Sweet Stevia, Sweeeet

Stevia is what I consider a natural sucrose (sugar) substitute - sweeeet!

Stevia is similar to any natural herb, except that it's sweet. And stevia is safe for diabetics, and can actually be a healthy choice for lowering blood glucose levels and insulin demands. It's naturally delicious and a much healthier choice!

Stevia is extracted from a plant grown in South America and is also a complex sugar extract. In its original/natural form, stevia is simply a complex plant carbohydrate, and this means that it does not pass into the bloodstream, yet it still delivers natural sweetness.

Many people complain that it is bitter, but that is an easy problem to fix. Don't use too much. It's the same as seasoning a tomato with too much salt or pepper, or using too much garlic or oregano on lasagna. Start off slowly and add more, as you "taste test."

Modern consumers are in the habit of using huge amounts of sugar and even larger amounts of diet sweeteners. Just look around any restaurant or coffee shop, and you will see people unconsciously "pouring on" packets of the chemical stuff. Do not do that with stevia - a little dab will do ya'.

It is habit for diet sweetener users to use the equivalent amount of stevia, but, if you simply use one-quarter the amount of stevia for one full serving of sugar or one packet of artificial sweetener, then the taste is pleasant and not bitter.

So, "is stevia really safe?" Absolutely. Not only is it safe, it is healthy for you.

Stevia is 250 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. It is isolated and purified from the leaves of the stevia plant. Stevia has been used as a traditional remedy for diabetes and gum disease among the indigenous people of Paraguay and other South American countries for over 1,500-recorded years. (Who knows how many years prior to the records?)

Preliminary scientific evidence (performed by independent researchers, of course) shows stevia may indeed improve the function of the cells required for insulin production in the pancreas, and may also improve glucose tolerance in people with diabetes. According to the generations of people who have used stevia as a part of their daily diet, stevia has been proven to regulate blood sugar.

Unlike other sweeteners, stevia has been reported to possess anti-viral capabilities. Preliminary evidence suggests that stevia possesses blood pressure lowering properties and may be a useful treatment for hypertension.

THE NEED TO TEST: Prior to the onslaught of chemical sugar substitutes, the need to "test" stevia for negative health effects had never been necessary after 1,500 years of use, just as we find little need to test the herbs basil or thyme. Now that stevia is challenging the mega-profits made from aspartame and Splenda in the USA, further research will be demanded for stevia safety, I am sure, because as stevia becomes more competitive on the modern sweetener market, it will become more of a threat to the blue and yellow chemical sweetener companies.

After years of political scrutiny and stonewalling in Europe, October 2004, the European Commission approved stevia use as a sweetener. For decades, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required any product made with stevia to be labeled only as a dietary supplement. But on December 17, 2008, the USA decided to follow the global crowd, and the FDA finally approved purified stevia as a food additive.

No other country in the world uses the huge amounts of sugar and sugar substitutes that American consumers use. People who have used stevia for generations in South America, Japan, China and Indonesian countries do not use stevia as often nor in the same quantities as modern Americans use artificial sweeteners. We pour it on!

I feel stevia is a much safer sweetener alternative compared to the artificial chemicals created in corporate laboratories, especially for use during pregnancy, for children and for diabetics who stand to benefit from its soothing glucose effects. Of course, the key to eating or drinking anything, whether chemical food replacements or one hundred percent natural foods, is to be moderate in your use.


  • Try different brands of stevia before giving up on it, as some are milder tasting than others;
  • Stevia is much sweeter than Equal®, Splenda®, and the other chemical sweeteners, so use significantly less than you might think is necessary;
  • Start with using one-quarter the amount of stevia as you'd use of the other chemicals and increase as needed. It comes in both liquid and powdered form.

Stevia may appear to be more expensive at first glance, but when you use less, you buy less. You can actually save money by using a higher quality, all-natural sweetener like stevia. I don't know if you have price compared the diet sweeteners lately, but the blue and yellow packets are expensive, and the pink pack a little less expensive.

There are many great new products on the market today using stevia. All of my lab's liquid vitamins and protein powders are sweetened with stevia, such as our Liquid Trace Mineral Complex and Super Fuel.

I highly recommend the stevia line, NuStevia® by NuNaturals - they offer an excellent stevia product, and people using NuStevia report that they are noticing an improvement in their blood glucose levels, less dramatic blood sugar swings, and decreases in their insulin intake demands when using this stevia line.

This month, Whole Foods is rolling out a new soft drink sweetened with stevia called Zevia®. According to their website, Zevia is an all-natural, zero calorie soda invasion: Zevia Natural Black Cherry and Zevia Natural Ginger Ale are coming to town. The troops all have a new uniform: all six Zevia flavors have a brand new look and even more delicious, all-natural healthy flavor. It works great as the perfect mixer and, by itself, is a diet soda delight.

Remember: every drop of every flavor of Zevia is made with 100% natural sweeteners, colors, and flavors - nothing artificial. Ever.

Yum - sounds good to me! So, why are these stevia products such a big deal?

After 20 years of toxic diet sodas with aspartame causing devastating illness and epidemic disease, products like NuStevia and Zevia have succeeded in breaking through the sweetener monopoly! Finally, a truly healthy choice.

I am often asked if I recommend the corporate, laboratory forms of stevia or the new stevia product, Truvia®.

Well, my Rule Of Thumb: I recommend using only all-natural forms of anything, and natural stevia versus a form that has been tweaked in a lab and combined with other sweeteners is not my recommendation for all - natural.

Buy stevia that is as close to the plant as possible. The less humans have "messed with it" before you put it in your mouth - the better!

Hat's Off, Stevia! Sweeeet!!

Posted May 2009 | Permanent Link

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