As we become more knowledgeable about health and food health choices we are more worried about finding a good alternative to sugar. Stevia, a natural sweetener, may in fact be the only natural and safe alternative to sugar to be used as a sugar substitute without the calories that ingesting sugar implies. Many of our favorites foods (cookies, juices, etc) contain sugar. So should we just resign them for the sake of not eating sugar? Or should we use Stevia an a sugar substitute?
What is Stevia?
Stevia is a native plant of south America. More specifically, it grows in Brazil and Paraguay and some place in Argentina. Stevia has been approved by the FDA as a dietary supplement. Today is cultivated and manufactured as a sugar substitute in China, Japan, Brazil, and Paraguay
How good is Stevia at sweetening things?
Well, this is a good question. In fact Stevia is very good. Stevia extract is about 300 times more sweet than sugar so a little goes a long way at sweetening. A teaspoon of sugars gives you 15 calories while a teaspoon of Stevia gives you zero. So you can see it is a good choice if you are looking to eliminate some calories and lose some pounds.
In addition, Stevia is a natural extract derived form a plant just like sugar which is derived from plants with a lot of sugar in them. Stevia can be used in baking and cooking since it does not lose its sweetener power with temperature.
Stevia may have some medicinal uses
Indigenous people from Paraguay and Brazil have traditional used the Stevia plant for medicinal purposes. the plant is known as the sweet plant and it was used in tea preparation to treat heartburn. More recently, a study have shown that Stevia can be used to treat obesity and hypertension.
If you are looking for a safe, natural, and sweet alternative to sugar, Stevia may be the thing to go for. It is naturally derived from a plant (just as sugar). It is a very good sweetener. It is stable to temperature so it can be used for baking and cooking (contrary to synthetic artificial sweeteners). Also, if you want to lose weight this is a good choice since it has NO CALORIES at all. Think about it if you eat 10 teaspoon of sugar a day you have 150 calories a day you could eliminate by using Stevia.