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Heidi

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Mom, desperately trying to get the health thing right! I started this blog so that I can pass along all the great things that I learn everyday on damage control for our wonderful bodies. It is tough to keep up sometimes with all the things going on in our daily lives so hopefully some of the helpful hints that I provide can make your life easier and healthier. I welcome your comments and tips as well! I am a vegetarian, animal rights advocate and avid animal rescuer.
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2008-03-30

STEVIA-SWEETER THAN SUGAR, NONCALORIC, HEALTHY, AND HERES THE KICKER-IT TASTES GREAT!

For some reason in my warped mind I seem to think that most anything that is good for me is either not to my taste or at best passable. Imagine how surprised and suspicious (suspicious by nature) I was when I found out about and tried Stevia, an alternative to the artificial sweeteners on the market (like Aspartame, Nutrasweet, etc) and loved it (pls. note that I don't sell Stevia, just really like it and its health benefits and wanted to share with you). Unlike artificial alternatives which contain acetic acid, formaldehyde, chloride, and other un-pronouncables Stevia is a healthy fat free, non caloric, 100% naturally sweet plant with a zero glycemic index that is 30 times sweeter than sugar. These attributes make Stevia a good alternative to sugar or chemical sweeteners. Native people in Paraguay and other parts of South America have used stevia safely for centuries. More recently Stevia gained popularity as a sweetener for coffees and teas, but it can sweeten just about anything you like. Because it works so well in cooking and baking, you can easily substitute Stevia for sugar in just about any recipe. Did you read that last sentence?! Yes, we can make our delicious sweets with this non caloric plant and lose the calories and negative impact of sugar! Ahhhh-the good life. Here are some great facts about Stevia-

**STEVIA IS A SOUTH AMERICAN HERB that has been used as a sweetener by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay for hundreds of years. The leaves of this small, green Stevia rebaudiana plant have a delicious and refreshing taste that can be 30 times sweeter than sugar.

**THE BODY DOES NOT METABOLIZE the sweet glycosides from the stevia leaf or any of its processed forms - so there is no caloric intake. Stevia doesn't adversely affect blood glucose levels and may be used freely by diabetics. Great news for diabetics and on a side note my brother has had diabetes since he was a child and now uses Stevia with wonderful results.

**STEVIA has been used since pre-Colombian times with no reports of ill side affects. Stevia has also withstood years of research that has proven Stevia to be safe for human and animal consumption. Stevia has been used around the world with NO reports of Stevia overdose or toxicity to humans in the past forty years.

**WHY IS STEVIA JUST COMING ON THE MARKET? Stevia has been around for a long time, even in the United States. Early studies on Stevia go back to the 1950's but the United States is a nation chin deep in bureaucracy, dirty-politics and corruption. In the 1950's the sugar industry fought to prevent the use of Stevia in the United States. Today, the manufacturers of Nutrasweet (aspartame) have practically bought the FDA to prevent it's approval as a food additive and therefore a sugar substitute. If you don't believe me, contact 60 Minutes of CBS. In the Spring of 1997 they aired a report on how Nutrasweet "bought" influence with the FDA to force the approval of a sweetener that is now blamed for the illnesses and deaths of thousands of Americans (hence my giving up Diet Pepsi). I also found dozens more articles siting that the use of Stevia in the U.S. being repressed because of the billion dollar artificial sweetener industry. This would be a great topic for anyone wanting to write about big companies controlling our health, etc for the sake of a profit. Keep in mind that I am one of those sorts that never really believes we are hearing the whole story from the bigwigs. REF-http://www.cookingwithstevia.com/stevia_faq.html#anchor02

**SINCE THE 1970'S JAPAN HAS BEEN USING STEVIA IN A WIDE VARIETY OF FOODS such as ice cream, sodas, pickles, sauces, and a variety of beverages. In fact, Stevia now has over 50% of the sweetener market share in Japan. That number continues to grow as the evidence against Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners mount.MMMHMMMM.

Obviously, I am on the Stevia train here and I do love it. I use it in my tea and have gotten my friends using it in their coffee as well. I sprinkle it on cereal , fruit,peanut butter sandwiches and oatmeal (I have a sweet tooth so what can I say). I have not tried baking with it yet as I am no baker (I want to be but I'm just not )but I think I will try some experimenting and let you know what I come up with.

You can buy Stevia at your local health food store (Wild Oats, Whole Foods) in the supplement section near the vitamins. I bought 100 packets for $6.99 but you can also get it in a liquid form or a big jar of it to use. I am really excited about finding this, not only for my health but also for the weight loss benefits. Now if they would only make a dark organic healthy chocolate bunny with Stevia so I could eat that instead of the leftover version of my daughters that I just inhaled- I would be in heaven!

Best,
Heidi

P.S. You can google "Stevia Recipes" or "Stevia Cookbook" and a ton of sites come up-so give it a try and tell me what you think.

13 comments:

Paul Eilers said...
Heidi,

Your blog is lookin' good!

(You trying to make me look bad?)

Keep up the hard work.

Paul
Mike Nale said...
Heidi

Thank you for your kind comments and I like your blog being it is I am on my health kick now and going to the gym you have alot of really good information.

Mahalo
Jack Payne said...
I am a fan of Stevia, have been using it for the past 7 years.
And, you are right, Heidi, it can be used as a sugar substitute anywhere sugar is used.
Susie said...
Stevia is fantastic!I am trying to beat my sugar addiction and it does help!
GiGi said...
I've been using Stevia myself for about 6 months. I can get it at Trader Joe's. It's a shame it's so expensive (compared to other sweetners).

Yes, and I've read that they're STILL trying to get it banned. Hopefully, that won't happen!
Stacey Huston said...
Heidi, thanks for the useful info, I will be looking into stevia, and checking out your other useful info. Thanks for sharing
heidi said...
Yes, it is a shame that something that is good for us and tastes so good is being suppressed so the big money people can keep selling the toxic artificial sweetners. I cannot tell you how much I love Stevia and just wanted everyone to know about it too. I have had quite a few more enlightened health nuts tell me they have been using it for some time-wish I knew sooner but am loving it now. Thanks everyone and if you do try it let me know what you think. We can be the Stevia revolutionaries.
Walt said...
If the people only knew half the truth. There would be another revolution. Alas the sheep sleep much too soundly.
I have been using artificial sugar and didn't know that stevia came from natural source. Thanks
I am definitely going to look into this, thanks for sharing! :)
Cynthia said...
I'm planning to look into the liquid Stevia.

Though my main artificial sweetener use is through protein powders... and I'm picky about taste on those, so I'm probably not going to switch away from my Splenda entirely.

One thing that did occur to me, if Stevia is also zero calorie, I wonder if some of the same concerns that they've been finding with the artificial zero calorie stuff lately will apply? You know, the studies where rats ate more when fed foods with zero calorie sweeteners added?

I personally didn't buy those studies. One protein powder I use is sweetened with Stevia for the vanilla flavor, while the chocolate flavor in the SAME BRAND is sweetened with Splenda and no difference in food cravings between the two.

But I know a lot of folks who've seen those studies and now believe that eating zero calorie foods/drinks are what is making them fat or at least contributing.

Me, I'm pretty sure it was the candy, Doritos and nacho cheese dip that made me fat, not the zero calorie foods!

I just wish Stevia was easier to find locally.
BillyWarhol said...
I'll have to try that*

;))
Deb Donatti said...
I am a sold on Stevia too. My favorite thing to make with it is cheesecake (can't beat that with zero calories!) I also found a great chocolate milk mix for the kids with Stevia at Wonderlabs.com. My newest find to try is ZEVIA soda.
http://www.zevia.com/
It has been getting great reviews from users! I just ordered a case and can't wait for it to arrive. Only bad part is I will need to order online (and pay shipping) till I can convince someone local to carry the product.
Great looking blog by the way, very interesting reading!
Deb

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