucrose. There are at least 60 known steviol glycosides in the stevia leaf with stevioside and rebaudioside a being the most common.

Extraction of stevia

The sweet taste discovered in the stevia leaves is released by steeping its dried leaves in water, filtering and separating the liquid from the leaves and stems, and further purifying the plant extract with either water or food grade alcohol. The result is a naturally sourced, high intensity sweetener which does not effect blood glucose levels.

For decades, high pureness stevia extracts have been authorized for usage in foods and beverages in japan. Over the last 10-15 years, positive security viewpoints from global food security authorities, including the world health organization/joint specialist committee on food additives, the european food safety authority, and the u.s. Fda, have opened the marketplace for this new and amazing sweetener. [2]

Physical description

Stevia is a tender seasonal herb that reaches 30.5– 80 cm (1– 2.5 feet) in height. The oblong aromatic leaves are 2.5 cm (1 inch) long with a prominent midrib and are arranged oppositely along the stems. The little tubular flowers have 5 white petals and are borne in terminal clusters; the flowers are usually removed to improve the flavour of the leaves. Germination from seed is hard, and most plants are grown from cuttings. The plant needs abundant well-drained soil and thrives in warm humid climates. [3]

Nutrition truths

The following nutrition information is provided by the usda for 1 teaspoon (.5 grams) of stevia3.

  • Calories: 0
  • Fat: 0g
  • Salt: 0mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbs

There has to do with one gram of carbohydrates in 1 teaspoon of stevia. Consumers may use more than this in their drinks, food, or baked goods.

This quantity is considerably less than the variety of carbs routine sugar offers and will not contribute greatly to total carb intake. Stevia is an excellent option for those requiring to manage blood glucose as stevia will not spike blood glucose when consumed.


Stevia provides zero grams of fat.


There is no protein in stevia.


Stevia is not a substantial source of micronutrients. Make sure to include a wide range of foods in your diet for appropriate micronutrient intake. [4]

How is stevia utilized?

In the u.s., stevia sweeteners are mostly discovered in table sugar products and lowered calorie beverages as sugar substitutes.

Extracts from the stevia leaf have been offered as dietary supplements in the u.s. Given that the mid-1990s, and numerous include a mixture of both sweet and non-sweet parts of the stevia leaf.

The sweet parts in stevia sweeteners are naturally happening. This might even more benefit customers who choose foods and drinks they perceive as natural.

Worldwide, more than 5,000 food and drink items currently use stevia as an ingredient. Stevia sweeteners are used as a component in products throughout asia and south america such as:.

  • Ice cream
  • Desserts
  • Sauces
  • Yogurts
  • Pickled foods
  • Bread
  • Sodas
  • Chewing gum
  • Candy
  • Seafood
  • Prepared veggies [5]

Does stevia work to improve your health?

You’ll hear lots of health advantages being connected to stevia, but it is necessary to recognize that the research study on the extract is still new, and according to the u.s. Department of agriculture’s myplate standards, the long-term results aren’t clear yet.

Many individuals talk about how stevia has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels– making it ideal for people with type 2 diabetes, those who wish to drop weight– or utilize this as an indication that it’s better than other non-nutritive sweeteners. According to the position statement published in may 2012 in the journal of the academy of nutrition and dietetitcs, randomized trials on the weight-loss and diabetes management capacity for stevia is largely mixed. Some trials show that blood sugar responses are lower after taking in stevia, while others report no changes.

When it pertains to other health markers, like high blood pressure, the outcomes are likewise often combined. 2 of the trials the authors took a look at reported no changes, while one did report a decrease in blood pressure after eating stevia compared to a placebo. In general, consider stevia an alternative as a sweetener, however don’t anticipate it to make a discernable difference in your health.

Is stevia helpful for weight loss or upkeep?

It’s not yet clear if stevia can help you drop weight. Theoretically it ought to if you’re taking in a zero-calorie sugar in place of conventional sugar. However the human body is intricate and research hasn’t yet turned out that calorie-free sweeteners, consisting of stevia, can slim you down. Similar to with other calorie-free sweeteners, you may consume more out of the belief that you “conserved” calories, or these sweeteners might uniquely impact your appetite to trigger you to eat more.

In one small study, released in march 2017 in the worldwide journal of obesity, which was performed on 30 adult men, individuals drank a beverage sweetened by aspartame, monk fruit, sucrose (sugar), or stevia and then ate lunch an hour later on. Individuals who consumed the zero-calorie drink (despite the type) consumed more lunch compared to those who consumed the sucrose (sugar) beverage.

What does that mean? “the energy ‘saved’ from replacing sucrose with nns [non-nutritive sweeteners] was totally compensated for at subsequent meals; hence, no difference in overall day-to-day energy consumption was found between the treatments,” the authors wrote. That said, prior research study found that when people taken in a stevia or aspartame beverage before a meal, they did not end up consuming more compared with those having a sucrose (sugar) drink.

Is stevia fine for individuals with diabetes?

Yes, it is. Non-nutritive sweeteners can play a role in your diet plan if you have diabetes, according to the american diabetes association. When used to change sugar, these can potentially help with glucose control, according to a clinical statement they released in 2012, which included talk about stevia. However the authors kept in mind that research hasn’t shown that these kinds of sweeteners really do help individuals decrease their calorie or carb intake in a real-world setting.

Plus, you might have heard the buzz that stevia is really useful for blood sugar level control. Initial research study on mice published in march 2017 in the journal nature interaction reveals that stevia promotes a specific protein channel that helps the pancreas release the correct dose of insulin. But jumping to the conclusion that stevia is a way to treat diabetes isn’t yet proper, the research study author noted in journalism release.

Tips for choosing and saving stevia

You’ll find stevia both as a standalone component that you can contribute to your foods in your home as well as in food and beverages, like sodas, juices, yogurt, baked items, gum, and sweets, to name a few.

When acquiring stevia as an at-home active ingredient, you have 2 main choices: powdered or granulated stevia that is available in packets, and liquid bottles or droppers.

You can likewise find it in blended products, which might integrate stevia with other ingredients, like erythritol (a sugar alcohol). Some blends likewise use components like dextrose and inulin. These assist consumers better usage stevia in cooking and baking without having to use crazy conversion charts. You may also find brands that combine stevia and routine sugar to assist cut the sugar content.

To store, keep in a cool, dark, dry place, like a cabinet method from heat. If utilizing a liquid drop, read the bottle to see if it needs to be kept in the fridge. (some do not.) It should be no surprise that various kinds of stevia have various life span.

Here’s a take a look at how long a couple of kinds of stevia can stick around:.

  • Stevia in the raw: 4 years from date of manufacture
  • Truvia natural sweetener: three years from the date of manufacture
  • Wholesome organic stevia mix: 3 years

How to utilize stevia to help sweeten your dishes

Wanting to cook or bake with stevia? Include it as a sweetener in coffee or tea? First, remember that stevia can be up to 350 times sweeter than table sugar, suggesting a little goes a long way. The conversion differs depending on if you’re using a packet or liquid drops; 1 tsp of sugar amounts to half a stevia packet or five drops of liquid stevia. For bigger dishes (like baking), 1/2 cup sugar corresponds to 12 stevia packets or 1 tsp of liquid stevia. But if you frequently bake with stevia, think about buying a stevia mix with sugar that’s created for baking (it will say so on the bundle), which allows you to substitute stevia for sugar in a 1:1 ratio, making the cooking procedure simpler.

If you’re new to stevia, you might initially try it in coffee or tea, something that can help reduce your sugarcoated intake throughout the day. In warm drinks, stevia dissolves well. Add a part of a stevia packet, stir, and taste, continuing to add more until you reach your desired level of sweet taste.

When it comes to cooking and baking, you can substitute stevia and its respective blends for the majority of or a few of the added sugar in a dish, as it remains steady when heated up. Just remember to always read the label of the product you’re using to get the best conversion. It’s also suggested that you keep 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in the dish so that the food will caramelize or brown perfectly. Include it in pancakes, cookies, muffins, pie, frozen desserts, salad dressings, and sauces. [6]

Stevia dishes

Stevia can be used to make any dish, which you use sugar or other sugar replacements. Nevertheless do remember that stevia is very sweet so do not determine it by your typical sugar quantities. This is achieved by experimentation as you continue to use stevia in your recipes you will have a better idea of the amount you require to use.

You can replace one cup of sugar with 1 tsp of stevia powder or liquid. For 1tbsp of sugar use 1/4 tsp stevia powder or 6-8 liquid stevia drops. For 1 tsp of sugar use a pinch of stevia power or 2-4 drops of liquid stevia.

Pumpkin pudding

Prepare 100 gm of grated pumpkin with 500 ml milk (whole-fat or low-fat) until the texture is velvety. Include sliced nuts to it such as almonds and pistachio. Add 10 raisins and 5 sliced dried figs. Now add stevia powder to taste. Cool it and then cool for an hour prior to serving.

Chocolate-peanut crumble

Include 10 gm of melted dark chocolate or 5 tsp of dark chocolate powder to 500 gm of flour and mix well. Include stevia powder to taste and 2 tsp almond meal and bake until done. Once it is cooled to space temperature level, fall apart the meal and include 5 tsp roasted and crushed peanuts to it. You can likewise add 2-3 tsp of peanut butter for extra flavor. Mix well and eat it with a serving of coffee-flavored ice cream or with fresh cream and sliced strawberries.

Yogurt-banana shake

Use low-fat yogurt with one ripe banana, one tsp peanut butter and stevia liquid drops to taste. Blend well and consume it up for a healthy breakfast. [7]

Sweet facts about stevia

Sweet facts about stevia

Stevia rebaudiana is a south american plant native to paraguay that has long been utilized to sweeten drinks and make tea. While the word “stevia” refers to the whole plant just a few of the elements of the stevia plant are sweet. These sweet elements are called steviol glycosides. Stevia is now grown and collected in numerous areas of the world, from main and south america to asia, europe, africa, and china, where the majority of the world’s stevia is presently cultivated. Stevia is also found as an ingredient in numerous items, such as ice cream, bread and soft drinks, throughout asia and south america.

Steviol glycosides

Steviol glycosides are found in the leaves of the stevia plant and each has a specific taste profile and sweet taste intensity. Steviol glycosides can be separated from the leaves of the stevia plant and have now been contributed to some foods, for instance drinks and tabletop sweeteners in the u.s. And elsewhere.

Sweet ingredient: rebaudioside a

Rebaudioside an is among the many steviol glycosides in the leaves of the stevia plant that offers sweet taste. It is typically recognized as safe (gras) for use as a basic function sweetener in the u.s. So may be used in foods and beverages, excluding meat and poultry items. Rebaudioside a is approximately 250 to 300 times sweeter than sucrose.

Security of stevia sweeteners/steviol glycosides

Current research studies including human studies on safety, metabolism and intake, have actually shown the safety of steviol glycosides. The joint fao/who expert committee on food additives (jecfa) has carried out a comprehensive clinical evaluation of the existing scientific data on steviol glycosides, consisting of rebaudioside a, b, c, d and f, and concluded that they are safe for usage in foods and beverages.

An adi of approximately four mg/kg body weight has actually been established for steviol gycosides as steviol. It would take around 30 packages of a tabletop sweetener or more than 24 8-oz servings of a diet drink daily (for a 150-lb individual) to reach the acceptable day-to-day consumption (adi). The adi for food active ingredients is set at a level determined to be safe to take in every day for a lifetime without risk.

Consuming more than the adi does not mean an unfavorable impact will occur because the adi includes a wide margin of security (usually 100-fold) above what is considered the no observed impact level (noel).

Based on the depth of published research study, panels of independent clinical specialists in both the u.s. And worldwide have concluded that rebaudioside a and other steviol glycosides are safe for people of any ages including children, individuals with diabetes, females who are pregnant or lactating, overweight individuals and the senior. Research studies released in the journal food and chemical toxicology in may 2008 showed that very high dosages of steviol glycosides (equivalent to a 150-lb individual drinking 2,000 eight-ounce servings of a beverage sweetened with stevia sweeteners) had no negative impacts on basic health or specific organs, including the liver.

Metabolic process

Based on studies conducted in the past a number of years, jecfa has actually concluded that the sweet elements of stevia, the steviol glycosides, are metabolized by a typical path. This begins in the gut where the glycosides are broken down to steviol. Steviol is excreted in the urine as steviol glucuronide. Nevertheless, little steviol is absorbed. The metabolized components of steviol glycosides leave the body basically unchanged.

Regulative status

In december 2008, the fda stated it had no objection to the conclusion of an expert panel that rebaudioside a is gras for usage as a general function sweetener in foods and beverages, leaving out meat and poultry. Fda has now stated that a variety of steviol glycosides might be used as general function sweeteners in the u.s. In canada, stevia is offered as a natural health product. Stevia and steviol glycosides have a long history of use in several nations, including japan and paraguay. Stevia sweeteners are authorized for use in numerous other countries consisting of korea, taiwan, china, russia, switzerland, australia, argentina, new zealand, mexico, colombia, peru, uruguay, brazil, chile and malaysia.

Smartly sweet: incorporating stevia into a healthy way of life

Elements of stevia consist of zero calories, which indicates stevia may sweeten foods and drinks leading to fewer calories. Further, research has revealed that using stevia sweeteners does not impact blood sugar or insulin action, which permits people with diabetes to consume a higher variety of foods and adhere to a healthy meal plan. Stevia and its elements are “natural” which might even more benefit consumers who choose foods and drinks they view as natural. [8]

Is stevia FDA-approved?

Stevia has an fda rating referred to as normally acknowledged as safe (gras). Sweeteners and other food ingredients with gras status do not require fda approval and can be lawfully added to foods sold in the u.s. The gras score does not apply to whole-leaf stevia and less-processed stevia extracts, which can not lawfully be contributed to food in the u.s. [9]

Stevia side effects

As whatever includes its pros and cons, likewise, stevia also has its negative effects that are as follows:.

1. Damage to kidney

It tends to increase the speed at which the body eliminates water and electrolyte in the form of urine. The main function of the kidney is to filter and produce urine thus; long-lasting usage of stevia can harm the kidney.

2. Can result in intestinal signs

A few of the stevia items have actually added sugar alcohols that can give way to typical illness like queasiness, vomiting, bloating, and cramping. Another stevia sugar adverse effects is indigestion and low metabolic rate which can result in some health hazards.

3. Can trigger hypoglycemia

Among the stevia side effects is hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar, which can be triggered due to the increased intake of stevia.

4. Low blood pressure

Since stevia assists to decrease high blood pressure, it can also low down blood pressure when taken in on a regular basis. Individuals with chronic blood pressure must consult their physician prior to taking in stevia.

5. Stevia can result in endocrine- interruption

It is a type of steroid that can interfere with hormones that are controlled by the endocrine system. [10]

What other drugs interact with stevia?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication for diabetes, your medical professional or pharmacist might already understand any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or alter the dose of any medication prior to checking with your doctor, healthcare supplier or pharmacist first.

Stevia has no recognized serious, major, or moderate interactions with other drugs.

Mild interactions of stevia consist of:.

  • Acarbose
  • Chlorpropamide
  • Glimepiride
  • Glipizide
  • Gliquidone
  • Glyburide
  • Insulin degludec
  • Insulin degludec/insulin aspart
  • Metformin
  • Miglitol
  • Nateglinide
  • Pioglitazone
  • Repaglinide
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Saxagliptin
  • Sitagliptin
  • Tolazamide
  • Tolbutamide
  • Troglitazone
  • Vildagliptin

This document does not include all possible interactions. Therefore, before utilizing this item, tell your medical professional or pharmacist of all the products you utilize. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your medical professional and pharmacist. Talk to your physician if you have health questions or issues.

What are cautions and safety measures for stevia?


This medication includes stevia. Do not take stevia rebaudiana if you dislike stevia or any components contained in this drug.


Hypersensitivity to asteraceae family (ragweed, daisies, and so on).

Effects of substance abuse



The u.s. Fda (fda), the world health company (who), and european regulatory agencies have questioned the security of persistent use of stevia.

Pregnancy and lactation

There is no details offered on the security of stevia usage during pregnancy or lactation. Consult your medical professional. [11]


Stevia products made with reb-a are thought about safe, even for people who are pregnant or who have diabetes. These products seldom trigger side effects. Nevertheless, more research requires to be done to offer conclusive evidence on weight management, diabetes and other health issues.

Remember that stevia is much sweeter than table sugar, so you will not require to use as much.

Whole-leaf stevia isn’t authorized for commercial usage, but you can still grow it for home use. Regardless of a lack of research, many people declare whole-leaf stevia is a safe alternative to its highly refined equivalent or table sugar.

While including a raw stevia leaf to a cup of tea once in a while is unlikely to cause damage, you should not use it if you’re pregnant.

Till research determines whether whole-leaf stevia is safe for everybody, get your physician’s approval prior to utilizing it routinely, specifically if you have a serious medical condition such as diabetes, heart problem, or high blood pressure. [12]


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