The Truth About Stevia: How Much is Safe for Weight Loss?

As a nutritionist and health expert, I am often asked about the safety and effectiveness of various sweeteners, including stevia. With the rise of low-calorie and sugar-free products, stevia has become a popular choice for those looking to reduce their sugar intake and lose weight. But how much stevia is safe to consume per day for weight loss? In this article, I will dive into the research and provide you with the facts about stevia and its impact on weight loss.

The FDA's Acceptable Daily Intake for Stevia

The FDA has set an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for stevia at 4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. This means that a person weighing 150 pounds could safely consume up to 10 packs of stevia a day.

However, this amount is much more than what is actually needed, considering the intense sweetness of stevia. The World Health Organization also defines the ADI for stevia as 4 mg per kilogram of body weight. While stevia is generally recognized as safe, there is limited research on its effects on children. Therefore, it is advisable to limit their consumption of stevia. Instead, I recommend incorporating stevia into your diet in small amounts, such as a pinch in your morning coffee or blended into a shake.

This can help reduce your overall intake of added sugars.

The Benefits of Stevia for Blood Sugar Control

Some research suggests that stevia may be a safe and effective way to help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. However, for those following a strict ketogenic diet, stevia may not be the best option. A study in 30 men found that drinking a beverage sweetened with stevia caused participants to eat later in the day compared to a drink sweetened with sugar. Using stevia as a sugar substitute can reduce calories in foods and beverages, but it can also have some adverse effects. Some studies have shown that stevia and other calorie-free sweeteners may cause individuals to consume more calories throughout the day.

Additionally, there are still questions about the long-term effects of stevia and whether it is truly safe for consumption.

The Different Forms of Stevia

Unlike plant parts, stevia sweetener in tablets, liquid sweetener, or crystalline dispersed sweetener are much easier to dose. This makes it a convenient option for those looking to reduce their sugar intake. However, it is important to note that the stevia you buy at the supermarket is highly processed and often combined with other ingredients. If you are looking to avoid potential digestive problems, migraines, anxiety, and weight gain that stevia can cause, it is best to look for other alternatives. As a nutritionist, I always recommend opting for natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup in moderation.

The Bottom Line

While stevia may seem like a healthier alternative to sugar, it is important to consume it in moderation.

The FDA has set an acceptable daily intake for stevia, but it is always best to limit your consumption and opt for natural sweeteners when possible. Additionally, more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of stevia on our health.

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