MyFirst Encounter With Stevia

I visited a cousin in NC a few days ago and his wife had made a delicious lemon pudding sweetened with Stevia. The iced tea was also sweetened with Stevia. I had never used Stevia but did not hesitate to eat the dessert. I thought it would be safe to do so. I had had a 60 carb meal 30 minutes earlier at a restaurant. Two hours after the dessert my BG was 114, at 5 PM it was 79, at 9 PM it was 62 and at bedtime it was 68. I ate glucose tabs but they did not seem to help. Then at midnight it was 181 and at 3 AM it was 286. I have researched Stevia and I now realize that it slows down the absorption of glucose into the blood stream. My insulin was working on schedule but the carbs and glucose tabs were held back by the Stevia. Then at midnight the Stevia was no longer effective and the bolus insulin was out of my system. That resulted in very high BG’s.

I will never again use Stevia. I suggest that Type 1’s should never use Stevia. A Type 2 who is NOT insulin dependent can use Stevia safely since there is no insulin injected that will cause the low BG’s after the meal.

One article contained the following statement:

“In South America, stevia has been used to lower blood sugar in individuals with diabetes. Evidence from laboratory and animal studies seems to show that stevia may help to control blood sugar levels by delaying the absorption of sugar from the intestines. It may also improve insulin sensitivity, which is the ability of the body to use insulin.”

This implies, to me, that a delay in absorption of glucose/sugar and a possible increase in insulin sensitivity may be double trouble to someone who has injected/bolused insulin and then eats a meal containing Stevia. Small amounts of Stevia may not be so bad but the dessert and tea combined in my meal contained a significant amount of Stevia. It does seem strange though that the Stevia delayed the absorption of my glucose for eight hours. Maybe my age contributed to that. The delay may be much less for other individuals.

Here is the complete article:,3923,552027%7CStevia,00.html

Note that the article states that there may be several benifits provided by Stevia, including lowering blood pressure.

That’s so interesting. My type 2 mother-in-law recently sent me a handful of stevia packets and I was going to try them and see what I thought. But your experience adds a whole new element to the equation. I may still try it, but now I’ll be trying it to see if I get similar results to you, Richard!

I use Stevia but only a half of each packet. I have not had any trouble with my readings. I’m a T2. I think that a whole packet is way to sweet. I’m very interested in what other people have to say about Stevia.

I am a T1, use stevia in my tea occasionally…I have seen no issue.

I however do spike fromother fake sugars, sometimes worse than the real stuff…so I use the real stuff (except in my tea–unless I’m sick, and then I use real sugar) and take enugh insulin to cover any “indulgence”. Since they are not that often it hasn’t been a problem for me

Found stevia packets not too long ago in a local grocery store. I am a T2 and I am finding no ill side effects at all with it. Tastes real good, no normal diety aftertaste, very sweet (each packet says it is equal to 2 tsp of sugar in sweetness and I believe it). Not carb free, each packet has like 3 g of carbs, but no effect on my after meal glucose levels. So far so good. Will keep using it and let you know if anything unexpected happens.

i use stevia all the time and i have never had a problem with it. I disagree with you telling people to never use it because its a nautral sweetner. The only difference is the taste. Are you sure that you didnt eat to many glucose tablets.

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I use stevia, but in small amounts. I’ve never experienced problems with it either increasing or decreasing BG. I like it because it’s not an artificial sweetner & doesn’t have an awful after-taste. Perhaps in larger quantities there’s the effect you experienced, but I use it sparingly. Hard not to use it sparingly because it’s so concentrated:)

Big Al, there are brands that have lower than 3 carbs a packet. Check around.

When sold in little individual packets, stevia has carbs. I think they add some fillers to make it the equivalent size of other sweetners so people won’t use too much & so it’s easy to gauge quantity. Stevia is something like 200x sweeter than sugar.

When sold in bulk powder jars or liquid, there are no carbs. At least, there’s no carbs in the stevia powder I use.

Richard, perhaps the stevia you ate had carbs. Depending on how much was added to the pudding & iced tea & how much you ate/drank, you may have had quite a few carbs along with the stevia that accounted for the strange reaction of low & then high. Just a thought because I’ve used stevia a lot & never had a problem.

How much fat was in the pudding?

Hello Gerri, I am Type 1 so I took insulin before eating the dessert. It was prepared by my cousin’s wife and it had milk needed in making the custard and there was a bottom crust made from crushed rice krispies. I took insulin for all those carbs so I should not have had high blood sugar for so long after eating. The milk was non-fat so there was very little fat in the dessert. There was a lot of Stevia though because the dessert tasted too sweet. It was delicious though. The tea she served also contained Stevia. I think I had a megs dose of Stevia and since it is known to delay the absorption of glucose there is no doubt in my mind that the Stevis caused the low blood sugar. Then when the insulin ran its cycle and the glucose was finally absorbed I had very high blood sugar. I agree that very small amounts of Stevia would probably not cause much of a problem. My blood sugar was normal the next morning.

I am NOT telling people not to use it!!! I am reporting my own personal experience, that is all. Type 2’s and people without diabetes use it without a problem. Type 1’s have no proplem either if they use small amounts. It is a good product when used properly. I had too much of it and did not know that. knew nothing about its properties until it was too late.

The custard sounds yummy! I’m Type 1, too.

I’m not able to tolerate milk at all. I’m not lactose intolerant because cheese doesn’t bother me, but something about lactose in plain milk sends me soaring. Have the same problem with sour cream. Made this great stroganoff, thought I properly accounted for the sour cream in the recipe (which wasn’t much) & my BG reacted as if I had eaten chocolate cake.

Just hate it when BG soars so many hours after eating.

Glad you posted about stevia. Interesting that it delays absorption, not really the lowering effect at all!

A lot of stevia brands use maltodextrin or other things like it as a bulking agent. I avoid maltodextrin like the plague because it always produces the exact result you described. However, you can get stevia without bulking agents, although I think that the stevia aftertaste is more noticeable. You can google to find out whether your stevia was pure or not.

For what it’s worth, I have consumed ridiculous portions of stevia without getting a response in my blood sugar. (Fixing smoothies gone wrong)

Wow, I have used Stevia and actually have some on order right now and I don’t seem to have a problem with it. But then again im not 100% in check with my diabetes and I usually know why my numbers are messed up for one reason or another. I don’t think Stevia is bad though- Its natural and has 0carbs…it cannot be any worse then artafical sweeteners. T1

I wrote a blog posting back in July 2008 about a new brand of stevia being marketed in the U.S. called “Truvia”, see…. In general, I’ve had never problems with stevia (and I have type 1) but I do advise you to limit consumption until you know its impact on YOUR blood glucose levels.