Calorie-Free Sweet Herb: Stevia

Unless you have been living under a rock, I am sure you have heard that the safety of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (Nutrasweet) and sucralose (Splenda) have been called into question. It appears that some individuals are more susceptible to potential toxicity than others, and many of the alarming findings have only been found in animal studies. However, I personally have given up use of artificial sweeteners as I feel that is the best decision for my health. While use of sugar in moderation is not a problem for most folks, the sweet herb called stevia is also an option.

Stevia has been used worldwide for many years, but stevia has not been approved in the U.S. as a food. It is, however, approved as a dietary supplement, and from looking at the studies available on stevia, I feel very comfortable using this sweet herb when I need a sweetener.

It comes in the completely natural green form which is simply a powdered herb, and also in a white powder that is refined stevia. The white powder has much less of an aftertaste and it is also much more potent—which means you only need a tiny amount to get a great deal of sweetness (I’m talking the size of a sesame seed!)

This potent powder is available from Home Bodies and also from most herbal distributors. It is also available in packet form where it is mixed with dextrose so that it is not as potent (otherwise, much like Equal and Splenda, the small amount you would need for the appropriate sweetness would be too small to contain in even a little packet!)

Click here for Stevia Liquid Extract

Click here for Stevia Packets

Click here for more articles by Gina Paulhus

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