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Stevia: How Sweet it is!

by Brett Blumenthal

So we all know that sugar is not the best for our diets. It provides little to no nutritional value, excessive calories and can make our blood sugar sky rocket and quickly crash, leaving us somewhat lethargic and hungry. Long term effects of excess sugar in our diets leads to obesity.
Artificial Sweetners (Nutra-sweet, saccharin, Splenda and aspartame) can be even worse for you. Why? Because our bodies are not made to process chemicals, all of which these sweeteners are. Even Splenda. Although Splenda is perceived as “natural” and “is made from sugar,” it is actually the trade name for sucralose, a synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formulation. Although the Splenda molecule is comprised of sucrose (sugar), three of the hydroxyl groups in the molecule have been replaced by three chlorine atoms. Not something that our bodies naturally digest.

Some good news, however, is that there is a very safe, and natural option out there: Stevia. Stevia is a noncaloric herb, native to Paraguay. It has been used as a sweetener and flavor enhancer/spice for centuries. The United States has approved it as a nutritional supplement and is considered safe and healthy. You can only by it as a ‘nutritional supplement’ and not as a sweetener, but it can be used in a variety of ways to provide a sweet flavor to dishes and drinks.

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If you would like to learn more about Stevia, here are some resources:

http://www.stevia.com/
http://www.bodyecology.com/stevia.php
http://www.steviacafe.net/
http://www.stevia.net/

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Nutrition Tagged with: , , , ,