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Diabetes and stevia: the problem and the solution?

Many studies have pointed out the positive relationship between diabetes and stevia. The best proof though, is the fact that the native population of South America has been using the sweet leaf herb for generations to cure various ailments, including lowering blood sugar levels.

 

Today, stevia tablets are officially prescribed by doctors there, because they are considered a full-fledged medicine for treating type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease affecting millions of people worldwide. That's why it's important for you to learn the symptoms and complications that this illness can cause.

First, let's have a brief look at what actually happens in your body. Your pancreas is responsible for producing a hormone called insulin, which main job is to extract glucose (sugar) from your blood and use it to provide energy for your liver and your muscle and fat tissue.

Type 2 diabetes is often hereditary, but obesity and diabetes are often linked together as well. People suffering from it become what is called "insulin resistant", meaning that the sensitivity of body cells towards insulin decreases. Because of this, glucose piles up in your blood and your blood sugar levels rise (this is called "hyperglycemia"). Since the glucose can't be used for producing energy, it manifests itself as body fat. Patients are advised to maintain a healthy, sugar free diet and to increase physical exercise. When traditional medicine fails to restore the glucose balance, patients often have to inject additional insulin into their body.
diabetes and stevia
So how exactly is it that diabetes and stevia work together to help with a diabetes control diet and even to prevent the disease? To understand this better, we have to take a look at the glycemic index chart. First documented in 1980, the glycemic index is a way of sorting out which types of food break up carbohydrates and disperse glucose into your bloodstream too fast, and which ones do so gradually (I'm sure you've heard of the term "low-carb diet" before). Consequently, the lower the glycemic index, the more beneficial this type of food will be for your health. Food types with a high glycemic index include white bread, french fries, and sodas containing sugar. Food types with a low glycemic index include rye bread, pasta, and most types of vegatables and fruit (such as wild blueberries, for example). And so we go straight into today's punch line: stevia has a glycemic index of zero.

 

That's right! In fact, several studies have suggested that stevia does more than just keeping diabetes warning signs at bay: it stimulates the cells of the pancreas, and thus the release of insulin. Initial reports on human test subjects have shown that stevia consumption lowers blood sugar levels and raises glucose tolerance naturally without any symptoms of intolerance from diabetics - unlike the many dangers of aspartame. Don't worry, it's perfectly safe to use stevia when your blood sugar levels are normal.

 

As I said before, most fruits have a low glycemic index - the lower the better of course, but anything under 55 is great. Always err on the side of caution when you make changes to your diabetes diet, and when in doubt, don't hesitate to contact your physician first. But: remember to have fun and experiment a little too. For example, did you know that we have a page on how to make ice cream yourself using stevia? Or are you looking for some more ideas for diabetic cooking

Diabetes and stevia go hand in hand, and all of you suffering from the illness can and should be able to add sweetness to your life!





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