In today’s post, we will discuss what Stevia is and its role in the Keto diet.
What Is Stevia?
Honeywort, or Stevia (lat. Stevia rebaudiana bertoni), originates from the heart of South America, namely from Paraguay. The Guaraní Indians there have used and still use it as a natural remedy and as a natural sweetener for food, especially for Mate (a type of green tea) and Tereré (cold mate). Almost all parts of the plant taste sweet, but the sweet glycosides are mainly found in the leaves of stevia.
Stevia came to Europe during the Spanish colonization of South America in the 16th century and was scientifically studied and named after the Swiss botanist Moisés Bertoni at the end of the 19th century.
The sweet herb is virtually calorie- and carbohydrate-free and up to 300 times sweeter than conventional sugar. It is based on several glycoside compounds such as stevioside, steviol bioside, rebaudiosides A-E and dulcosides.
Stevia leaves are harvested, dried, and then transformed into either a liquid or powdered white sweetener to sell.
Is Stevia Keto-Friendly?
Yes! Stevia basically fits to the ketogenic diet. However, you should carefully differentiate between the many stevia products available on the market and make sure that the product is as natural as possible and contains pure stevia.
To do this, it is best to read the list of ingredients, as many stevia products are mixed with other ingredients (such as dextrose and maltodextrin) to make the product cheaper. These cheaper products do not contain pure stevia and are by no means keto compliant.
Benefits of Stevia
- Stevia may reduce blood sugar levels and hypertension or high blood pressure.
- The plant has a low glycemic index (GI) – which means that it does not cause insulin peaks and is therefore ideal for a ketogenic diet to better control your blood sugar level and therefore your ketone level in the blood.
- Compared to regular sugar, stevia is better for oral health because it is antimicrobial and therefore – at least in the form of mouthwashes – causes less tooth decay and other complaints.
- Some studies have shown that stevia can reduce inflammation and have positive effects on the immune system.
The stevia plant is related to the marigold (lat. Calendula officinalis) and the mugwort ambrosis (lat. Ambrosia artemisiifolia) and can also cause allergic reactions if there is an existing allergy to the two aforementioned plants. Stevia is practically calorie-free and healthier than normal sugar. Nevertheless, you should not overdo it with the dosage and make sure that you do not consume more than about 10 milligrams per kilo of body weight per day.
Stevia Products Under $5 per Ounce
Trying to figure out which stevia product to buy? About how much does stevia cost? If you’ve checked into it, you’ve probably noticed that Stevia can be expensive. However, I’ve done a bit of reasearch for you and gathered the best stevia products on amazon, which are natural and pure, and under $5 per ounce!
So the most affordable pure stevia product on Amazon is by One Organic. Stevia by One Organic is organic with no fillers or additives and only $2.94 per ounce!
Micro Ingredients offers stevia with no GMOs, no irradiation, no additives, no preservatives, no fillers, no artificial colors and no gluten. It’s also vegan friendly. All for $3.12 an ounce!
Stevia by Enzo is USDA certified, has no additional fillers, preservatives, or additives–it’s completely organic. Enzo’s Stevia goes for only about $3.54 an ounce!
Stevia is definitely Keto-friendly! It’s healthier than sugar, carbohydrate- and calorie-free, and even has some nice benefits, like possibly reducing blood sugar levels. It is a great, natural, alternative to sugar.
Have you tried Stevia? What do you think? Do you think it’s much sweeter than sugar? Comment below!
Interested in other, keto-friendly, natural alternatives to sugar? Check out my post here on other natural, keto-friendly, sugar alternatives.
Thanks for reading,
Thanks for the concise review of stevia and the reassurance that it’s safe while on the keto diet. I wasn’t aware that apart from its role as a sweetener, stevia also has anti-inflammatory properties. It was interesting to read from your other post about the other sweeteners that can be used and about the link of stevia to marigold. I don’t have personal experience of using stevia but will now try the powdered form in baking.
It looks like I’m becoming a fan of Stevia. In every herbal coffee that I sip, I see to it that the sweetener they used is Stevia and nothing else. For other food and drinks, I am thinking of totally eliminating common table sugar and using Stevia instead but I wonder where I can buy or what online store that sells Stevia at a masses-affordable price. Do you know any?
You can find pure Stevia at most grocery chains in the US, Amazon, and other online retailers like Sustainably Essential!
I wasn’t aware that stevia could be found in Mate. I have a friend who’s from Argentina and that’s basically a really popular and typical drink over there. Does every type of Mate include this herb? Also, you said that it is carbohydrates-free (I am a diabetic so that’s nice to know) but you also said that it was sweeter than regular sugar, did you mean the taste of it being more sugary or that it has a higher percentage of sugars?
Of course you can put refined sugar in your mate if you want 😉 but many of the “original” South American Mate recipes use Stevia leaves in the Mate tea as a sweetener.
It is said that the taste is 100-300x sweeter than regular sugar and some people report a slightly bitter aftertaste at higher concentrations of Stevia. Therefore you can use less than regular sugar as it’s already pretty sweet and if the bitter taste is too much when using pure Stevia, you can mix it with another sweetener, such as erythritol.
Thanks for the visit! 🙂