A 2015 study1 reveals that the “label-conscious” parents preferred reading “stevia” on the food packs, whereas the “traditional” parents preferred the label that read “sugar-sweetened”. What’s your type?
Well, whatever be your type; you will be surprised to learn that the same study confirms that children in the age group of 8-13 years preferred the stevia-sweetened chocolate milk (over sucrose- and monkfruit-sweetened chocolate milk). Does this provide you a good enough reason to keep reading this article? We are sure you do! So here are some of the frequently asked questions about stevia that you may have:
WHAT IS STEVIA?
Stevia Rebaudiana belongs to the sunflower family and is a widely grown plant that was first found in the South America. The natives there have been using stevia for thousands of years to sweeten their bitter medicines. This wonder plant is 300 times sweeter than sugar, contains zero calories;2 furthermore, several studies have confirmed that it is natural and safe for consumption. Doesn't this make it a healthful alternative to added sugar in many meals and beverages? The answer is an obvious one!
So how do we refer to stevia In India? The Ayurvedic name for stevia is Madhupatra and is considered to have medicinal properties. It is often referred to by other names, such as Seeni Tulasi, Madhu Pattha and Madhu Parani and more.
DOES STEVIA HAVE ANY SIDE-EFFECTS?
Safety studies suggest that stevia is free of side effects; purified steviol glycosides have been marked as “generally recognized as safe” by the Food and Drug Administration. Rather stevia’s natural goodness makes for a healthier life; its low Glycaemic Index and Glycaemic Load make it suitable for people who have been advised to reduce their sugar intake or avoid sugar.2
In an article published in 20153, stevia enjoys the reputation of “zero allergic reactions”. In 2010, the European Food Safety Committee (EFSA) reviewed existing literature to determine if there was any cause for concern regarding the potential for allergic reactions to stevia. The reviewers concluded that "steviol glycosides are not reactive and are not metabolized to reactive compounds, therefore, it is unlikely that the steviol glycosides under evaluation should cause by themselves allergic reactions when consumed in foods."
DOES STEVIA CAUSE CANCER?
Extracts from the stevia leaf does not cause cancer. Several authoritative bodies, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), have reviewed cancer studies and scientific data on Stevia leaf extract. They agree that it is safe for use.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE HEALTH BENEFITS OF STEVIA?
Excessive sugars and calories are linked to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Stevia is a "zero-calorie" natural sweetener; however, it is usually combined with other ingredients; a few calories from those additional ingredients may be present depending on the product. In general, stevia-based products are significantly less calorific than sucrose. Further, artificial sweeteners that are perceived less caloric could potentially harm you. The American Heart Association (AHA) and American Diabetes Association (ADA) have given a cautious nod to the use of artificial sweeteners in place of sugar to combat obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, all risk factors for heart disease.4
WHAT IS TATA Nx ZERO SUGAR?
Tata Nx Zero Sugar is a healthy*, 100% natural sweetener, made from Stevia extracts, lactose and thaumatin. Its low Glycaemic Index and Glycaemic Load make it suitable for people who have been advised to reduce their sugar intake or avoid sugar. 0.75g of Tata Nx Zero Sugar shall give sweetness equivalent to a teaspoon of regular sugar. Its natural goodness makes for a healthier life.**
In summary, when you are label-conscious, you take care of your health and that of your family’s. And the good news is – You aren’t compromising on the taste. So, cheers to the revolution. Cheers to Stevia. Cheers to Tata Nx Zero Sugar.
1. Li, X. E., Lopetcharat, K., & Drake, M. A. (2015). Parents’ and children's acceptance of skim chocolate milks sweetened by monk fruit and stevia leaf extracts. Journal of food science, 80(5), S1083-S1092.
2. International Stevia Council, Stevia Media Resource, November 2011.
3. Urban, J. D., Carakostas, M. C., & Taylor, S. L. (2015). Steviol glycoside safety: are highly purified steviol glycoside sweeteners food allergens?. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 75, 71-78.
4. Gardner, C., Wylie-Rosett, J., Gidding, S. S., Steffen, L. M., Johnson, R. K., Reader, D., & Lichtenstein, A. H. (2012). Nonnutritive sweeteners: current use and health perspectives: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. Circulation, 126(4), 509-519.
*Having low-calorie, low glycaemic index and low glycaemic load.
**Tata Nx recommends regular exercise (at least 30 – 40 min of brisk walk) and a healthy diet, in addition to consuming Tata Nx ZeroSugar.