Sugar sugar everywhere- what’s a girl to eat?
As a Health Coach I always teach people to eat only unprocessed sugars. Honey, maple syrup and blackstrap molasses are all great choices. Stevia can also be a great choice as a glucose free sweetner if you steep your own leaves- it is an herb that is easy to grow- or you can buy any number of brands. The thing is, after much research, I am disappointed to find most of these products are highly processed with very little stevia. In a word they are toxic.
It can be good for you if consumed in the form of a plant and here is why:
Research has shown that stevia sweeteners do not contribute calories or carbohydrates to the diet and do not affect blood glucose or insulin response, which allows people with diabetes to consume a wider variety of foods and comply with a healthful meal plan. Research has shown that there is no accumulation of stevia (or any byproduct of stevia) in the body during metabolism. It is because of this poor absorption in the digestive tract that stevia has zero calories and does not raise blood glucose or insulin levels when digested.
Stevia plant has many sterols and antioxidant compounds including kaempferol, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, isoquercitrin, and isosteviol. Studies have found that kaempferol can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by 23 percent.
Certain glycosides in stevia extract have been found to dilate blood vessels, increase sodium excretion, and urine output. In higher doses, stevia could potentially help lower blood pressure. The plant may have cardiotonic actions, which normalize blood pressure and regulate heartbeat.
Now-the truth about stevia you find on the store shelf:
Don’t be fooled by the name, that seemingly innocent stevia we find in grocery stores is a chemical concoction just like Splenda and Aspartame. In fact, it’s highly probable that you’re buying a blend that’s 99.8% Erythritol, a fermented sweetener made from genetically modified corn, with a pinch of refined stevioside powder. Your “Stevia” can be processed, mixed with chemicals, blended in a hundred ways, and still legally be called simply “stevia”. Refined stevioside is sold under countless brand names such as Sun Crystals, SweetLeaf, Truvia, PureVia, Stevia in the Raw, Pyure, and NuStevia to name a few. As a high-intensity sweetener, a little goes a long way, therefore it is often pre-measured in packets or mixed with other fillers such as GMO Maltodextrin, GMO corn Erythritol, inulin fiber, or even cane sugar. Processing is done with a variety of chemicals, such as, methanol, arsenic, ethanol, acetone, and others.
Very depressing indeed. Once again, we have taken Mother Nature at her best and created a toxic substance. I did find one brand which appears to have some intergrity.
Stevita is the original creator of packaged stevia. They offer many products, most of which are pure ground herb leaves. It is grown in the mountains of Brazil, ethically sourced, USDA organic certified, kosher certified and all herbs are non- China sourced. You should not purchase stevia sourced from China as they may use forced labor and growing practices are questionable in most cases.
You can learn about this company and where to find it at http://www.stevitastevia.com/faq
In the mean time- come try some of our wonderful desserts made with honey and maple syrup. Warning! They are addictive!
Happy Healthy Eating!