What Is Stevia And Is It Good For You?

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Stevia unlike other sugar substitutes is a natural product. It is made from a leafy green shrub similar to the sunflower or chrysanthemum.

Stevia has been used for many years in many countries to sweeten foods and drinks.

Use of Stevia was approved in the United States by the FDA a few years ago. It has been available in health food stores for some time.   Stevia in its powdered form is about 200 times sweeter then sugar so a little bit of stevia goes a long way.

Highly processed foods rank high on the glycemic index and can contribute to obesity which may lead to diabetes. Stevia has zero calories. It has a rating of zero on the glycemic index scale while regular sugar ranks high on the glycemic index. Using stevia may benefit diabetics, however, if you have diabetes you should consult with your health care professional before using stevia.

Some artificial sweeteners may trigger cravings for sugary foods or drinks, but stevia does not cause these sugar cravings.

Drinking sugary beverages and eating sugary foods may weaken the enamel on your teeth. Stevia,on the other hand, may help prevent plaque from forming by preventing some bacteria from adhering to your teeth.

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Some people do not like the taste of stevia and think it tastes bitter or like menthol. You will need to try it for yourself to see if you like the taste.

You can use stevia to sweeten your coffee, tea or any beverage, sprinkle on your cereal or on your fruit. Stevia is now being used in some soft drinks and flavored waters.

For lower calorie cooking you can use stevia to replace sugar in the recipe. Each manufacturer has a different ratio of stevia to sugar so you will need to check the container to adjust the recipe for stevia use.

Stevia is available in either liquid or powdered form. It is available at your local supermarket or health food store.

When you purchase stevia be sure to check the ingredient list on the package. Stevia is a natural product, but is often combined with other ingredients to help promote shelf life. The powdered stevia is likely to have less added ingredients than the liquid form and will be more pure. A combination of a blend of stevia and sugar should be a pure product also although it will have more calories and a higher glycemic rating then plain stevia.

If you are looking for a natural product to use in place of sugar you may want to give stevia a try.