Stevia (Sweet Herb) is a win/win for those with diabetes. This leafy plant is grown mostly in Paraguay. The extract from the leaves is cloyingly sweet and has been used as a sugar replacement. It is also non-caloric. This is great for those watching their sugar intake and waistline. There was a study published in the Hormone and Metabolic Research Journal that evaluated the effect of stevioside, the glycoside compound in stevia, in animal subjects that were fed a diet high in fructose. It was concluded that stevioside decreased blood glucose concentrations, improved insulin sensitivity, and delayed the development of insulin resistance in the subjects. Further research suggests that stevioside might reduce post-meal glucose levels by 18% in humans. Stevia is available in powdered or liquid extract form and can be used to sweeten anything that generally calls for sugar or a sugar substitute. A little bit goes a long way, as it is many times sweeter than sugar.

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