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Stevia & the Glycemic Index

by
author image Dr. Peter Nickless
Dr. Peter Nickless has been a chiropractor and Nutritional Counselor for 13 years specializing in sports nutrition and sport related injuries. He received a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, a Master's degree in human nutrition and has a Certified Nutrition Specialist CNS designation. In addition to clinical experience, Dr. Nickless has been an educator and administrator at the undergraduate and graduate levels for the past five years.
Stevia & the Glycemic Index
Stevia leaves. Photo Credit Santje09/iStock/Getty Images

The glycemic index is a measure of how your blood sugar reacts to foods with carbohydrates. Low glycemic foods do not raise blood sugar levels as much as high glycemic foods. High glycemic foods are to be avoided if you have conditions that result in poor blood sugar control such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Stevia is a non-nutritive sweetener that does not affect blood sugar.

The Glycemic index

Foods are assigned a score based on how much they raise blood sugar levels. Glucose, a pure simple sugar, has a glycemic index of 100 and is considered the reference food. Scores under 56 are for foods considered to be low glycemic foods. Peanuts are an example of a low glycemic food. Scores between 56 and 69 are considered medium glycemic foods. Raisins are an example of a medium glycemic food. Scores above 70 are high glycemic foods. White rice is a high glycemic food.

Stevia

Stevia is a natural extract of a plant in the daisy family and has been used in South America for hundreds of years as a sweetener. Stevia contains no carbohydrates and no calories and accordingly has a glycemic index of zero. A zero glycemic index score means that eating stevia will not raise your blood sugar.

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