Stevia: Is It as Good As They Say?

July 24, 2012 · 49 comments

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Known by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay as kaa he-he or sweet herb, it has been used for centuries to sweeten herbal teas, medicinal potions, or simply chewed for the sweetness. As civilization encroached upon the Guarani, the use of stevia spread throughout Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. By the 1800’s the entire region was enjoying it. This begs the question, are the modern, commercial versions as good as kaa he-he?

It took an Italian botanist by the name of Dr. Moises Santiago Bertoni to identify, analyze and give Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) it’s western name. Dr. Bertoni had been studying kaa he-he for many years. Because of the difficulty in getting around the wilds of Paraguay to collect it, he thought it was very rare. It turns out, it was very widespread if you knew where to look. In 1908 the first stevia crop was harvested and by 1913 stevia was widespread.

Marketability of stevia

Back in the early 1900’s interest was raised about the commercial potential for marketing this unique herb as a sweetener. In 1921 stevia was presented to the USDA by American Trade Commissioner George S. Brady as a new sugar plant with great commercial possibilities.

It seemed like a great product because of its highly sweet taste (300 times sweeter than sugar), nontoxicity, very low processing requirement, and safety for diabetics. Why didn’t stevia gain popularity and realize its great commercial potential in the United States?

Most likely because the powerful cane sugar industry felt it would be a competitor and they were able to keep it at bay.

Discovery of pure stevia extract

In France in 1931, two chemists isolated the  most prevalent of several compounds that give the stevia leaf its sweet taste — a pure white crystalline extract they named stevioside.

During the 1970’s, the Japanese found a use for stevia because they strictly regulated and even banned artificial sweeteners, in an attempt to keep chemicals out of their food supply. They soon discovered the ideal replacement for both sugar and its synthetic substitutes — refined stevia extracts. It was used as a tabletop sweetener much like we use aspartame (a neurotoxin) and saccharin (a carcinogen) here. They also incorporated it into a variety of foods such as ice cream, bread, candies, pickles, seafood, vegetables, and soft drinks.

In India, stevia is known as  Gulvel/Amrutvel and has also been used in their Aruvedic culture and medicine.

Stevia in the United States

From the mid-1980s to 1994, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had labeled stevia as an unsafe food additive and had gone to extensive lengths to keep it off the U.S. market — including initiating a search-and-seizure campaign and full-fledged import alert in 1991 to prevent it from entering the US.

In 1994 under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), stevia was allowed to legally be marketed as a dietary supplement. However, the FDA stated that they do not have enough data to conclude that it was safe as a food additive, therefore, it could not be marketed as a sweetener.

FDA tried to regulate stevia as a food additive

The FDA contended that there was inadequate evidence to approve stevia. The Japanese didn’t seem to have this problem as they had been using it for 50 years without problems.

Finally in 2005, stevia was approved for use as a sweetener by the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives.

In 2008 the FDA granted GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status to rebaudioside A, one of the chemicals in stevia that makes it sweet. Presently, it is available as a sweetener and commercial food additive. This does not include pure stevia powder — only the refined glycosides.

Metabolism of Stevia

The sweet extracts are known collectively as steviol glycosides.  Rebaudioside A and stevioside are the most abundant of the steviol glycosides. Steviol is the breakdown product of these two extracts which is broken down by the bacteria in the intestines and released into the bloodstream on the way to the liver.

In the liver, steviol is conjugated with glucuronic acid in a detoxification process which then shuttles it over to the kidneys as steviol glucuronide.

In the kidneys it is filtered and excreted in the urine. Studies show that steviol glucuronide does not accumulate in the body.

Stevioside may be beneficial to glucose metabolism

There are now studies that show the safety record of stevioside. This study published in 2008 showed that there were no pharmacological effects of steviol glycosides in people who had normal and low blood pressure as well as type 1 and 2 diabetics.

In this study by the National Institute of Health in 2010, stevia was one of several sweeteners to be studied. One of the findings was that stevioside consumption in preloads lowered postprandial insulin levels. Their conclusions were that if future studies confirm these findings, then stevioside may be helpful in managing postprandial hyperglycemia, which recent studies indicate is an important contributor to the development of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.

In this study published in 2005 by Chang, Wu, Liu and Cheng, stevioside has been found to increase insulin sensitivity in rodent models and may do the same in humans.

This study in 2002 in diabetic rats showed stevioside worked so well that the researchers conclude that it…” may have the potential of becoming a new antidiabetic drug for use in type 2 diabetes.”

Additionally, this study in humans found that stevioside reduces postprandial blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetic patients, indicating beneficial effects on glucose metabolism. The researchers concluded that  stevioside may be advantageous in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

There have also been studies of stevioside that show it to have anti-inflammatory actions.

Safety Issues

No negative side effects with steviol glycosides were reported in this study (Barriocanal, 2008). In this study of both stevioside and rebaudioside A in Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2008… “… No safety concerns were noted as determined by reporting of adverse events, laboratory assessments of safety or vital signs.”

Is there a down side to stevia?

Yes. Maybe. There have been studies in lab animals that show that steviol (the aglycone of stevioside — don’t ask me what an aglycone is) was found to produce dose-related positive responses in some mutagenicity tests. However, these tests were subsequently  dismissed as several other studies showed that it was only extremely large amounts that caused the mutations.

The crux of the matter

Although stevia is a pure substance that has no calories and a low glycemic index, stevia sweeteners are compounds that have other additives that may contain calories and other unwanted substances.

Along with the GRAS recognition from the FDA, came the green light to food industry giants to jump all over this product that appears to be safe and highly marketable. The soft drink companies are jumping on this wagon and surely, others will follow.

The problem is that these stevia based sweeteners are not pure stevia and the additives and refining processes they use create a different substance which may use different metabolic pathways for detoxification than what we would expect with pure stevia.

There is also the question of long term use, higher doses (if people are guzzling soft drinks with stevia extracts), interaction with other herbs and medications, use in infants and children as well as the lack of studies with the actual extract approved for use here.

Yes, these extracts have been approved by the FDA — but, as you may know, the FDA puts on a great pretense of protecting the public, while they are hand in fist with the worst corporate monopolies.

Truvia — a cross between stevia and powdered sugar?

Truvia was approved by the FDA in 2009 from food giant Cargill, who developed this product along with Coca-Cola. The name implies a true (pure) product that is made of stevia. The fact is, truvia is made from boiling stevia leaves and then processing (with ethanol) it in order to extract the chemical rebaudioside A or rebiana.

Here is the problem with rebaudioside A or rebiana

Most of the research and long term use with stevia extracts has been done with a compound called stevioside. Steveoside has been used in Japan since the 1970’s. Therefore, what we know about commercial stevia is based on steveoside, not rebaudioside A or rebiana.

On a positive note, this study published in Food Chemistry Toxicology in 2008 studied rebaudioside A in two generations of rats and found that rebaudioside A was “…

not associated with any signs of clinical toxicity or adverse effects on body weight, body weight gain, or food consumption. No treatment-related effects of rebaudioside A were observed in either the F0 or F1 generations on reproductive performance parameters including mating performance, fertility, gestation lengths, oestrous cycles, or sperm motility, concentration, or morphology. The survival and general condition of the F1 and F2 offspring, their pre-weaning reflex development, overall body weight gains, and the timing of sexual maturation, were not adversely affected by rebaudioside A treatment.

Truvia also contains natural flavors — that means that your guess is as good as mine as to what is in the natural flavors. Since the term natural flavors is unregulated, it could be MSG or some other nasty neurotoxin.

Truvia also contains erythritol, a sugar alcohol that is also a low calorie sweetener with problems of its own — the topic for another post.

The problem with extracting only the active chemical

In nature, things work synergistically — that is they work together in a concert of more than just the parts. There are active components and there are other components that may moderate the reaction in many other ways. Importantly, there are protective components that are available to tamp down oxidizing free radicals when they are in the natural, whole state.

This is true for any edible substance and is the reason the natural whole state is best.

Other stevia sweeteners

These are all marketed as zero calorie, low glycemic index sweeteners that are appropriate for diabetics and other who wish to reduce sugar intake.

Good and Sweet

Good and Sweet is a purified white stevia powder. From their website:

FDA approved the use of Good&Sweet™ Reb-A 99% produced by Blue California as a natural sweetener (FDA GRAS notice GRN0000278, July 21, 2009). The FDA concurred with the scientific findings that this ingredient is safe for use as a sweetener in a variety of food products. Many countries have approved the use of stevia purified at a minimum 95% purity. Good&Sweet™ is produced with the highest purity Reb-A available in the market.

PureVia

PureVia was developed by PepsiCo in partnership with the artificial sweetener company Merisant.  Like Truvia, it also has the same stevia extract as well as the sugar alcohol erythritol.

PureVia adds in a little isomaltulose – another supposedly safe sweetener that is derived from regular sucrose to create a sweetener with a longer sustained energy release in the body.

We don’t know much about isomaltulose other than it does not harm teeth and doesn’t give digestive upset.

SweetLeaf stevia

SweetLeaf stevia is marketed as “… the only chemical-free, zero-calorie, zero-carb, zero-glycemic index, natural sweetener there is.” There are only two ingredients in the powder: natural stevia leaf extract and inulin, a natural fiber that is considered a prebiotic.

According to their website:

SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener is the only sweetener in the world to use cool, purified water and a revolutionary filtration process to extract a select blend of glycosides. Because no chemicals, solvents, alcohols or additional processes are used at any stage of production, SweetLeaf® needs no masking or flavoring agents to hide anything. It simply has a clean, sweet taste that is ideal for all food and beverages.


This appears to be a cleaner product than Truvia or Purevia but it still uses the extract rebaudioside A. Their product line of flavored drops also has other chemical flavorings in them.

Stevia in the Raw

Stevia in the Raw is anything but. Made from the In the Raw company — the makers of Sugar in the Raw and Agave in the raw (read what I have to say about agave here). Here is what they have to say about their product:

Unlike some of our competitors, Stevia In The Raw derives virtually all its sweetness from stevia leaf extract, whereas some of the other stevia-based products contain  sugar alcohols, such as erythritol (Truvia™) .The high purity level of our stevia leaf extract eliminates the  aftertaste found in some less pure Stevia products currently in the market.

Then they go on to say:

Dextrose is a natural carbohydrate derived from corn. Many sugar substitutes in powder form contain dextrose because it is a natural ingredient and does not change the flavor of the sweetener in the blend. In our packet product, dextrose is used to dilute the very potent stevia leaf extract to make it measurable for consumers; dextrose does not alter the naturally sweet flavor of the Stevia.

I guess it is not so pure after all.

Other additives to stevia sweeteners

These include, alcohol or glycerine as a carrier in the liquid drops. I prefer the liquid drops and have used a product with just stevia and glycerine. Vegetable glycerine is a sweet substance typically obtained from palm or coconut oils. It is an alternative to alcohol for preserving herbal tinctures because it is a good solvent of herbal constituents and a preservative.

I have not read anything negative about using an herbal tincture carried in glycerine. I prefer it over alcohol.

The bottom line for stevia

I have been experimenting with liquid stevia extract in cold drinks and I find it to be a good way to sweeten a cold drink especially since only a few drops are needed. However, in my opinion, there is nothing like the taste of raw honey.

As a whole I think more research needs to be done with the stevia extracts in the products on the market today. We know a lot about the safety of stevioside, but we need to know more about the extracts that are in use here: rebaudioside A or rebiana.

Clearly, stevia is a good alternative to the neurotoxic artificial sweeteners on the market as well as a good alternative to sugar. It has no calories, is low glycemic, does not feed candida and is appropriate for people with sugar regulation problems.

What do you think? Do you use stevia and which form of it do you use? Leave a comment a let me know!

Source: Nutritionwonderland.com

This post is shared at: Sustainable Ways, Whole Foods Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Mommy Club, Gluten Free Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, Creative Juice , Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Keep It Real Thursday, Simple Lives THursday, Pennywise Platter, Fight Back Friday, Freaky Friday, Foodie Friday, Country Hop, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Food, Seasonal Celebration, Melt in mouth Monday, Monday Mania, Barnyard Hop, Traditional Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Hop

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

1 raya king July 24, 2012 at 11:01 pm

I LOVE Body Ecology liquid stevia. It is the only one I can tolerate. No aftertaste. teally great flavor.

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2 Mindy @ Too Many Jars in My Kitchen! July 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm

I’ve always been a bit hesitant about stevia. If it’s in something someone else had made, I don’t worry about it, but otherwise I don’t use it at home. I’d just prefer to use honey or dates!

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3 Brittany @ The Pistachio Project July 24, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I love stevia. I use SweatLeaf’s but it’s their plain stevia powder (no added inulin or other junk) It does use rebaudioside A though… (40%)… I’ve also used KAL (once again their plain stevia powder) and that doesn’t list rebaudisoside A….but I suppose it still might…

In any case, I’m perfectly happy using these two brands for my sweeteners. I don’t use it much..just in my tea really. I definitely think it’s better then the spoonfuls of sugar I used to use (not to mention other fake sugars…)

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4 Courtney July 25, 2012 at 12:36 am

Wow! I am absolutely floored by the level of research and documentation in this article. I couldn’t ask for a single better piece of information on the subject. Thanks you. I am following you now.

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5 Diane Balch July 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I agree… I really appreciate the research you did on this sweetener. I feel much better about having this product now, though I agree the flavor of honey is the best.

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6 Mary @ Homemade Dutch Apple Pie July 25, 2012 at 6:24 am

It still makes me nervous. I stick with honey and maple syrup. I’d rather have calories from real food than zero calories from something that is processed or has junk added.

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7 Charlotte July 25, 2012 at 8:57 am

But stevia doesn’t have to be processed. You can grow the plant at home and use the fresh or dried leaves. The stevia I use is dried powdered leaves and nothing else so it’s just like using any other herb really. You use such tiny amounts as well. I generally use it in combination with honey which means i get great results taste wise (stevia is not to everyones taste alone) and i can use far less honey in a recipe which saves money and is brilliant if you need to cut back on sugary stuff.

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8 Tina July 25, 2012 at 11:26 am

I’ve only used the dried leaves, and only in tea. It works great, but if you use too much, it can get a marshy taste. Definitely NOT a case of “if a little is good, more must be better.”
I would like to learn more about using the dried leaves in baking. How much do you use, what ratios of dried leaves and honey?

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9 Pam @ Ramblings of a Happy Homemaker July 25, 2012 at 7:47 am

I have been using stevia powder I bought from Trader Joe’s. I know that I need to increase my insulin sensitivity and figured it a much better alternative to sweeten tea and homemade yogurt than sugar. But, after reading this I feel like I need to do a bit more research on exactly what kind of Stevia I have. I may look at buying some to plant in my garden next year and just make my own. Thanks for a great article!

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10 Lauren @ Empowered Sustenance July 25, 2012 at 9:32 am

I love stevia and use Nunaturals liquid stevia extract. I avoid the stevia products with fillers, like the ones you mentioned. I am experimenting with green stevia powder, which is simply stevia leaves ground into a powder. It is stevia in its most natural form, so I am sure it is the safest version of stevia out there.

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11 Pak July 25, 2012 at 11:12 am

I have two plants growing now in the garden. I plan to dry the leaves of one plant and grind into a powder. I am going to make an extract from the leaves of the other plant.

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12 Mary from Sweet Roots July 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Thanks for such wonderful information! You have a great affinity for research.

I make my own Liquid Stevia Extract and linked to this article for all my readers.
http://sweetroots.blogspot.com/2012/07/make-your-own-liquid-vanilla-stevia.html

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13 Linda July 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I’ve been using powdered stevia for years, mostly to sweeten drinks. But I don’t use it very much. Like you, I enjoy the flavor of raw honey in many drinks. Thanks for a very informative post, Jill!

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14 Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z July 25, 2012 at 9:47 pm

This is such a great post and so informative. I have a stevia plant growing in a planter in my yard. I plan to dry the leaves and use it in tea. I don’t buy the white powder..

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15 Shelley Alexander July 25, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Great post Jill. I use the green leaf ground into powder and also NuNaturals liquid stevia.

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16 Coley July 26, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I really enjoyed this post. As a person who doesn’t consume sugar at all (I am on an anti-candida diet) I use stevia to help me get past the cravings. I prefer honey and will go back to it when I can handle it, but for now stevia is a great alternative!

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17 Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy July 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm

what a fascinating post! i use NuNaturals — wonderful!

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18 Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy July 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I use NuNaturals liquid drops w/o alcohol in my cold drinks, and have been really enjoying it. I am growing a stevia plant right now, though, and my plan is to make my own glycerin-based stevia liquid. Supposedly it will keep 1-2 years!

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19 Shauna July 26, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I also use NuNaturals liquid drops (with alcohol LOL) and I’m thankful I read about it on a blog somewhere. My 2 previous attempts to use stevia had an intolerable bitter aftertaste and I had almost given up.

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20 Tiffany A. July 26, 2012 at 8:06 pm

I just bought dried stevia leaf from MountainRoseHerbs.com. Only $3.50 for 4oz (a good sized bag.) I put about 1/4 teaspoon in with my tea this morning and it tasted great! I also made liquid stevia buy soaking the leaves in vodka for 24 hours, then straining. It tastes perfectly sweet and was sooo easy. I’m looking forward to trying it in baked goods and drinks!

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21 Jen July 27, 2012 at 8:58 am

Thanks for the great research! I have also stayed away from Stevia because of the — unknowns. Why mess with a good thing? Honey and maple syrup have worked just fine for me.

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22 Vanessa July 28, 2012 at 1:09 am

Ive been using the concentrated powder from Trader Joe’s. I believe it is Reb A also. However I plan to buy the Pure Liquid form soon. I too have an overgrowth in my digestive system and stevia seems to be the only thing I can handle without negative side effects. I personally think that the FDA was pressured to turn down the approval for so long due to the sugar and artificial sweetener companies feeling threatened by competitor, which I think your mentioned in your article. I wrote an article about this as well, feel free to check it out.

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23 Laura July 28, 2012 at 1:15 am

Grow it in the garden. Steep it fresh in my tea. Never liked any of the extracts. They seem to have an aftertaste. I hate that big companies are trying to act like they invented it.

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24 Jill July 28, 2012 at 9:22 am

Hi Laura,
They do get patents for their “proprietary” ingredients and trademarks. So, in legal terms it is their “invention”. Crazy, right?

Your Shrub syrups are interesting. I wish you would share them on my Fat Tuesday carnival!

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25 Karen July 30, 2012 at 10:42 am

I believe that stevia also doesn’t cause cavities the way sugar does, and may have something of a protective effect against bacteria. I’ve used it for years as a way to get off sugar, to reduce calories and protect my teeth against sugar. I prefer honey but it seems very sticky on the teeth. I drink green tea all day and don’t want it coating my teeth for hours and hours. I grew it at one time, it grows like a weed, freezes in winter and comes back in spring, at least for a couple of years. I didn’t keep up with it because the “green” taste is kind of strong in tea. But I’m going to get some seeds and try again, maybe there’s a way to safely reduce the taste. It’s worth the effort, considering what the formulations available seem to have in them.

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26 Natalie July 30, 2012 at 11:03 am

I have planted 2 stevia plants in my garden. I have started to dry the leaves to use this winter in some herbal tea blends. My kids and I did try a fresh leaf right off the plant but we had to spit it out because it was just too too sweet we couldn’t handle it. I have yet to try the dried leaves though.
Thanks for sharing this post.

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27 Esther July 30, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I don’t use it often because I can always taste it in foods, and it reminds me of the taste of artificial sweeteners. For occasional use, I have organic “Better Stevia” from Now Foods that does not contain any fillers.

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28 Melissa July 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I love stevia. I’ve been growing it since 2000. I have to admit though the plants on the market now (I lost my original ones during a move) are not any where near as sweet as the plants I originally found. I only use the dried leaves for the most part. In a simple syrup mixture, in oatmeal, on toast, and in tea to name a few. It gives the sweet taste you crave, but none of the calories. And it comes right out my garden with no chemicals added.

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29 Cris July 31, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I grow my own stevia. Then, when it is grown and ready, I dry the whole plant (put it upside-down in a well-ventilated place) and then take off the leaves and store them in a jar. They crumbled very easily. I take those crumbled stevia leaves and put a pinch or two of them in my coffee grounds before making coffee everyday. I don’t even bother mixing it in, I just sprinkle the dried leaves on top of the coffee grounds. When the coffee is made, it tastes sweeter, and that way I do not have to put any sugar in my coffee anymore! I used to have to drink coffee with two heaping tablespoons of sugar and lots of creamer. Now I just use the stevia (mixed in the coffee grounds) and a drop of creamer and it tastes amazing! So much healthier too!

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30 Jill July 31, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Hi Cris,
Great idea! Great way to use the pure leaf!

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31 Jill S. August 1, 2012 at 1:12 am

I love stevia–in unsweetened cranberry juice, homemade lemonade, and hot chocolate–perfect flavors that hide the stevia’s strong taste.

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32 Bebe August 3, 2012 at 1:00 am

I have some SweetLeaf liquid that I use mostly for Grandma, to get her to drink more water. She is prone to UTIs so keeping her water intake up is important and I find she drinks far more water when I add a few drops of stevia liquid. I also drop a couple cubes of frozen cranberry juice into one of her glasses of water most days, sweetened of course.
I tried growing stevia in pots on my deck but I think our climate is too cool for outdoor growing. I’ll keep experimenting but in the meantime I’ve purchased a bag of dried stevia leaf (from Bulk Herb Store) to play with. It is a nice addition in herb tea blends.
I have found that stevia really shines best in combination with other sweeteners. If I try to achieve more than half of the desired sweetness from stevia I really notice a saccharin-y taste. When used in combination with honey it’s pretty undetectable.

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33 Geetha Gupta May 13, 2013 at 4:08 am

Thanks for all the work that you have done, to gather so much information on Stevia. I am now more confident about using this on my diabetic mother.

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34 Judy M. July 2, 2013 at 11:15 am

I was wondering if anyone has heard of the natural sweetener “trehalose”. I buy flavored fermented CLO and I noticed on the label that was one of the ingredients, so I looked it up and it’s a natural sweetener derived from vegetables and other things. From the little bit of research that I’ve done, it seems that it has protective qualities, is a good anti oxidant, and is also used to treat certain conditions such as parkinsons, huntingtons disease, alzhiemers, etc. It supposedly tastes just like sugar, and no after taste. It is not calorie free but has a lot fewer than sugar. All I know about the taste is in the CLO that I take, and it does taste like sugar. For some reason, some of the flavors of CLO are sweetened with stevia and some with trehalose. I can tell you that the trehalose sweetened ones taste much better.

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35 GiGi Eats Celebrities July 2, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I use NuNatural 100% Stevia Extract – No Maltodextrin, NO nothing else added! I have been using stevia for 10 years now, and I have had NO bad side effects. I adore it. :)

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36 Yus Adnan July 9, 2013 at 6:16 am

I plant stevia and together hb and I have been drinking the sweet tea as Nature intends it to be. 100% dried stevia leaves poured over with hot water and bingo! We have green stevia tea. Now how natural can we get to be! The best tea ever, better still with a slice of lemon in it. Most welcome to check us out at www stenos com my

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37 Scott July 13, 2013 at 10:43 pm

I’m living in Bolivia and they sell a stevia product made here. It says it is 70% stevioside and 30% fructose. It comes with the smallest scoop you’ve ever seen (one scoop corresponds to 0.8g of the product). It’s made by Ecologica Natu Diet if anyone’s interested. I’m glad to know from this article that stevioside has been tested and is safe. God bless.

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38 Jill July 13, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I would be careful about a product with added fructose — it might be high fructose corn syrup.

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39 Andrea Nittel October 9, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I am using Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Stevia. Do you know anything about this one? The ingredients are: organic agave inulin, organic stevia extract, silica.

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40 Jill October 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Hi Andrea,
I think you can do better. I would certainly not want to use agave inulin (it is another sweetener from a poor source) — and why is silica in there?

Here’s my post on agave: http://realfoodforager.com/why-i-never-use-agave/

Look for one that is pure of anything but stevia and steviosides.

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41 keith December 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm

thanks for the very helpful article and kind responses. i wonder if stevia lights up the brain receptors like refined sugar and other addictive substances? for those of us whose diets were influenced by sugar as children, this product has a great potential for easing us away from the effects of an imbalanced carbohydrate diet in general. with the input of people responding it’s much simpler to explore. thanks again.

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42 Jill December 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Hi Keith,
I often wonder that same thing — if stevia lights up the brain receptors the way sugar does. I think in some susceptible people, it may. I hope there will be studies about this.

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43 Nancy March 16, 2014 at 10:39 am

I was doing some stevia research in hopes to find a new brand and stumbled on this article. Wonderful info, even in the comments. I used NuNaturals for years and turned many folks onto it. Sadly, they completely ruined it. I emailed them and they sent some auto reply making excuses. They changed the stevia in it and now it’s bitter and awful :-( Check out the reviews on Amazon.

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44 Jill March 16, 2014 at 11:33 am

Hi Nancy,
What did they add to the stevia? Is it ruined for the taste or because they added chemicals?

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45 Amber May 6, 2014 at 1:13 pm

My box of PureVia only lists Turbinado Sugar and Reb A on the ingredients list. You had mentioned that it also contains the sugar alcohol erythritol and isomaltulose. Why aren’t those ingredients listed on the label?

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