Stevia in Nutrition
Steviol glucosides are sweeteners produced by extracting leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, which originates in Latin America. The particularity of this plant that has triggered a nutritional revolution, consists of the sweeteners containing in its leaves, including reaboudioside and stevioside, which can be up to 80 times sweeter than sugar while its final product (after extraction) is 200-300 times sweeter. Stevia can be used both fresh and dried, in the food, in salads, in sweets, in drinks. The amount to be used that is required is minimal due to its high sweetening power, so it essentially does not add calories in the food or beverage in which it is added.
In terms of calories, a teaspoon of sugar is about 15-20 calories due to the carbohydrates it contains, while stevia contains no caloric load. Stevia is used nowadays in many different food categories, including ice creams, soft drinks, desserts, confectionery and table sweeteners.