Fructose Vs. Stevia, Which One Is Better For Weight Loss?
In 2022, the World Health Organization reported that over one billion people globally are classified as obese. One of the primary causes of increased obesity and overweight cases is a high intake of foods rich in sugar and fat. Consequently, individuals classified as obese or overweight risk suffering from cardiovascular complications, musculoskeletal disorders, and even certain types of cancer.
Obviously, one of the remedies for such conditions, as provided by the World Health Organization, is to limit one’s sugar intake. To help them achieve this, a lot of people resort to diets like keto diet. You may check out sites like Proper Good to learn more about this low-carb, high-fat diet.
Another strategy people use to cut back on sugar is to switch to low-calorie or non-nutritive sweeteners to minimize their consumption of added sugars. This is because low-calorie sweeteners are more likely to help with weight loss than nutritive ones.
This post will review a caloric sweetener and a non-nutritive one—fructose and stevia, respectively—and help you determine the one that’s better for weight loss. Keep reading to lean which is the better one.
What Is Stevia?
Stevia is an artificial sweetener extracted from a plant with the same name. The plant, whose scientific name is Stevia rebuadiana, originated in Paraguay. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes stevia as a safe artificial sweetener for food and beverages. In addition, this sweetener is preferred by many because of its low-calorie content, which is considered to have numerous health benefits, as discussed below.
- Maintains Good Health In Diabetic Individuals
Stevia is one of the artificial sweeteners with low energy content. This means that it contributes little to no calories to your diet. Research also shows that these sweeteners don’t affect insulin response.
Moreover, stevia can inhibit your plasma glucose levels, causing your glucose tolerance to increase. Furthermore, it can balance blood sugar levels, and increase the production of insulin and its effect on cell membranes. All these benefits help in maintaining good health in diabetic patients, just like other meals suggested on eatpropergood.com and other similar sites.
- Stevia Helps With Weight Management
Among the several causes of obesity and overweight is excessive consumption of added sugars. Studies show that added sugars make up approximately 16% of the total calories in most American diets. Consequently, this increases the likelihood of weight gain among consumers.
Nevertheless, stevia is one of the artificial sweeteners with little to no calories. This property makes it a healthier choice for anyone that wants to lose weight without foregoing that saccharine taste.
However, there are some cases where stevia has the opposite effect. For example, using stevia excessively has been associated with weight gain around the belly. Therefore, it’s advisable to use this sugar substitute in moderation if you’re trying to lose weight.
- Stevia Reduces Blood Pressure
Stevia extract contains some glycosides that dilate blood vessels and increase urine output and sodium excretion. According to a 2003 study, the stevia plant also has cardiotonic properties that work to enhance the contraction of the heart muscle.
Consequently, this results in improved blood flow in body tissues, which reduces blood pressure and regulates heartbeat. Nonetheless, the extent to which stevia minimizes blood pressure is yet to be confirmed, and further research is needed.
What Is Fructose?
Fructose is a simple sugar that’s commonly found in fruits, honey, and some vegetables. It’s also a major ingredient in sugary sweeteners, such as agave and high-fructose corn syrups. For example, when you’re purchasing a product from the supermarket, and you see it has added sugars, there’s a high chance that these are fructose.
When you consume foods rich in fructose, your liver converts it into glucose so the body can utilize it. Research shows that the amount of fructose in fruits and vegetables is relatively low. Therefore, consuming them is unlikely to harm your body.
However, high amounts of fructose in your body can be harmful. For example, the conversion of fructose to glucose happens in the liver. When you consume a diet high in fructose, you risk overloading your liver with it. When this happens, the liver turns excess fructose into fat. Consequently, this increases your risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart conditions.
Benefits Of Fructose
One of the benefits of fructose is that it has a low glycemic index. This means that it has minimal effects on blood glucose levels, making it a safer alternative compared to other sweeteners. Nonetheless, some fructose-rich products, such as high-fructose corn syrup, have a high glycemic index, which can alter blood sugar levels and cause health complications.
Similarly, fruits like pineapples and cranberries have a medium-to-high glycemic index. As such, it’s essential to know which fructose-rich foods have a low glycemic index. Some examples include apples, mangoes, grapes, and bananas.
Another benefit of fructose is that it’s cheaper compared to other sweeteners. This makes it accessible, especially if you’re acquiring it in its natural form.
Effects Of Fructose On Body Weight
When consumed in moderation or low amounts, fructose poses no risk to your body weight. For example, fructose in honey and fruit juices can be easily converted into glucose, which doesn’t affect your weight. However, the use of sweeteners such as agave syrup and high-fructose corn syrup has led to an increase in the consumption of fructose. Studies have linked this to health conditions such as obesity.
One research study hypothesized that increased fructose intake increases villi length in the small intestine. The result is higher fat absorption and, consequently, weight gain. Nonetheless, this hypothesis doesn’t apply to fruits as they have low fructose content, which is easily turned into glucose by the liver for use in the body.
Which Between Fructose And Stevia Is Better For Weight Loss?
Most of the research regarding these two sweeteners and their effect on body weight favor stevia. For starters, stevia has more health benefits than fructose. Good health is vital in managing your weight healthily.
In addition, refined stevia has a lower calorie count than fructose. Calorie reduction is an effective weight loss strategy, meaning consuming stevia will benefit your weight loss journey more. More so, there are no studies linking stevia to obesity, as in the case of fructose. All factors considered, stevia is your ideal option for weight loss.
Replacing nutritive sweeteners with non-nutritive ones is a common strategy people use to limit their sugar intake. This is a good move considering that non-nutritive sweeteners have no added sugars and minimal to no calories. For example, the added sugar in fructose increases your risk of becoming overweight or obese, and developing other health complications.
On the contrary, moderate stevia intake helps with weight loss. Additionally, high stevia intake may cause weight gain around the belly but it doesn’t increase your risk of obesity. Thus, between fructose and stevia, the latter is better for weight loss.