Intermittent fasting is the right solution for those who binge eat and consume hundreds of calories unknowingly. People who crave sugary stuff and have a sweet tooth mostly find it difficult to continue intermittent fasting throughout the 16 hours. They surely want something sweet in their mouth to feel better and get a dose of energy. There are many alternative options out there for using different sweeteners instead of just sugar. One such alternative is Stevia. It is highly debated whether Stevia really breaks a fast or not. The purpose of this article is just that! We will explore the possibility of Stevia breaking a fast while giving scientific reasons behind it.
Weight Loss Process
Before diving into the nitty-gritty details, let us first take a look at the basics. Things can get a little more complicated when it comes to weight loss than your usual food intake. There are many different strategies that people follow to lose weight. In every era, other predictions are made about the kind of diets people must follow to stay fit and healthy. For example, at the end of the 20th century, fats were considered the body’s biggest enemy. On the other hand, carbohydrates were loved and promoted by nutritionists. Diets such as bread, pasta, and beans were considered the healthiest and safest to lose or maintain weight.
Later on, towards the 2000s, it was revealed that not all fats are wrong, and carbohydrates are the real enemies. This means that consuming fats from healthy sources such as nuts and fruits is genuinely useful for the body and can help lose weight. Carbohydrates were disliked because they eventually break down and convert into glucose, affecting our body’s insulin levels. Ultimately, they do more harm than good in the body and increase the chance of gaining weight rapidly.
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Diet recommendations keep on changing. This is why everyone must decide which strategy of weight loss works best for them and which doesn’t. There are many options like keto-diet, high-carb, low-fat diets, and so on. Intermittent fasting is gaining popularity recently, and here is how it works:
Intermittent fasting is a relatively new process of staying healthy and at the same time lose weight. It is a simple process that has gained popularity amongst all those trying to get fit and eventually lose some weight. If you follow intermittent fasting, you can only eat in a specific time frame. For example, you may only eat for 8 hours in a row, while the other 16 hours you limit your food and do not allow yourself to eat anything. Of course, you may drink water, black coffee, and green tea during the fasting periods. But eating and drinking anything that increases calories in the body is strictly prohibited.
The ultimate goal is to eat two meals in a day, but those meals must be fulfilling, healthy, and unprocessed so that your weight loss can happen properly. Now the question becomes: What about all those who often have sugar cravings but cannot take anything sweet during the fasting period. Stevia is the answer. It is a sweetener that is used and recommended by many health professionals. It is generally believed that Stevia is not responsible for breaking your fast. Commonly it is assumed that if any calories go inside your body, then your fast is broken. But this cannot be farther from the truth. Here are several factors that come into play when determining when a fast is broken.
- Anything that activates your digestive system and requires it to process food is considered a fast-breaking food.
- If your blood’s insulin or glucose levels are affected negatively, then in this scenario, your fast is broken.
When we look at the effect Stevia has on a body in a fasting state, we conclude that it does not activate our bodies’ digestive system. This means that Stevia cannot be considered a fast break sweetener. Similarly, it has no impact on your glucose or insulin levels. Multiple experiments were conducted to test the effects of Stevia on people with and without diabetes. Some of these people were given Stevia in a state of fasting as well. With little to no negative impact on sugar levels, Stevia is considered one of the best sweeteners that will NOT break your fast.
What is Stevia?
Stevia comes from a naturally occurring plant in the wild. The sweet taste, without any additional sugar, in Stevia comes from the plant’s glycosides. You can find it at any departmental store. But before you make the purchase make sure you read the nutrition facts on the back label. Most stores sell Stevia that is filled with artificial sweeteners and other sugar molecules such as fructose. When combined with fructose or glucose, Stevia can break your fast and even trigger health conditions for your stomach.
Even though Stevia may seem like the perfect replacement for sugar, it is not healthy either. Many people complain that after using Stevia in their daily routine, they realize that they are hungrier than usual. Hunger hormone is triggered after consuming Stevia regularly. The reason behind this is that when you take Stevia, your body prepares itself for more sweet things. This makes you feel hungry, and you start craving things. While intermittent fasting is the last thing you want to happen inside your body.
Stevia does not break a fast for several reasons that are discussed above. But that does not mean you can consume it as much as you want. Even though it may not affect your insulin level and glucose inside your blood, it can affect other things such as hunger hormones. When doing a fast, you want to feel less hungry, so your fast can be completed quickly. Therefore, be very careful when opting for Stevia during intermittent fasting.
All kinds of sweeteners, whether they are natural or not, are harmful. They can cause a spike in your insulin levels, break your fast, and increase your weight. When you are intermittent fasting, you must keep this in mind. The best solution is to avoid all kinds of natural and artificial sweeteners at all times.