Is Stevia a Low FODMAP Food?
Are you speculating if stevia is low FODMAP and wondering if it should be entirely excluded from your diet, or maybe you could devour it occasionally? This article answers your queries related to Stevia, which will help you determine whether or not you should use it.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPS are various carbohydrate groups present in our food that can enkindle digestive disorders and symptoms like stomach aches, bloating, and gastric issues in many people.
Therefore, it's essential to restrict high FODMAP foods and switch to FODMAP friendly diet!
What Exactly is Stevia?
Stevia is a calorie-free sweetener derived from the species of Stevia Rebaudiana. It is a naturally occurring sweetener that is approximately 200 times sweeter than the normal sugar yet contains low to zero calories. It’s used in many health foods, both fresh and pre-packaged.
Varieties of Stevia
Stevia exists in granulated, liquid, and powder blends. Its extracted and refined versions are accessible and considered safer than raw stevia, which does not undergo any refinery procedure.
The varieties of Stevia available now include:
● Rebaudioside A or Rebiana
● SweetLeaf Natural Stevia Sweetener
Health Benefits of Stevia
Stevia is low FODMAP which means there's a lesser chance of developing digestive disorders or gastric symptoms. Stevia contains very few or zero calories, so if you are trying to control or reduce your weight, Stevia is a great choice. Stevia can also mitigate the risks of cavities!
Another impressive benefit of Stevia is, it can help you control your blood sugar level even while giving yourself a sweet treat. It’s a wonderful option for people from all walks of life, diabetics included!
Protein powders like Casa de Sante’s offer incredible benefits if you’re looking to improve your health and physique. They contain stevia, and they’re tested and certified low-FODMAP.
Side Effects of Stevia
Extracted and refined forms of stevia are safe to use. However, there's a scarcity of evidence regarding raw or whole-leaf stevia. People have weight gain reportedly according to the review of seven studies that regular consumption of sweeteners like Stevia. In addition:
● 893 people found variations in gut bacteria. Thus, Stevia might adversely affect your body weight and cholesterol level and could lead to heart diseases.
● Minimal evidence approves the safety of stevia during pregnancy. Thus, it is better to control or avoid stevia during this crucial stage.
● For type-2 diabetes, stevia is considered safe. However, some stevia varieties contain dextrin and maltodextrin that might increase blood sugar levels.
● If consumed in high amounts, stevia might prove to be toxic.
● It might also lead to the development of glucose intolerance.
If you begin to notice any of the above signs, immediately cut down the consumption for some time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Stevia Banned?
Stevia is not banned. An expert team of WHO has approved the regular usage of Stevia up to 4mg/kg of body weight. The United States Food Drug Administration also approved the consumption of Stevia. However, the US placed an import tax on stevia in 2019 due to toxicity potential.
Is Stevia Safe for IBS?
Pure stevia is safe and all right to be used during IBS within the prescribed range. However, while selecting Stevia brands or derivatives, it is important to read the ingredients mentioned. The presence of erythritol might exacerbate your symptoms.
Stevia and Sticking to a FODMAP Diet
We can safely conclude here that if Stevia is consumed within the advised limits, there's no harm to your low FODMAP diet. Yes, you can savor it in your morning coffee or mug cakes with Stevia included and still stay low on FODMAP. However, it would be great to stay vigilant about your product choice and tolerance level! As it is with most things, Stevia is best in moderation.
Medically reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD