Natural Sweetners Levulose and Stevia Leaf

Stevia is a green, leafy plant that is native to South America.
It has been used for medicinal purposes for many centuries. The plant has also been bred for its strong, sweet flavor and used as a sweetener.
However, the refined stevia sweeteners used today often don’t resemble the whole stevia plant at all.
You can buy whole or crushed stevia leaves, but most often you are getting an extract (either liquid or powder), or a refined version of the plant’s isolated sweet compounds.
The two major sweet compounds that are isolated from the stevia leaves are called Stevioside and Rebaudioside A. These two compounds are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar.
Green leaf stevia has no calories, fat or cholesterol, making it an ideal sugar substitute for those who want to lose weight. Stevia also reduces cravings for sweets, so you are unlikely to overindulge when consuming it. Use it instead of table sugar while baking and when sweetening main dishes.
Stevia is valued most for its sweet leaves and its ability to replace sugar in a diet, but stevia also contains a wealth of antioxidant compounds, such as flavonoids, triterpenes, tannins, caffeic acid, kaempferol, and quercetin, among others. The stevia plant also contains fiber, protein, iron, potassium, magnesium, sodium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. However, in the sweetener form, these additional elements are nearly negligible. The smaller organic compounds play the real role in the health benefits of stevia.
The most important or widely praised aspect of stevia for human health concerns its ability to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. Opposed to sucrose, which is what normal table sugar consists of, stevia sweetens food in a similar way as sugar, but it contains stevioside, which is a non-carbohydrate glycoside compound. As explained above, when stevioside breaks down, the glucose-containing particles are absorbed by the bacteria in the colon, rather than being absorbed by the bloodstream and affecting glucose levels in the body. This is an ideal replacement for normal sugar for diabetics or people on carbohydrate-controlled diets, because they can eat sweet foods without having to worry about diabetic complications.

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