Yes, you can add a bit of sweetener to your tea or coffee while on the hCG diet but you cannot use sugar and you need to steer away from artificial sweeteners. Stevia is an acceptable natural sweetener that tastes good and can satisfy your sweet tooth while still letting you stick to the hCG protocol without cheating. However, many people have never heard of stevia.
Stevia Around the World
For centuries, South Americans have turned to stevia to sweeten their foods and beverages. People in Paraguay, Brazil, Korea, and China also regularly use the natural sweetener. Only in recent years has the sweetener made its debut in the United States and Europe where it has quickly gained popularity as a viable sugar substitute.
The Stevia Plant
Stevia is made from a common plant known as the Stevia rebaudiana ‘Bertoni.’ It is a bushy shrub that is a member of the sunflower family. There are over 150 species of stevia that grow wild throughout North and South America. Many home gardeners grow Stevia as an attractive landscape addition. Farmers around the world have readily embraced stevia as a profitable commercial crop because the plants require about 20 percent less land and water than sugar cane.
The Sweetness of Stevia
The sweetness of stevia in undeniable. It is 200 to 300 times sweeter than common sugar so it only requires a minuscule amount to adequately sweeten any beverage. The stevia plant has eight glycosides, which are the plant’s sweet components gathered from the leaves of the plant. The extraction process involves harvesting the plant’s leaves, drying them, using a water extraction method, and then the substance undergoes a purification process. If improperly processed the product tastes bitter and plant-like. Overall, there are about 40 processing steps needed to obtain the sweet stevia that you purchase at local supermarkets.
Stevia is virtually calorie-free; it contains less than five grams of carbohydrates. Unlike real sugar, stevia does not increase the body’s blood glucose levels, which makes it a favored sugar-substitute for diabetes sufferers. The sweet, sugar-like taste of the substance occurs naturally and is not gained through a chemical process like so many other artificial sweeteners that are readily available. The low-calorie count makes stevia an excellent choice for use in the hCG diet protocol.
Using Stevia on the hCG Diet
You can use a bit of stevia to sweeten your coffee or tea while on the hCG diet. Some people also sprinkle the substance on a grapefruit or use it with a splash of lemon in water to create lemonade. Undoubtedly, when you first embark on the hCG diet your body often suffers withdrawals from sugary soda drinks, baked sweet goods, and other carbs. Using stevia as a sweetener helps to alleviate the cravings that you might initially feel when you first start the hCG diet. Used correctly, stevia will not hinder the hCG diet or your weight loss but it will give you the option of sweetening a beverage or a piece of fruit.
If you would like to learn more about using stevia while on the hCG diet, please contact Nu Image Medical.