Keeping it sweet with Stevia

Keeping it sweet with Stevia

At musclemary we take pride in the fact our products have no added sugars or nasties.

We use Stevia to sweeten our lean, mean, protein superfood blends.

But what is Stevia?

Stevia is most valued as a food ingredient for what it doesn't do. It doesn't add calories.

Unlike other sugar substitutes, Stevia is derived from a plant.

The prized species of Stevia plant, Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni), grows in Paraguay and Brazil, where people have used its leaves to sweeten food for hundreds of years. 

Italian botanist Moises Santiago Bertoni, is credited with the discovery of stevia in the late 1800s, but natives had used it for centuries before.

In traditional medicine in these regions, Stevia served as a treatment for burns, colic and stomach problems. The leaves were also chewed on their own as a sweet treat.

Stevia has no calories, and it is 200 times sweeter than sugar in the same concentration. Other studies suggest Stevia might have extra health benefits.

According to a 2017 article in the Journal of Medicinal Food, Stevia may be effective treatment for endocrine diseases, like obesity, diabetes and hypertension, but more research is needed.

Catherine Ulbricht, senior pharmacist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and co-founder of Natural Standard Research Collaboration, said: “Available research is promising for the use of stevia in hypertension.”

In other words, Stevia has been known to lower blood pressure.

A 2010 study in the journal Appetite tested several artificial sweeteners against sugar and each other in 19 lean people and 12 obese people.

The study found people didn’t overeat after having a meal made with Stevia instead of sugar.

Their blood sugar was lower with Stevia than after eating a meal with sugar.

And eating food with Stevia resulted in lower insulin levels than eating either sucrose or aspartame.

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