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There stevia is a zero-calorie natural sweetener that is extracted from the leaves of the homonymous plant. In its natural form, the stevia it has a sweetening power 10/15 times higher than normal table sugar, while in its white powdered form, it can become 70 to 400 times sweeter than refined sugar. The composition that gives it the sweetening power is due to the presence of particular active ingredients, such as stevioside, rebaudioside A, rebaudioside C, dulcoside A.
There stevia, used every day by more than 150 million people in the world without health risks (and this cannot be said for sugar!), has been at the center of various scientific debates for a long period but since 2011 also the Union Europea has authorized its sale. Since according to the experts it is not assimilated by the body, the stevia it does not alter the glycemic level, therefore it does not cause diabetes, has no calories, it is not toxic, it is not cariogenic, therefore it does not cause tooth decay and plaque, it does not contain artificial ingredients and can also be used for cooking. It also appears to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and beneficial effects for stabilizing blood pressure.
Stevia, use and indications
There stevia it is sold in organic food stores or herbalist's shops in powder, tablet and even liquid form. It can be used like sugar to sweeten drinks such as tea, coffee but also in various foods and baked goods.
There stevia is indicated:
- for those with diabetes
- for those who are glucose intolerant
- for those who follow a low-calorie diet
According to scholars, a daily intake of 0-4 mg / kg per body weight is acceptable, which corresponds to a daily dose of up to 240 mg of stevia for a 60 kg woman or up to 280 mg for a 70 kg man. In any case, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before use.