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and stevia: the problem and the solution?
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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,
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
to make ice cream yourself using stevia? Or are you looking
for some more ideas for diabetic cooking?
hand in hand, and all of you suffering from the illness can and should
be able to add sweetness to your life!