Stevia is a natural sweetener that has recently been touted by health enthusiasts as a safe alternative to our standard table sugar, but is it really safe?
Paleo and Insulin
The evidence suggests it is. It does prompt the pancreas to secrete insulin, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. Those of us living a Paleo lifestyle generally try to avoid spikes in insulin because chronically high insulin levels is a significant contributing factor in obesity and insulin resistance. Stevia, on the other hand, has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity (which is good).
The Health Benefits
Studies have also shown that stevia improves cholesterol levels and protects LDL against oxidation, which is good news because it’s the oxidized LDL that is likely to latch onto the insides of our arteries, causing inflammation and plaque build-up. Stevia has also effectively been used to treat diabetes and hypertension.
Even Mark Sisson approves of including stevia as an occasional sweetener.