Is Stevia Better Than Sugar? [Fat Burning Foods]
Is stevia better than sugar when it comes to weight loss and wellness goals? Stevia is naturally around 150 times sweeter than table sugar but without the calories or glucose. So is it better than sugar? Today, I'm diving into the details of stevia and how it can (or can't!) fit in with your weight loss goals.
Is Stevia As Bad As Sugar?
Stevia or stevia extract is a natural sweetener that is isolated from the stevia plant. Sugar, on the other hand, can be isolated from any food that contains sugar molecules. This can range from agave, sugar cane, corn, coconuts, beets and more. Surprisingly, you can pretty much find sugar in any food and isolate it down to a simple table sugar. Sugar isolated from food sources typically cause the blood glucose level to spike and therefore the body to release the storing hormone insulin. The release of insulin in the body shuts off the fat burning process called lipolysis and can therefore lead to weight gain and water retention.
Sugar is one of the top leading food sources for weight gain in the U.S., particularly sugar sweetened drinks such as soda and sugary coffees.(1) But what about stevia? Is stevia as bad as sugar?
Stevia extract does not actually contain any sugar molecules, so it doesn't cause the blood glucose to spike and therefore won't cause a spike in the storing hormone insulin. This is often why stevia is seen as a better sweetener when it comes to achieving a weight loss goal or managing blood glucose levels.
What Are The Negative Effects Of Stevia?
Stevia might actually still not work for weight loss goals. It all comes down to bioindividuality, or the idea that each person's body responds a little differently to foods, stressors and other lifestyle factors. There is some debate in the nutrition world that although stevia doesn't contain any sugar, it still might cause insulin to spike by triggering the sweet taste on the tongue and in the GI tract.(2) There's also some debate that stevia might cause an increase in sugary cravings and therefore make achieving a weight loss goal even more difficult.(2)
I personally have had multiple clients who were able to easily lose the last 5-10 pounds they were looking to lose by only cutting out stevia and monk fruit sweetener (another non-nutritive sweetener). Equally, I've also had clients who are able to lose weight and achieve their goals while still having a little bit of stevia daily. If you're finding that you're having difficulties losing weight even though you have removed all sugar and you're eating adequate amounts of protein, fat and fiber (like in the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle recipes), then experimenting with removing non-nutritive sweeteners, such as stevia, could be a great next step.
How Do You Stop Sugar Cravings?
If you're looking to experiment with removing all added sugars, including non-nutritive sweeteners such as stevia, how do you stop the cravings? It turns out, it's actually quite simple to greatly reduce sugar cravings by making sure you get enough of certain foods in each day. You can check out the super simple two step process with the video below.