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Are Sugar Substitutes like Stevia Safe?

Learn if sugar substitutes like Stevia are safe from nutrition expert Alex Jamieson in this Howcast video.

Transcript

You might have been hearing about sugar substitutes like Stevia and wondering if they are safe. Well, there are lot of non-nutritive or calorie- free sugar substitutes like NutriSweet or Equal or Splenda and then there is Stevia. They all have a similar effect on the body that you need to be aware of and that is they taste sweet even though they don't have any added calories to them. Now what happens when your tongue tastes sweet, it instantly sends a message to your brain, to your body to start producing insulin because your body is expecting carbohydrates to follow that sweet flavor so when your body starts producing more insulin and there is no sugar for it to shuttle around and get rid of from the blood system that can lead to insulin resistance over time and people who are using sugar substitutes to lose weight actually find they are having hard time with it or even gaining weight over time so all of those sugar substitutes can have the opposite effects of what we use them for, which is to try to lose weight. Now Stevia may be safer to use than all of the other man-made processed non-nutritive sweeteners. Why is that? You can actually get Stevia in its most natural form which is a leaf. You can grow Stevia very easily as a plant, in your house, in your backyard. You can use those leaves to add them to tea, add them to your beverages, to naturally sweeten your beverages. That is not gonna cause any health problems that have been related to things like, NutriSweet, like saccharine. There aren't studies showing that it's associated with cancers, anxiety and headaches like those non-nutritive sweeteners. So using Stevia in its natural state might be the best option for you.

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