Does Stevia Break a Fast? (Intermittent Fasting)
If you want to lose weight with intermittent fasting, sugar is an absolute taboo.
This requirement is very easy to implement, because there are countless healthy substances that can be used to replace harmful sugars.
Sugar is an everyday food sin that we can hardly avoid in the run-up to Christmas, to delicious cookies and chocolate Christmas men. But it is not only in Advent that it is a hard task to avoid sugary foods.
Because, as is all too often the case, the devil is in the detail. Ketchup, soda, fries – even these foods contain an immense amount of the white sugar devil.
No wonder, then, that each of us eats an average of 36 kilos of sugar per year. The daily balance is therefore about 100g, which is well above the average of 25g, which the World Health Organization recommends.
For many reasons, sugar is unhealthy for us: it makes us fat, causes diabetes, and deprives the body of important vitamins and minerals.
Due to all these influences, it would, therefore, be advisable to completely banish sugar from your diet.
We have already explained how you can achieve this in a more specific article.
Does Stevia Break a Fast?
In short, Stevia does not break your Intermittent Fasting and has zero calories. Therefore, you can sweeten your coffee or tea if you like, even during fasting, with stevia.
Stevia is better for oral health compared to regular sugar, as it is antimicrobial and thus causes less tooth decay and other ailments, at least when used in the form of mouthwashes.
Intermittent fasting is easy. At certain times you do not eat anything, and drink only water or unsweetened tea or coffee.
The health and weight loss effects are enormous, as we have already described in other articles.
In spite of everything, you can make a few mistakes that can delay or prevent the success achieved. We have summarized the most important errors here.
No matter which diet method you choose to reduce fat, a calorie deficit is necessary. The same applies to interval fasting!
According to many counselors, it seems that the calorie count in the food phase is completely insignificant. But what is too much is converted into fat as always and quickly becomes as noticeable as unsightly upholstery.
Interval fasting only works if you eat wisely during the meal phase.
It sounds seductive. Stevia, also called a honey leaf, sweetener, or sweet leaf can replace sugar, is not harmful to the teeth, has no calories, and should also be able to achieve a positive effect on health.
The plant has a low glycemic index (GI) – that is, it does not cause insulin spikes and is therefore ideal as part of a ketogenic diet to better control your blood sugar levels, and thus your ketone levels in the blood.
It has been shown that stevia has triggered an insulin response in some people – that’s exactly what we don’t want when fasting.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case with everyone, so you can try it out.
If you use it and then get hungrier, it’s a sign that you should omit it. However, it can also work well. That is possible. Everyone must try this for themselves.
Nevertheless, we are all just human beings and would like to allow ourselves a little treat from time to time.
In addition, it is up to everyone to decide whether he or she would like to eat something sweet, or do without it altogether.
So, if you are like me and you would like to sweeten something, then reach for keto products.
What is Stevia?
Stevia, also called Rebaudiana, is a natural sweet that does NOT “lure” the insulin and has its origin in Paraguay in South America.
The leaves of the stevia are harvested before sale, dried, and then transformed into either a liquid or powdery white sweetener.
Stevia has long been used as a sweetener and sugar substitute because of its naturally extreme sweetness. The population in Brazil and Paraguay use stevia not only as a sugar substitute but also as a medicine.
The benefits of stevia are obvious: the zero-calorie sweetener is 30 times sweeter than household sugar, and it contains no calories, which makes it suitable – at least at first glance – for diabetics as well as for calorie counters on the intermittent fasting diet.
When the media reports on stevia, there is usually talk of reform houses, where one can occasionally buy the dried leaves of the green plant.
The natural landscape of Paraguay is where the stevia plant grows, and Indian tribes there have been using it as a medicinal plant for centuries.
In fact, all this is true. But that is only half the truth.
However, it is by no means Native American tribes or small farmers from Paraguay who can rejoice at the new US sales market.
The “natural sweetener stevia” has long been an industrially produced mass product like conventional household sugar or concentrated glucose syrup.
Those who really earn from stevia are the global corporations, such as US agricultural giant Cargill, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo.
The American market research firm Mintel estimates that two billion dollars have already been generated worldwide this year with the sale of stevia products.
For the global food industry, the new miracle sweetener offers paradisiacal prospects. Several companies already earn millions by extracting highly effective sweeteners from the plants, or creating new products from them.
The Cargill Group, the largest family-owned company in the United States with an annual turnover of around 120 billion dollars, is the largest.
Cargill makes its money from a variety of industries, from cattle trading to the operation of hedge funds to logistics.
Together with the beverage company Coca-Cola, the agricultural giant developed a stevia-based sweetener with the brand name Truvia.
Coca-Cola holds around thirty patents worldwide on products mixed with stevia extracts, and already sells several variants of its sweet drinks in France and Switzerland, such as special Fanta lemonade.
Stevia, however, promises to be one of the new best sellers in the important market for reduced-calorie drinks.
Coca-Cola, for example, already generates thirty percent of its sales from calorie-reduced sodas, juices, and other beverages.
So far, it has included the sweeteners aspartame and saccharin, both of which are synthetically produced.
Sweetness without calories, in addition to nature. From a marketing point of view, Stevia is perfect for manufacturers.
Stevia products are probably actually well suited for metabolic patients with type 1 diabetes.
But those who are healthy and want to lose weight should not use synthetic or natural sugar substitutes, and should completely dispense with sweets.
This is because the sweet taste only causes additional hunger, so we eat more. However, calorie-reduced sweets can still be marketed well.
Stevia is a natural sugar substitute
Stevia is still a relatively new sugar substitute, but it is already quite well known. The sweetener with zero calories has an incredible sweetening power of 300. So, you only need a little bit of it to sweeten your food and drink.
Another advantage of stevia is that it spares the teeth. But, it has a bitter taste of its own that does not taste good to everyone.
Besides, it is not really suitable for cooking and baking.
Stevia contains no calories and does not cause tooth decay. Nevertheless, stevia is not a risk-free miracle plant that completely replaces sugar and makes the pounds sizzle.
Stevia has even long been suspected of being carcinogenic and -damaging to genetic material.
Therefore, approval in the US is limited to a ceiling. The maximum daily amount is 4 milligrams per kilo of body weight.
If you want to switch to the sugar alternative, it is best to get started slowly. Pay attention to possible side effects and whether you like the taste of the powder.
When tasting, some stevia products tasted slightly bitter and less aromatic than the originals, including strawberry yogurt.
Stevia foods are generally less sweet and can leave a blunt, covered feeling on the tongue. Because of these drawbacks in the taste, the stevia sweetness will not completely replace the classic granulated sugar.
Therefore, most foods are mixed with stevia with a mixture of different sweeteners. After all, studies have shown that stevia has an antihypertensive effect.
The market for sugar substitutes and sweeteners is booming. If the sweet alternatives were initially found primarily in foods for diabetic use, they are now found in many conventional products.
These include soft drinks, sweets, yogurts, and desserts. Global consumption of sugar substitutes has more than tripled in the last forty years.
A distinction should be made between natural substitutes, such as fructose (fruit sugar), xylitol, and sorbitol, and artificial sweeteners, which usually have no calories.
The natural substitutes are found in sweet fruits, among others. Sorbitol, for example, is used as a sugar substitute for “tooth-friendly” confectionery.
Does Stevia Spike Insulin?
Insulin is a vital proteohormone for humans and animals that is formed in the pancreas.
It is responsible for the regulation of glucose in the blood, and is released depending on the blood sugar concentration. It is the only hormone that can lower blood sugar levels.
There are, however, various hormones that can increase blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels usually rise after the intake of food that contains carbohydrates.
As a result, insulin is released into the bloodstream. The blood sugar is reduced by transporting glucose from the blood plasma and from the tissue fluid to the cell interior.
Muscle and liver cells in particular can absorb a lot of glucose for a short time and convert it into glycogen or use it to generate energy.
In diabetics, blood sugar levels are morbidly elevated because of either insulin deficiency or insulin resistance.
Therefore, people with diabetes have to pay close attention to the sugar concentration of their diet in order not to raise blood sugar levels unnecessarily.
Here, stevia has a particularly positive effect on the organism. Stevia itself contains very few calories, but these are not blood sugar-enhancing.
In experiments, it was found that taking stevia concentrates even slightly lowers blood sugar levels, which in turn leads to increased glucose tolerance.
Therefore, stevia or stevioside is particularly suitable for diabetics as a sugar substitute for sweetening foods.
Does Stevia Cause Cancer?
Stevia was suspected of being carcinogenic, damaging embryos, and making people infertile.
Among other things, an animal study published in 1968 in the scientific journal “Science” triggered a debate about the compatibility of stevia products.
However, they were carried out with amounts of stevia that were beyond what was customary in the kitchen. No harmful effects have been identified in further studies.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) declared the sweetener safe in 2010, referring to a 2008 report by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Following the decision of the European Commission, the sweetener has since been allowed to be sold in Europe.
Previously, Stevia products were only available under camouflage names such as bath additives or in the form of pills via internet shops or the Reform Haus.
However, the authority has set clear limits on the use of stevia and has set a certain intake. This is 4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day.
For a woman weighing 60 kilograms, this corresponds to a sweetener quantity of 240 milligrams, about as much as half a chocolate bar.
If the amount of consumption is not exceeded, health risks are not to be feared according to the current information.
However, the consumption of steviosides may have a negative impact on male fertility.
This suspicion arose because stevia is traditionally used for contraception in some regions of South America. Animal experiments with male rats also provided evidence for this as early as 1999.
The animals developed reduced testicles after feeding on the sweeter.
The cause was decreased testosterone levels. The results on the mutagenic effect of steviosides and their metabolites were not clear.
While mutations in bacterial DNA increase proportionally to stevia exposure, no gene changes and chromosome deviations were observed in human lymphocytes at low doses.
In liver cells in rats, steviol clearly turned out to be mutagenic.
This, however, only with an enormous concentration, which can hardly occur when consuming the leaves.
In all the studies, the researchers pointed out that further studies were needed to prove safety.
This was also the case for EU bureaucrats, who did not want to consider lifting the ban imposed under the 1997 Novel Food Regulation.
As late as the 1990s, stevia was freely available in health food stores, organic shops, and tea shops.
Recipes with Stevia
So that stevia as a substitute for sugar does not lead to an undesirably bitter aftertaste, it is important to dose this sugar substitute correctly.
But it’s not that simple. In the case of stevia as a powder or liquid, careful attention should be paid to the manufacturer’s specifications.
It should also be noted that in many recipes for cakes, sugar not only has a function as a sweetener but also contributes to the volume of the dough and ensures a loose consistency.
Stevia is ideal for a pastry, quark oil dough, or yeast dough. However, Stevia cannot be caramelized!
Recipe for a marble cake with stevia
This is how the classic marble cake with stevia can succeed:
500 g flour
1 packet baking powder
Put the eggs in a large bowl and beat with the butter. Add milk, stevia, salt, rum, and vanilla flavor. Beat further.
Mix baking powder with flour, gradually add this to the mixture, and mix to a dough.
Put the dough in a greased box. Mix the rest of the dough with 2 tbsp milk and cocoa.
Add the cocoa dough to the box shape, with a fork, light and dark dough. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C circulating air for about 50 to 60 minutes.
Diabetics can also eat this cake!