Stevia is a 100% natural herb which has been originated from Paraguay, South America. It has Zero Calories, a Low Glycemic Index and in taste it is felt 200-400 times sweeter compare to sugar after refining. For about 30 years now, popular multinational food companies viz. Pepsi Cola and Beatrice foods have been using stevia to sweeten foods and drinks and market and sell in Brazil, Japan and many more countries where the same is approved.
Stevia was approved in the US by the Food and Drug Administration and was allowed to be sold as an alternative sweetener. Having zero calories and zero carbohydrates, Setvia has been considered as a great choice for diabetics or dieters.
Stevia can even normalize your blood sugar and cut down blood pressure. It is amazingly helpful for diabetics. But a doctor must be consulted before using it. Therapeutic doses are higher than the normal amounts used for sweetening.
Stevia can also work against infections. It is antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral. If stevia is used as a mouth wash, diluting it in plain water, it can help prevent dental cavities. It is also used to treat acne and expedite the healing of injuries and skin problems.
It is also used to reduce weigh as it has no calories or carbohydrates. It decreases hunger, and reduce cravings for sweet. It also helps digestion and relief an upset stomach.
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol and used as a substitute in several foods labeled as “dietetic” or “sugar free.” It is also found in jellies, chewing gum, fruit cakes, baked products, and also in some drugs. It works as a sweetener, improve stability and help discard moisture. Sorbitol is believed to be fit for use by diabetics because sorbitol is transformed to fructose in the liver, which is independent and does not dependent on insulin.
The American Dietetic Association suggests that intake of foods having sorbitol must not exceed 20 calories.
The American Diabetes Association suggests aspartame to be safe for use as sweetener for people with diabetes. Aspartame makes food taste sweet and does not give in calories or raise blood sugar levels. Most of the diabetics use products made up of aspartame.
But it is not totally free from controversy. It is yet to establish if it is right or not the intake of Aspartame in daily use specifically for diabetics. There may not be sufficient proof banning aspartame, but it's hard to embrace this component keeping in view its potential effects. Aspartame is not a natural product so the chances are bleak that our bodies are totally comfortable with the types and quantity of the chemicals aspartame introduces.
Splenda is also used as an artificial sweetener to avoid excess sugar and calories without sacrificing the taste. Splenda tastes identical to natural sugar. Splenda is made up of natural sugar and this is one of the reasons why it so popular and widely used by diabetics.
Splenda retains the sweet taste of food while offering the required health benefits needed by a diabetic. The processing of sugar enables it to lose calories and carbohydrates, leaving the taste of the sugar behind. It also diminishes part of sugar that surface problems for diabetics. The result is a sweetener that is full of sweet taste without enhancing the blood sugar levels or extra calories that can result in unwanted weight gain.
Now it is much easier for diabetics to keep a check over their diet. This enables individuals having diabetes to eat meals they relish without getting any risk of increase in their blood sugar level.
Xylitol was discovered in 1891 by a German doctor but was re-invented by Finnish scientists during their search for a substitute sweetener when there was an extreme shortage of sugar during Word War II. It has been discovered that xylitol is absorbed by the body without any contribution of insulin. By the 1960s, use of xylitol was started in several countries like Japan, Germany, Switzerland and the Russian territories as a preferred sweetener by diabetics.
Besides being very low in terms of calorie, this natural sweetener Xylitol, also has potential health benefits. It helps cut down and stops dental problems i.e. cavities, tartar formation, plaque and other periodontal troubles. It also curbs the growth of bacteria that cause middle ear infections in children. It maintains bone stiffness and discourages bone loss. Thus Xylitol is the right option as sweetener for people having diabetes and for those also who want to lose weight.
When diabetics intake too much refined sugar or carbohydrates their bodies generates too much glucose. Then the pancreas should respond to the enhanced blood sugar by producing more insulin and draining it into the cells where the same could be used for energy. But this process is not executed by the body when too much glucose is there in the cells on a daily basis then the insulin present is not sufficient to deal with it. This is called insulin resistance and number of Americans suffers from this disorder.
Excessive sugar intake may also adversely affects heart health and may cause heart disease in both genders.
Because alternative sweetener is available diabetics don’t need to curb you crave for sweet. You can use xylitol. This sweetener is metabolized gradually, unlike refined sugar, and xylitol also contains very low glycemic index. It maintains blood sugar level. Now individual with diabetes would be able to eat sweet using this sweetener as it does not enhance insulin levels also.
If you are a diabetic you must talk to their physician about xylitol and its advantages. But, there are so many diabetic sufferers who are not even aware of xylitol so they just pass their days with enjoying any food and life and spend days maintaining their blood sugar levels by getting insulin shots.
One of the fabulous hidden 'secrets' of this generation is xylitol. This sugar can even help you prevent both tooth decay and gum disease as the bacteria, which are the main cause of tooth decay, cannot use xylitol as they can use glucose.
Xylitol has been tested and well documented to cut down the dental disease in Finland for around five decades. Still in the United States and many more countries we are hardly aware of a dentist that advocates it.
Xylitol contains one third the calories of an equivalent quantity of tablespoon of sugar. It does not require insulin to get metabolized and hence can work miracle for diabetics.
But pets should not be administered xylitol. As a human being has a strong and specific metabolic pathway to digest xylitol, many pets cannot do so. Therefore, it may prove to be toxic to pets and it may be fatal as well to them.