Stevia is a low-calorie natural herb originating in the South American country of Paraguay. Used for over 1500 years as a natural sweetener in South America, and since 1970 in Japan, the United States has only approved Stevia as a nutritional supplement.
Stevia does not have the synthetic chemical compounds found in aspartame or sucralose. Stevia is the perfect alternative to anyone watching their weight or avoiding sugar.
Sugar more addictive than cocaine
For years we’ve known that sugar isn’t good for us. It promotes tooth decay, causes extreme highs and lows in our insulin levels, and promotes weight gain through empty non-nutrient calories. In fact there are many modern day ailments that can be linked back to refined sugar such as; high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, premature aging, and more. Most recently, studies have concluded that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. In fact the average American consumes 2-3 pounds of sugar a week this includes dextrose (corn sugar) and the high-fructose corn syrup that is processed in so many of our foods such as bread, cereal, ketchup, peanut butter, and even mayonnaise.
Interesting enough prior to 1897 sugar consumption averaged only five pounds a year per person. Cardiovascular disease and cancer were virtually unknown until the 1900’s. One might argue that 150 years ago people didn’t live very long and died prematurely from other causes such as influenza or cholera. However, many people did live past age 60 and with no signs of heart disease.
Sugar absorbed into the blood stream, elevates the blood-sugar level. This causes the release of insulin, a hormone used by the body to keep the blood-sugar at a safe and steady balance. Insulin takes unused sugar and stores it as fat. Stored fat creates elevated triglyceride levels. We all know by now that fat plus high triglycerides equal cardiovascular disease.
Stevia better than sugar
Studies have shown that there are many benefits derived from replacing sugar with stevia:
- Sugarless and no calories
- Does not create the increase in blood-sugar levels
- 100% natural
- 300 times sweeter than sugar
- Unlike aspartame stevia remains stable and does not become toxic when heated at high levels
- Does not ferment
- Prevents cavities
- Good for diabetics
- Has been found to be non-toxic when tested on both animals and human
Stevia products sometimes leave a metallic after taste that is generated through the way it is processed. The truth is different brands will result in more or less bitterness. You will need to try different brands until you find one that works.
In spite of the benefits, stevia still has not been approved by the FDA to be used as a food additive. However, it can be found in the supplement isle.