We’ve all heard how we should be cutting sugar from our diets, with the white stuff proven to depress the immune system, increase weight gain and raise our risk of many diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
But quitting sugar is hard, right?
If you’re struggling to ditch it then you might be interested to hear the secret weapon Victoria Beckham swears by in her fight against the nutritional no-no: Stevia.
Sharing her hack on Instagram, it seems Victoria is a fan of the liquid version of stevia, a calorie-free, natural sugar replacement that’s nutritionist approved.
So what is stevia? Well it’s a natural sweetener derived from the stevia leaf available in both liquid and powder form.
It basically has zero glycaemic index, so won’t affect blood sugar levels and nil calories.
If you want to start using it be warned that a little goes a long way – it’s a whopping 300 times sweeter than sugar which means just a teaspoon is equivalent to one cup of white sugar.
Beckham’s SweetLeaf Sweet Drops Liquid Stevia. You can buy a 5 pack here.
So how can you use stevia? Speaking to SheerLuxe lifestyle and weight loss expert Louise Parker admitted she’s also a fan of stevia advocate.
“It’s a great product to have up your sleeve to sweeten anything from creamy bowls of porridge to protein shakes, so you can ‘save’ your sugars for the weekend, when you’re craving a martini or pain au chocolate. I use it in smoothies or mix into cocoa powder to make sugar-free hot chocolate.
“You can even beat it into egg whites with cinnamon to create a coating on both sweet and salty protein-rich snacks. As it has zero calories and doesn’t affect blood sugar, I prefer it to the likes of agave nectar, natural syrups and dried fruits such as dates.”
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This sounds too good to be true! Well, Nutritionist Cassandra Barns says it might be.
Also in conversation with
SheerLuxe Cassandra explains: “Research shows that when we eat stevia, or foods flavoured with stevia, it has the effect of tricking our brain into thinking we’re going to get sugar. Then when no sugar arrives, this could actually increase our cravings for it.
“So, although stevia is considered a safer alternative than artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, and it doesn’t contain any calories, it may not be that helpful in the long term for supporting weight loss or cutting sugar cravings.”
So not quite a sweet a substitute as we first thought, but stevia can still give you that sweet fix without the calories, just be mindful of how much you’re consuming and try to cut the white stuff, and its substitutes, out completely over time.