According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year nearly 50% of adult Americans are trying to lose weight.1 Unfortunately, the Cleveland Clinic reports that upwards of 95% of dieters gain the weight back.2 Why is managing your weight so difficult? Many experts believe that you shouldn’t diet if you want to lose weight and keep it off. The key is to create a healthy weight management plan that becomes a way of life beginning with blood sugar balance.
Overconsumption of Sugar
Research is clear that added sugar in the diet adds pounds to the scale.3 What’s worse, estimates show that on average Americans consume more than 300% of the recommended daily amount of added sugar making this a huge issue when it comes to weight gain and the inability to lose weight. Sugar isn’t inherently bad for you, but consuming more than you should in a day? That is. Especially when done so on a daily basis.
Studies also indicate that artificial sweeteners are not the answer. A 2022 large-scale study found that artificial sweetener consumption could harm heart health.4 A 2020 review of clinical studies found that artificial sweeteners had no beneficial effect on body weight or blood sugar control.5
But what if you could take a natural sweetener that also benefits health on many levels in addition to its sweet taste? The answer is Stevia rebaudiana leaf extract.
What is Stevia? The Benefits
Stevia is a zero-calorie, low-glycemic, all-natural sweetener that has many biological activities that may help support the heart, immune system, kidneys, and blood sugar levels.6
Balanced blood sugar is key to a healthy weight because high blood sugar increases insulin levels, which results in the storage of excess fat. That’s why having balanced blood sugar is so important to healthy weight loss and overall wellness.7 A 2022 review of 25 different studies found that Stevia leaf extract helped support balanced blood sugar levels.8
The leaves from the Stevia shrub contain compounds called steviosides that give it that intense sweetness.6
How to Use Stevia
Stevia is the perfect choice for you if you’re looking to manage a healthy weight but still want to please your sweet tooth. It can be used in coffee, tea, or cold drinks to add that sweetness you are craving. It’s also great for baking or to be used in your favorite dessert recipes. You get all the sweetness you are looking for without the negative effects of too much sugar or artificial sweeteners. In fact, stevia may also help support your overall wellness. It’s a perfect addition to any healthy weight management plan if you’re trying to cut down on sugar.
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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Attempts to lose weight among adults in the United States, 2013-2016. 2018;July. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db313.htm
- Cleveland Clinic. Why people diet, lose weight and gain it back. HealthEssentials. 2019;Oct 1. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-people-diet-lose-weight-and-gain-it-all-back/
- Faruque S, Tong J, Lacmanovic V, Agbonghae C, Minaya DM, Czaja K. The Dose Makes the Poison: Sugar and Obesity in the United States - a Review. Pol J Food Nutr Sci. 2019;69(3):219-233. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6959843/?report=reader
- Debras C, Chazelas E, Sellem L, et al. Artificial sweeteners and risk of cardiovascular diseases: results from the prospective NutriNet-Santé cohort. BMJ. 2022;378:e071204. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9449855/?report=reader
- Pang MD, Goossens GH, Blaak EE. The impact of artificial sweeteners on body weight control and glucose homeostasis. Front Nutr. 2021; 7. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2020.598340/full
- Peteliuk V, Rybchuk L, Bayliak M, Storey KB, Lushchak O. Natural sweetener Stevia rebaudiana: Functionalities, health benefits and potential risks. EXCLI J. 2021;20:1412-1430. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8600158/?report=reader
- Felman A. What should my blood glucose level be? MedicalNewsToday. 2023;April 25. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249413
- Chowdhury A, Alam M, Raihan M, et al. Effect of stevia leaves (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) on diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of preclinical studies. Food Science & Nutrition. 2022;10(9):2868-2878. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/fsn3.2904