Natural Sweeteners That Are Good for Your Health
Stevia is a very popular low-calorie sweetener.
It’s extracted from the leaves of a plant called Stevia rebaudiana.
This plant has been grown for its sweetness and medicinal purposes for centuries in South America.
Several sweet compounds are found in stevia leaves. The main ones are stevioside and rebaudioside A. Both are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, gram for gram.
Therefore, stevia is very sweet but has virtually no calories.
Additionally, a few human-based studies suggest stevia may have health benefits, including for the following health parameters:
Blood pressure. Stevia may help lower high blood pressure in people with hypertension. However, it doesn’t affect normal or only mildly elevated blood pressure levels (2Trusted Source).
Blood sugar. Stevia may be a helpful sugar alternative for people with diabetes and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. However, some research suggests that stevia may negatively affect the gut microbiome (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
Many people greatly dislike the taste of stevia. The flavor depends on the brand, though, so you may need to experiment to find a type of stevia you like.