When it first hit the market, stevia was seen as a miracle, embraced by everyone seeking a guilt-free substitute for traditional sugar. However, now that we have some more information about the science behind stevia, and how it interacts with our bodies, is it really what we thought it was?
There are currently a few questions around stevia’s use in food and beverages, including the big one: Does stevia cause weight gain? So, what’s the story with stevia and weight gain? In this article, we’ll take a look at stevia for weight loss, and what this zero-calorie sweetener is actually doing behind the scenes.
Plus, we’ll also open your eyes to a few other alarming side effects of stevia that might have you thinking twice about your next diet soda…
Is Stevia Good for Weight Loss?
Every day, we’re striving to be healthier, better, stronger versions of ourselves. In recent years, more and more focus has been placed on alternatives to traditional sugar, in the hope that they can help us lose weight. So, is stevia good for weight loss, or does stevia cause weight gain? Let’s explore the stevia weight gain debate further.
Why Many Choose Stevia Over Sugar
Stevia, derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, has gained a loyal following among those looking to cut back on their sugar intake. Because stevia is roughly 200 to 400 times sweeter than regular sugar, only a small amount is needed to deliver the same level of sweetness. This makes stevia an appealing choice for those looking to reduce their sugar consumption.
Stevia is also praised for its low-calorie profile. Unlike sugar, which is notorious for its high caloric content and contribution to weight gain, stevia contains virtually no calories. This aspect makes it an attractive option for individuals seeking weight loss or weight maintenance, but can you use stevia for weight loss, really, or does stevia cause weight gain?
But is Stevia Good for Weight Loss - or Can it Have the Opposite Intended Effect?
Ok, so is stevia good for weight loss? First of all, it’s important to realize that stevia isn’t some magic bullet that will make you suddenly lose weight. You can’t start consuming foods and beverages containing stevia in the hope that you’ll lose weight, but if you replace the extra-sweet foods and drinks in your diet with low-sugar alternatives, you may start to notice some weight loss.
However, it’s important to keep in mind the other potential health problems linked to stevia (more on that soon!) - it may not be the best way to replace sugar in your diet with the hope of shedding a few pounds.
It’s also important to keep in mind that our bodies are all different - and thus respond differently to stevia. What works for one person might have zero effect on someone else’s weight loss journey. So, does stevia cause weight gain in certain people? Here’s the science behind the stevia weight gain debate.
Does Stevia Cause Weight Gain?
So, we’ve established that stevia on its own can’t suddenly cause weight loss, but what about the other side of the coin? Does stevia cause weight gain? That’s certainly what a recent research paper from Canada suggests.
Scientists evaluated the results of almost 40 different studies around various sweeteners, including stevia vs sucralose vs aspartame, and found that the consumption of these compounds actually led to an increase in BMI, weight, waist circumference, and a higher incidence of obesity.
So, how does stevia cause weight gain, if it’s supposed to contain no calories? Let’s take a closer look at the stevia weight gain situation.
Examining the Link Between Stevia and Weight Gain
At the end of the day, we still don’t fully understand the stevia weight gain relationship. Some scientists are suggesting that stevia contributes to weight gain via a psychological phenomenon known as the "health halo effect."
Basically, this means that people consuming stevia believe they can indulge in large portion sizes or other treats, knowing that they’re “saving calories” by switching to stevia. However, this isn’t how weight loss works, and could be one of the ways that stevia actually contributes to weight gain.
Also, artificial sweeteners have been linked with an increased appetite. Therefore, food and drinks with stevia could actually make you hungrier, leading to more calories consumed each day, which could potentially lead to weight gain.
So, Does Stevia Cause Weight Gain?
Based on the recent evidence and findings as more and more research is conducted around stevia, it’s clear that we don’t yet know the full stevia weight gain story. It certainly looks like there are potential ways in which stevia could lead to weight gain, so it’s likely not a great option for anyone who’s trying to lose a few pounds or make health-conscious decisions.
Beyond Weight Gain, Stevia is Documented for Other Sinister Side Effects…
As well as the stevia weight gain story, there have been plenty of concerns over stevia’s safety over the years, and the potential negative effects it can have on our health. Here are some of the side effects of stevia that you need to be aware of.
Impact on Digestive Health
Stevia certainly isn’t friendly to our digestive systems, with some people experiencing bloating, gas, digestive discomfort, or diarrhea when consuming stevia. These are intolerance to artificial sweeteners symptoms, and are becoming more and more common in the general population.
Potential Hormonal Changes
Stevia has a molecular structure that’s quite similar to steroids, leading some scientists to believe that stevia can interfere with hormone production. Some early studies appear to back up these claims, with stevia being implicated as a potential hormone disruptor.
Although not common, there have been reports of neurological symptoms associated with stevia, including dizziness, numbness, or muscle pain. Stevia contains beta-caryophyllene, which can cross the blood-brain barrier, which means there’s certainly a potential that stevia can impact the nervous system, causing neurological concerns.
Implications for Kidney Health
Although stevia extract is considered “Generally Regarded as Safe” by the FDA, there’s still a lot we don’t know about this sweetener and how it interacts with our organs, including our kidneys. The National Kidney Foundation has advised that stevia and other sweeteners be used in moderation, as some studies have shown negative effects on the kidneys.
Heart Health Worries
Because stevia is so much sweeter than sugar, only a tiny amount is needed. To add volume, and texture, and make stevia easier to use, it’s “bulked up” with other compounds, the most common of which is erythritol. Stevia itself has been linked with causing a drop in blood pressure, but the real concern lies with erythritol, which has been linked to blood clotting, stroke, heart attack, and even death.
To Top It All Off, Stevia Taste is Controversial
Even if stevia was good for you, there’s another big problem - it tastes terrible! The stevia taste is overly sweet (much, much sweeter than sugar), and it has a horrible bitter aftertaste. In most food and drink products containing stevia, this aftertaste has to be masked with even more artificial flavors, which come with their own side effects and health concerns.
Introducing a Natural Alternative That Tastes Great and Won’t Contribute to Weight Gain: Sweet Proteins
So, given the stevia weight gain situation and the other serious downsides of this sweetener, what are your other options? Luckily, there’s a natural, zero-calorie alternative to stevia that doesn’t come with the baggage - sweet proteins!
These incredible natural compounds offer sweetness without the drawbacks associated with traditional sugar or artificial sweeteners. So, what are sweet proteins, are they the real deal, and how are sweet proteins made? Let’s dive into the exciting world of this revolutionary new sweetener!
Unpacking Sweet Proteins: What They Are and How They’re Different
Sweet proteins are natural compounds that are found in many different exotic fruits. These compounds can be up to 5,000 times sweeter than regular sugar, and interact with taste receptors on the tongue, triggering a sweet sensation.
One of the main benefits of sweet protein is that unlike stevia or artificial sweeteners, which are chemically derived or heavily processed, sweet proteins are completely natural. They can be made using fermentation techniques, similar to how bread or beer is made.
Why Sweet Proteins are a Superior Choice: Health, Taste, and Sustainability Considerations
When it comes to sweet proteins as a sugar substitute, they’re a great choice! Sweet proteins provide sweetness without the calories, and don’t contribute to weight gain or affect your blood sugar levels. They also don’t come with the other scary side effects that have been associated with stevia and other sweeteners.
Sweet proteins have a more natural taste than artificial sweeteners, with no horrible aftertaste. All they deliver is the sweetness, you won’t even know they’re there!
Another thing that many people don’t realize about sugar production is how bad it is for the environment. In fact, every 1% reduction in sugar production represents 650,000 acres of land saved, plus countless water. Sweet proteins are a low-footprint, sustainable alternative.
Oobli’s Sweet Protein-based Products: A Guilt-Free, Delicious Choice
At Oobli, we’re bringing the power of sweet proteins to the world, one guilt-free treat at a time. Without the need for harmful artificial sweeteners, or the calories of natural sugar, we’ve created a range of health-conscious snacks that don’t make you choose between your taste buds and your waistline.
Our low sugar tea is a fantastic alternative to high-sugar sodas or artificially-sweetened diet drinks, with nothing but clean, sweet proteins and delicious real fruit puree for the perfect natural flavor. There are only 7 grams of sugar per can and no ingredients you can’t pronounce!
To satisfy your inner sweet tooth, you can’t go past our addictive chocolate bars. We’ve used the power of sweet proteins to create all-natural chocolate made with 70% less sugar than regular bars! Our bars contain just a handful of ingredients, are vegan, keto-friendly, gut healthy, and 100% delicious.
Closing Thoughts on Stevia Weight Gain
There’s clearly a complicated relationship between stevia and weight gain. The evidence is starting to suggest that stevia can play a role in weight gain, not to mention the other unwanted side effects it brings. Luckily, there’s a clean new alternative you can safely turn to without compromising your health - delicious sweet proteins!
Ot Oobli, sweet proteins are the secret superpower behind our incredibly tasty, guilt-free chocolate bars and naturally sweet, refreshing iced teas. Thanks to nature’s sweetest proteins, you can finally enjoy your favorite treats without compromising your health or fighting back your feelings of guilt.
Once you try our tasty, sweet protein-powered treats, you’ll never look back! Get yours today.