Is It Safe to Eat Stevia During Pregnancy?
Pregnant ladies should be aware of their sugar intake to minimize the negative impact of sugar on pregnancy and the developing baby as well. There are several sugar substitutes and sweeteners that you need to learn about them to manage your sugar intake. Here we want to talk about stevia during pregnancy.
Stevia is a kind of sweetener that has become popular in the last years. In this article on Hipregnnacy, we want to cover all you need to learn about eating stevia during pregnancy. Let’s continue to see whether it is safe to consume stevia while pregnant.
What is stevia?
Stevia sweetener is made from the stevia plant, a native herb to South America. It is a calorie-free sweetener and can be used for medicinal purposes, too. Stevia can be used in both liquid and powder form.
It is good to know that stevia extract is made from dried stevia plant, which is gone through a water extraction process. Stevia has a metal-like flavor, which makes it not to be tasty for everyone.
This sweetener is a great alternative for sugar and ca reduce the potential side effects of consuming sugar, like type 2 diabetes and excessive weight gain. Keep reading to see whether it can be included in your pregnancy diet or not.
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Safety of stevia during pregnancy
Overall, you should be cautious while adding foods in to your diet during pregnancy, as all the foods you eat have direct effect on the health of the unborn baby in the womb. As a result, you should search about the safety of the foods you want to eat, and then opt for the healthy ones. There is a complete guide on what can pregnant woman eat.
What about stevia? Can pregnant women eat stevia? It depends.
Generally speaking, refined stevia extracts are considered safe to consume while pregnant; however, it is recommended to avoid whole-leaf stevia and unrefined stevia during pregnancy. Although it is safe to eat refined stevia in pregnancy, you should have it only in moderation.
Hipregnancy highly recommends you consult your healthcare provider before including stevia in your diet. If your doctor is ok with consuming stevia while pregnant, go ahead and enjoy having it. The following part helps you learn more about the benefits and possible side effects of this sweetener.
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Pros and Cons of stevia during pregnancy
Here are some pros and cons of eating stevia for pregnant women, including;
- Stevia has lower calorie than sugar, and it can prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy, especially in those who are watching their weight.
- This sweetener is a good option for those who have diabetes and can’t eat sugary foods. It may control your diabetes.
- It can regulate your blood pressure, minimize the chance of heart diseases, heart attacks, and strokes. The same goes for strawberry while pregnant.
- Consuming stevia during pregnancy may help increase bone mineral density and prevent osteoporosis.
- Stevia aids in maintaining your oral health, reducing the chance of cavities and gingivitis.
Consuming excessive amounts of stevia can have following side effects, including;
- Stomach pain
- Unhealthy gut
- Liver inflammation
- Kidney inflammation
If you eat stevia in moderation, you will not experience any health issues. So, limit your intake and follow your doctor guidelines to support a healthy pregnancy.
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Is stevia safe during pregnancy gestational diabetes?
Pregnant ladies, with gestational diabetes, should control their calorie intake and avoid consuming foods containing too much sugar. However, they can enjoy consuming low-calorie sweeteners instead. Stevia is what they are searching for!
Stevia can be consumed during pregnancy, even when you have gestational diabetes, but only in moderate quantities. This sweetener will not have negative impact on your blood sugar levels, and it can control your diabetes.
To be on the safe side, talk to your doctor before having stevia during pregnancy if you have gestational diabetes. If you don’t know what foods you can eat, check best diet for gestational diabetes. The mentioned article can help you opt for healthy foods and meals to manage and control your diabetes. Don’t miss it!
Stevia extract during pregnancy
Stevia extract is made from dried leaves of stevia plant. The dried leaves of stevia are soaked in water to unlock their sweet substance. After that, the extract is filtered, dried, and crystalized. The appearance of stevia extract is like regular sugar, and it can be used in baking, cooking, and as a sweetener in beverages.
It is considered safe to consume purified stevia while pregnant; however, you should have it in moderation. Always follow the moderation rule during pregnancy; not only for eating foods, but also for all you do during pregnancy
What sweetener is safe during pregnancy?
There are several sweeteners that are safe for pregnant ladies, similar to stevia. Do want to know their names? Check the following table to learn more about common, safe sweeteners for pregnancy.
|Acesulfame Potassium (Sunett)||Added to frozen desserts, beverages, baked goods, puddings, and sugar-free gelatin|
|Sucralose (Splenda)||Added to non-alcoholic beverages, frozen dairy desserts, chewing gum, coffee and tea products, baking mixes, fruit juices, sweet sauce, confections, topping, etc.|
|Aspartame (Equal or NutraSweet)||Used in soft drinks, puddings, gelatin, breakfast cereals, desserts, chewing gum, beverages, and dairy products|
|Fruit juice concentrates||Found in cereals, cookies, soft drinks, yogurt, and toaster pastries|
|Monk fruit extract||Used in juices, dairy products, candies, desserts, baked goods, etc.|
Note; there are many other sweeteners that can be consumed during pregnancy. The above table only contains some of them. The others are mannitol, sorbitol, tagatose, xylitol, etc.
What sweeteners should be avoided during pregnancy?
There are two artificial sweeteners that should be avoided during pregnancy; Saccharin, and Cyclamate. Since there is insufficient data regarding the safety of these two sweeteners while pregnant, it is not recommended to consume foods containing them.
It is best to consult your doctor which sweeteners are good for you and your baby as well. Getting support from your doctor can ensure you about the safety of sweetener added into your food or beverages.
Sweeteners are used in various foods and beverages, like desserts, juices, cookies, dairy products, etc. One of these sweeteners is stevia and it is safe for pregnant ladies. Stevia should be consumed in moderation; otherwise, it can lead to issues like diarrhea, stomach pain, headache, kidney and liver inflammation.
In this article n hi pregnancy, we covered the top and vital points you needed to know before including stevia in your pregnancy diet. If you have any other questions regarding consumption of stevia during pregnancy, do share them with us via comment.
Stevia is a low-calorie sweetener that can be used in juices, dairy products, baked goods, cereals, etc. You can enjoy consuming these foods containing stevia in moderation while you are pregnant.
Both, stevia and erythritol, are safe to eat during pregnancy, as long as you have them in moderate quantities.