- Diet & Weight Loss
Stevia Vs. Other Sweeteners
Eating Your Greens Has Never Been So Sweet
Stevia rebaudiana is a species of plant in the chrysanthemum family. It is reputable for its sweet leaves and has been used in many countries as a sugar substitute. The refined extract of stevia (stevioside) has virtually no calories, no glycemic index, and is 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar.
The History of Stevia
Stevia is native to Central and South America. Not only is stevia used in many countries including Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Russia, Israel, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil, and Argentina, but it also has been used by many native tribes dating back to 1887.
Stevia is nutrient rich and contains plant sterols and flavonoids. It is unlike table sugar as well as other types of processed sugar cane on the market that have "empty calories", and can act as an antioxidant.
The pure extract (stevioside) has many healing properties and has been used successfully in skin care as an anti-wrinkle agent and a blemish treatment therapy. Many recognize its ability to heal wounds with limited scarring. It has been used to heal or alleviate symptoms of skin disorders such as dermatitis, eczema, and seborrhea.
Stevia restores and regulates many of the body's natural functions such as digestion and pancreatic function. It reduces stomach acidity and gas production, soothes an upset stomach, and can help regulate intestinal function. For those who have diabetes or hypoglycemia, stevia has been shown to actually lower blood sugar to a normal level.
Dangers of Synthetic Artificial Sweeteners
Studies show that, on average, the US consumes 135 lbs of sugar per person per year. This should not be taken lightly, and many of the population is setting down the table sugar and, instead, picking up artificial sweeteners that are synthetically made by companies. This means that one person could be eating or drinking nearly a hundred pounds of something per year that could be potentially harmful to their health.
Stevia Side Effects
The FDA originally warned that stevia was an "unsafe food additive" and prevented importation into the US. They later found that the reports made on stevia side effects on rodents were flawed and are still being reviewed. Supposedly the rats were force-fed over 5 times their body weight of the stevioside extract.
The FDA has since claimed stevia to be GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) and stevia products such as Truvia and Purevia are being marketed for consumption. Unfortunately these new additions have chemically altered the herbal extract stevioside in some form or fashion. New products such as Truvia and Purevia, which claim to be "Nature's Perfect Sweetness", are not the pure stevia extract. They contain erythritol and natural flavors. Erythritol is marketed as a natural sugar alcohol, but has unwanted side effects such as bloating, gas, and borborygmi along with other digestive problems. Many people believe the FDA wants to promote these harmful products because they can patent them.
Stevia Vs Splenda
Splenda was first created by accident while British scientists were seeking a pesticide in 1976. There are many people who are in the dark about this product they use almost every day. Splenda is in fact made from sugar, but the only other component is chlorine. Splenda, as well as other chlorinated compounds (DDT), can be stored in body fat and elevate chlorine levels. Splenda side effects are potential organ, genetic, and reproductive damage.
Stevia Vs Aspartame
Aspartame is a chemical compound found in the artificial sweeteners Equal and Nutrasweet, and can also be found in sugar free gum, brands of yogurt, and many other products. Unfortunately as it is increasing in popularity, many health complications are coming to light. Aspartame is known as a excitoneurotoxic carcinogen. It may mimic, trigger, or even cause multiple diseases. According to records, it is associated with 92 different health conditions, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, Hypothyroidism, Alzheimer's, ADD, and Fibromyalgia.
Know Where it Comes From
Sweeteners, like stevia, are meant to be untampered with. If you don't trust sugar products on market and would rather follow a more safe method, steviosides can be easily extracted from the stevia rebaudiana plant or the green herbal stevia powder into a liquid form or a concentrated syrup. This can be made with a pure USP grain alcohol, scotch, or brand, and the entire process will only take 24 hours.
Now that you know the dangers of unnatural artificial sweeteners, it is your responsibility to make the right choice. Rather than diminishing your health, revive yourself with stevia.