Stevia leaves for sweetening and weight loss - findings from randomized controlled trials
The stevia plant originates in the rainforests of South America and is known as the "sweet medicinal plant of Paraguay". Stevia leaves are sweet and free of calories and sugar. Therefore, people with diabetes increasingly use stevia for sweetening. Moreover, the use of natural stevia leaves has no side effects, in contrast to the side effects that may exist in various artificial sweeteners.
Because of these properties, many people around the world choose to sweeten their drinks and food using stevia leaves instead of sugar in order to lose weight. But are stevia leaves really able to help with weight loss?
A recent study published in the journal Nutrients examined this question using a randomized controlled trial. The researchers recruited 28 patients and randomly divided them into two groups. The treatment group received stevia leaf extract on a daily basis, while the control group did not receive the treatment. The researchers followed both groups for 12 weeks. At the end of the period, the researchers found a statistically significant difference between the two groups: the patients in the control group gained weight, while the patients in the treatment group who consumed the stevia leaves on a daily basis maintained their weight. Since this is a randomized controlled trial, it can be determined with a particularly high level of confidence that the lower weight among the subjects in the treatment group is a direct result of the consumption of stevia leaves. The researchers concluded that stevia helps maintain weight.
Another study, published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2020, examined how consuming a beverage sweetened with stevia, compared to other sweeteners based on glucose or sucrose, affects appetite and satiety. The researchers randomly assigned subjects to receive various beverages before their lunch without knowing what type of beverage they were consuming. In order to measure the subjects' appetite, the researchers asked the subjects to rate their appetite on a scale ranging from 0 to 100. The results of the experiment showed that the consumption of the beverage sweetened with stevia caused a decrease in short-term appetite and a feeling of satiety compared to the consumption of beverages sweetened with sugar.
The findings from these two experiments provide strong and clear evidence that the stevia plant not only does not contain calories, but also contributes to a feeling of satiety and helps with weight loss.
 Stamataki, N.S., Crooks, B., Ahmed, A. and McLaughlin, J.T., 2020. Effects of the Daily Consumption of Stevia on Glucose Homeostasis, Body Weight, and Energy Intake: A Randomised Open-Label 12-Week Trial in Healthy Adults. Nutrients, 12(10), p.3049.
 Stamataki, N.S., Scott, C., Elliott, R., McKie, S., Bosscher, D. and McLaughlin, J.T., 2020. Stevia beverage consumption prior to lunch reduces appetite and total energy intake without affecting glycemia or attentional bias to food cues: A double-blind randomized controlled trial in healthy adults. The Journal of Nutrition, 150(5), pp.1126-1134.
Natural sweet nufar recipes
Use of herbal tea
A natural recipe for preparing a flavorful tea without sugar and without calories: Mint leaves, Lemon Verbena, or lemon- may be added to “Natural Sweet” according to taste, when brewed in a cup of boiling water.
One bag is sufficient for making about 5 cups of beverage. We recommend removing the bag after about 10 seconds to avoid over-sweetening.
For food and cakes
Brew several bags of “Natural Sweet” in a cup of boiling water. After 5 minutes a sweet concentrate will form and this can be poured into cake batters etc. Use personal taste to guide you in selecting the amount of bags to brew. 6 bags are equivalent in sweetness to a cup of sugar.
For every cup of sugar we leave out of a cake, we save 1,000 calories.
A recipe for a tasty cake without sugar: 2.5 cups of self-raising flour, 9 bags of “Natural Sweet” in half a cup of hot water (instead of 1½ cups of sugar), 1 stick of butter flavored margarine (or oil), natural vanilla essence, the juice from one lemon, 4 eggs, vanilla flavored pudding (not instant).
In this cake we save 1½ cups of sugar and thus we are saving ourselves 1,500 calories!
A recipe for Lemon Mint beverage: Take one bag of "Natural Sweet" and put in a jug containing about 1 liter of cold water, add mint and lemon and that is enough, no sugar is needed. Stir for a few seconds and serve. After about a minute, remove the bag to prevent excessive sweetness.