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For those of us with a major sweet tooth, like me, you’ll try any new sugar substitute that comes out on the market, but end up disappointed by the aftertaste, or even worse, suspicious about its contents and effect on your body. But I have found true happiness in Stevia, especially now that the FDA is lifting its harsh stance and even companies like Coca Cola are considering Stevia for use in soft drinks and diet sodas. Since artificial sweeteners have been banned in Japan for more than 20 years, the Japanese are the greatest consumers of Stevia; it’s estimated that in Japan, Stevia is being used in over 30% of their food products from Diet Coke to Wrigley’s in their sugar free gum’s. Stevia is actually an herb you can grow in your garden.
Originally from Paraguay and Brazil, it’s 10-100 times sweeter than sugar, depending on its concentration and unlike sugar, it doesn’t trigger a rise in blood sugar levels so you won’t get a sudden burst of energy followed by sugar-fatigue. Amazingly, certain studies have suggested that Stevia may have a regulatory effect on the pancreas and may even help stabilize blood sugar levels in the body, how about that? Imagine a sweetener that increases energy, and aids digestion and GI function. Stevia’s flavor and aftertaste varies depending on the region in which Stevia is grown, the soil, irrigation methods, sunlight, air purity, etc.
You can get it as fresh leaves and dried crushed leaf, (15 to 30 times sweeter than sugar, green in color), in liquid forms made from whole leaf and as a white extract powder which has only a slight and negligible aftertaste. If you buy the extract, it ranges from 150 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Choose the form that works best for what you are using the Stevia for; for example, the white powder may be better for baking and the liquid drops are great for tea and coffee. I’ve started carrying a dropper of stevia around in my purse. Give it a try-it’s a great way to cut out sugar calories!
write by morales