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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2008-08-18

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

This is an oldie but a goodie. I love Stevia in my tea and I love the soda Zevia which uses Stevia and is a diet soda alternative (It is delicious and I love it). I wanted to share this again as when I first posted it I think my mother and I were my only two readers. Enjoy!

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-

**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.

28 comments:

Corey Bachmeier said...
Excellent article and information on stevia!
aybi said...
Thanks for this information, i never thought Stevia has been here for ages. I gotta try to this.
Jacqueline said...
I was just in the health food store the other day and almost bought it. It's good to know that it has a pleasant taste. I'll give it a try. Thanks for the alternative for a healthier and more enjoyable lifestyle!
wildcatsthree said...
Stevia and xylitol are the only sweeteners I will use in place of sugar. I've read too many bad things about Splenda and Nutri Sweet (aspartame)
Great post Heidi!
liza said...
this is really good because with stevia your memory stays sharper, unlike with artificial sweeteners. it's just so sad that every where you turn around there's politics.

i hope stevia will soon be available here also.
Mekhismom said...
Thank you again for great information. I have heard of Stevia but never tried it. After reading your post looks like it will be an addition to my shopping list.
Steve v4.7 said...
We grow a few stevia plants in our garden. A few leaves from it and some fresh mint added to green (sun) tea is excellent on hot days.
Waterrose said...
Thanks for the info. I'm going to pick some up --since I'm not exactly happy with sugarless ice tea....
betchai said...
wow, thanks for the very valuable information. i have been looking for a healthier substitute for sugar, and i did not want to use Splend and Aspartame since i think they are more evil than sugar in the other aspects of health. Reading this one, I believe this would be a great try. i'll look for this in the health store. or can we buy them in regular stores too?
Nessa said...
I tried Stevia in a few forms but i seem to use too much for the price i pay. it just doesn't last. that's the liquid stevia anyway, now the powdered last awhile and the one i buy has fiber in it too.
Swubird said...
Heidi:

Thanks for all the info about Stevia. I've been using it for several months now. Funny, I never even knew it existed until just recently. My digestive system has a rough time with sugar, so I've been on the look out for an alternative. Then one day my wife happen to see Stevia at Trader Joe's, so I tried it, and I've been a user ever since.

By the way, you have a great looking site, and a great looking family. And with the high quality of the articles I've read, I think you'll experience a great deal of success with your blog.

I write autobiographical stories from my rather jumbled life. Stop by and see me sometime.

Happy trails.
Ryan Kazinec said...
Sounds like a great alternative to the artificial sweeteners. I am a diet coke addict and I am always wandering just how bad the aspartame contained in the coke is for me. Too bad beverage companies don't look into using stevia. Great Post!
Great article! Do you know if any soft drinks use Stevia? Sounds like a wonderful alternative to artificial sweeteners.
Zen Ventures said...
My mom uses that sweetener. She likes it. oh you're health wannabes are so adorable.Anyway, just passing by to say hello and nice meeting you!
Sogeshirtsguy said...
My dad swears by stevia. It tastes pretty good. Not a bad taste substitute and healthy to boot.
torasham said...
good posting...
thank you for this.
foongpc said...
stevia is the only natural sweetener that I think is safe and baneficial. All the artificial ones like aspartame and splenda are not healthy. Yes, so stevia is the way to go if you want some sweetness in your food : )
Rocki said...
I have used Stevia for several years now and love the taste of it. Great post Heidi!

(pssst, when you get a chance, take a peak at my new blog post this morning ;)
Greg C said...
I am going to look for some today. I am trying to eat more healthy each day. It is getting easier to find natural foods and I have to say they taste so much better than the ones in the grocery store. My latest venture is to grow Goji berries. Wish me luck.
Sherer said...
Heathnut,

Interesting, I have not always been a tea fan, but I will try this.

I am happy to report, largely because of you and your blog I have quit drinking soda, diet and otherwise. Thank you. Its much easyier than it seems!

Jesse
teamsprout said...
great post heidi! also, to add onto the benefits: when eaten in its pure form (usually sold as brown or green liquid) it will actually REVERSE the effects of sugar already in the body.
if only the big companies getting rich off of poisons cared about selling things that are good for us, this would do better...
Blessed be.

Wow, what a great page. Terrific article too by the way. I am a health food nut as well. I am a vegetarian, and working on going to vegan.

As for sweeteners, though, I prefer not to use them at all.

I will be visiting your page often.
Keep up the good work.

Have a great week.
ssgreylord said...
stevia - definitely heard of it before, never knew quite what it was about. I do now, thanks Heidi!
sborg said...
I'm happy to report that, after I read this post, I went to Whole Foods and bought some Stevia packets. They're fantastic!
Muryal Braun said...
Hi,
I commend you for this post that shows the corruption of our FDA and its control by the big sugar producers. It is sad that more are not aware of the great benefits of Stevia that I discovered over 20 years ago. This has been hushed up for too long. Kudos from a fellow health nut,
Muryal Braun
http://www.reverseosteoporosis.org
Pastor Lisa said...
Thank you for the info! I am allergic to aspartame and the little pink packets so I will definitely give this a try. Anything to help reduce calorie intake! Thanks!
Healthy Lady said...
Oh dear, Thanks for the info about Stevia, Me too love it. I was really searching to get details about Stevia, here you had posted it...Great.....Cheers, Thanks a lot for the info again....
Help Guide said...
Hi Heidi, It is very nice to hear about 'Stevia'. Thanks a lot for this great post. mmm, as per your advice I had googled for Stevia Recipes and get more info from there too...thanks for your helpful guidence It is great......

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