If you are living with diabetes or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, you know that good nutrition is perhaps one of the most important factors in achieving good health. The foods that you choose to eat, as well as being physically active and taking medications, if recommend, can make a big difference in your daily health.1
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all “diabetic diet.”2 In fact, it is essentially the same balanced and healthy eating plan that everyone, whether or not they have diabetes, should follow. But if you do have diabetes, then managing the amount, quality and timing of the foods you eat and beverages you drink –particularly those containing carbohydrates – becomes even more important.
Sweetening with Stevia
Fortunately though, having diabetes does not mean having to give up all of your favorite foods. You can literally have your cake and eat it too – occasionally of course – so long as you work it into your eating plan.
That is where stevia fits in. It is a zero calorie, plant-based sweetener of natural origin that has been used for hundreds of years dating back to indigenous people in South America. Stevia itself contains no carbohydrates, so it does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. And in many foods and beverages you buy, it helps cut calories while still allowing you to enjoy the sweet tastes you love. Since stevia is sometimes used in combination with other types of sweeteners, it is always important to check the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel for carbohydrate amounts to make sure the product fits into your eating plan.
You will find stevia in a wide range of food and beverages, including teas, soft drinks, juices, yogurt, soymilk, baked goods, cereal, salad dressings, confections and as a tabletop sweetener. Stevia is a great option to use in recipes, too, offering its touch of sweetness and adaptability in baking and cooking.
For ideas on using stevia as a sweet replacement at home, visit our recipe section.