How long does stevia stay in your body? The truth!
How long does stevia stay in your body? After Steviol glucuronide or stevia is ingested, it gets transported to the kidneys, which are then released in your urine. Therefore, steviol glycosides do not accumulate in the body as it is all expelled via urine and feces.
- What is Stevia and its Health Benefits?
- How Long Does It Take for Stevia to Be Absorbed in the Body?
- 8 Potential Side Effects of Consuming Too Much Stevia
- 4 Tips on Moderating Consumption of Stevia to Minimize Side Effects
- Natural Alternatives to Sweeten Foods Without Adding Calories or Sugar Content
- Final words
What is Stevia and its Health Benefits?
Stevia is a natural sweetener that has grown in popularity for the past few years. It's made from a plant and contains no artificial ingredients or chemicals. But what makes it so great? First, let's explore the health benefits of using stevia as a sugar alternative.
What Is Stevia?
Stevia is an all-natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia rebaudiana plant, which is native to South America. The leaves are ground into a fine powder and used to sweeten beverages and food products.
Unlike non-nutritive sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose, stevia has no calories, carbohydrates, or fat per serving. This makes it an ideal choice for people with diabetes who need to control their blood sugar levels and those trying to lose weight.
Health Benefits of Stevia
In addition to being calorie-free and carbohydrate-free, there are many health benefits associated with stevia:
- Stevia helps reduce the risk of cavities by preventing plaque buildup on teeth.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health.
- It can help lower blood pressure due to its ability to dilate blood vessels, reducing stress on the heart.
- Studies have shown that stevia can help regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
- It also contains antioxidants that can help protect against free radicals that cause cell damage and premature aging.
How Long Does It Take for Stevia to Be Absorbed in the Body?
Stevia is quickly absorbed in the body as a natural sweetener, meaning that its active components are not chemically altered or processed upon ingestion.
The glycosides in stevia interact with your gastrointestinal (GI) tract to be rapidly absorbed by your small intestine and travel to the bloodstream.
Absorption can happen very quickly, generally within minutes of consumption. However, depending on various factors such as food type and the individual's digestive system, it could take up to an hour for complete absorption.
Not a single Steviol glycoside remains after it travels through the stomach and small intestine; these components of our upper gastrointestinal tract ensure that absorption does not occur.
After they enter the large intestine, Steviol glycosides are stripped of all glucose units by colonic bacteria- leaving only steviol.
Humans absorb this compound into their bodies, quickly refined in the liver before excreted as a glucuronide derivative in urine.
8 Potential Side Effects of Consuming Too Much Stevia
1- It can produce diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, bloating, and flatulence
Too much stevia could cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and flatulence.
A compound typically causes these symptoms in stevia called Stevioside, which can act as a laxative when consumed in high doses.
2- It can exacerbate IBS symptoms
Stevia can also exacerbate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and cause nausea, vomiting, and headaches in those suffering from IBS.
3- It can increase blood pressure
Overconsuming stevia has been linked to increased blood pressure for some individuals, particularly those already susceptible to hypertension.
It is essential to be mindful of this potential side effect if you have hypertension or any other related health condition, such as heart disease or diabetes.
4- It can decrease appetite
Excessive consumption of stevia may also decrease appetite because it is considered a natural appetite suppressant.
This could lead to undesired weight loss and nutritional deficiencies if it is not balanced with other foods that provide adequate nutrition.
5- It can lower blood sugar levels
Those with hypoglycemia should avoid consuming too much stevia because it is known to lower blood sugar levels, which could potentially cause hypoglycemic episodes if overdone.
6- It has diuretic properties
People with kidney disease should not consume stevia due to its diuretic properties. This means that it can draw more water from the body than usual, raising the risk of dehydration for these individuals.
7- It can produce infertility
Overconsumption of stevia has also been linked to infertility in men and women due to its ability to interfere with hormone production.
This could lead to irregular menstrual cycles for women or reduced sperm count for men if taken in high quantities over long periods without consulting a doctor first.
8- It can increase the risk of miscarriage
Additionally, pregnant women should avoid large amounts of stevia as it may cross the placenta and affect fetal development while increasing the risk of miscarriage or preterm labor due to its natural stimulant effects on the uterus muscles.
4 Tips on Moderating Consumption of Stevia to Minimize Side Effects
1- Start with small amounts
When introducing stevia into your diet, it's essential to start with a tiny amount and gradually increase it over time until you can determine the maximum level that works for you.
2- Check food labels
Check food labels to ensure you are not consuming too much stevia in processed foods such as baked goods, drinks, or other commercial products.
3- Choose only natural options
You should also try to opt for natural stevias, such as loose-leaf powder or liquid extract, rather than synthetic sweeteners, which could contain potentially harmful chemicals.
4- Consult your doctor
If you experience any of the side effects mentioned above, consult your doctor before continuing or increasing your stevia intake.
Natural Alternatives to Sweeten Foods Without Adding Calories or Sugar Content
Honey is one of the oldest known sweeteners used centuries to sweeten desserts and beverages.
Honey does contain some calories, but only in small amounts, so you don't have to worry about adding too many extra calories when using honey as a sweetener. It also has a unique flavor that adds a layer of complexity to dishes.
2- Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is another natural sweetener that can be used in place of sugar or honey.
Maple syrup contains fewer calories than either of those options and has a unique flavor that lends itself well to desserts and drinks.
It also contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, and manganese, making it slightly healthier than other sweeteners on the market.
Xylitol is another excellent option for those looking for an all-natural way to sweeten their food.
Xylitol is derived from plants like birch trees and corn husks and has 40% fewer calories than sugar. It also helps reduce cavities by preventing bacteria from sticking to your teeth—so it's an excellent choice for those who want to keep their oral health in check!
Avoid giving xylitol to pets, as it can be toxic in large doses.
Agave syrup comes from the same tequila plant, but don't worry; it won't make you drunk!
Agave syrup has about 60% fewer calories than sugar and contains a mix of fructose and glucose, so it won't spike your blood sugar levels as other sweeteners might.
Plus, it's easier on your digestive system than honey or maple syrup, so agave might be a better choice if you have any digestive issues.
5- Monk Fruit Extract
Monk fruit extract is extracted from the monk fruit plant and is another excellent alternative to sugar. It is calorie-free but has a much sweeter taste than stevia.
Monk fruit extract also comes in powder and liquid forms, making it easy to add to recipes or purchase pre-made products containing this natural sweetener.
Stevia is a natural sweetener that can replace sugar in your diet, but it's essential to be aware of its potential side effects.
To reduce negative impacts, start with small amounts, check food labels for added stevia content, and opt for natural sweeteners rather than synthetic ones.
Additionally, you should consult your doctor if you experience any side effects after consuming stevia. Other natural options like honey, maple syrup, xylitol, agave syrup, and monk fruit extract can provide an all-natural way to sweeten foods without adding calories or sugar.
DISCLAIMER: buildyourbody.org does not provide medical advice, examination, or diagnosis.
Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.