Sweet Benefits of Stevia

The stevia plant is incredibly sweet and also incredibly good for you.
The leaf is 30 times sweeter than sugar while extracts are 300-400 times sweeter.

Benefits of Stevia

  • Weight management: Stevia rebaudiana contains little to no sugars, calories or carbohydrates.
  • Cravings: The ‘honey leaf’s ‘ sweet taste lasts longer than sugar’s.
  • Diabetes and Hypoglycemia: the ‘sweet leaf’ does not create an insulin response and actually nourishes the pancreas which help regulate blood sugar.
  • Cariovascular: ‘Sweetleaf’ lowers blood pressure. (See heart disease factors)
  • Fights Cavities: The ‘sweet herb’  is antibacterial and it’s sugar like compounds do not feed oral bacteria.
  • Skin Care: Stevia used topically in liquid form helps smooth out wrinkles. Antibacterial properties also helps with acne.
  • Good Digestion: The ‘candy leaf’ taken with meals as a tea improves digestions and soothes stomach upset.
  • Fights Yeast Infections: ‘Sweet Chrysanthemum’ does not feed candida or other yeast and in fight is slightly antibacterial and anti-fungal.

An easy way to think about Stevia is that it is the exact  opposite of white sugar.

stevia vs white sugar Which would you choose?

The Politics:

  • For centuries the native peoples of South America have used this common plant with no side effects.
  • Japan has been using stevia and stevia extracts as a sugar substitute since 1971 with no known problems. Japan even uses stevia in its soft drinks.
  • Somehow in many parts of the world – stevia has been banned or restricted even though comprehensive research reviews by the World Health Organization and other scientific organizations has shown no safety concerns when it is taken in normal amounts.   (Any food particularly if extracted can be taken too much.)
  • For example stevia was banned as a sweetener in the US but allowed as a ‘dietary supplement’.
  • Because the stevia plant itself cannot be patented and easily profited upon, it challenges the established sugar and artificial sweetener industry.  The extracts can be patented. Companies like Coka-Cola have developed their own derivatives which have been approved by the FDA since 2008.

How to Use and Buy Stevia

Stevia is available in many forms:

  1. Fresh Stevia Leaves is in its most natural, unrefined state. A leaf from a stevia plant, chewed is very sweet and can be used in tea but is not suitable for cooking.
  2. Dried Leaves are much sweeter than fresh ones comes in bulk packages. It also comes as a finely green powder.
  3. Stevia Extract in the form of a white powder . It usually has a bitter chemical aftertaste due to being highly processed making it acid forming and in our opinion not a real food.
  4. Liquid Stevia made from white powdered stevia mixed with water which is not any better then the white powder.
  5. Liquid Stevia directly extracted from the leaves with acidic alcohol is not something we want to be adding to our food even in small quantities.
  6. The liquid Stevia directly extracted from the leaves with water is the best for cooking.

How to use stevia in cooking:

You can’t replace sugar or honey on a cup-for-cup basis with stevia — the herb is much sweeter.

1 cup sugar = 1 teaspoon of liquid stevia
1 tablespoon of sugar = 6 – 9 drops liquid stevia
1 teaspoon sugar = 2 – 4 drops of liquid stevia

These are just rough guidelines as you  have to take into consideration the fact that there is bulk also being eliminated. If you are new to using stevia, I recommend that you try some of my recipes first. (below)
stevia by Gabriiela Ruellan at flickr

Quality:

The quality and benefits will be dependent on two factors:

  1. Variety of stevia plant used.  In the same way there are hundreds of  varieties of apples in the world – all with different tastes and slightly different nutritional properties that grow in different climates – there are also different varieties of stevia.The best is currently is currently thought to come from South America where it originated.
  2. Processing.  At Real Food for Life we emphasize REAL FOOD – whole food because this is what our bodies have evolved to consume.  The more highly processed a food becomes and the farther you get away from the whole food – the less the health benefits and greater the risks. (see Why We Eat Vitamins- Why We May be Wrong)

Some stevia extracts are so isolated that they have a bitter taste and so other artificial sweeteners have to be added.

Some commercial stevias have been extracted solely with alcohol solvents. (usually the white powder form) This alcohol solvent  leaves the sweet taste of the stevia but can take away some of the health benefits.
Some studies have shown negative effects from stevia.  They are usually using the improperly processed form.

The best stevia will therefore be the one which retain some whole food value and is water based.  Liquid forms will be  less processed.

Our choice – stevia without the bitterness

  • We have tried dozens of varieties and have our favourite.
  • It has no bitter aftertaste. One darker form has a sweet licorice taste – the other has a fruity  taste.
  • It is one of the more expensive brands but is completely safe and the highest health benefits.
  • It is in a whole food form and is concentrated with water and no preservatives.
  • It is formulated with chrysanthemum flower which enhances its antibacterial anti-fungal properties.
  • It is only available online. Let me know if you are interested and I will help you get some.

Recipes With Stevia:    Apple Cake - Vegan Gluten Free

Hermit Cookies  These  are wonderful.  Hermit Cookies

GingerBread Cake:   This is to DIE FOR and unlike many deserts is very balancing to your health.  Gingerbread

Home Made Salad Dressings

Lemon Water:   AKA Sugar free lemonade

Comments (36)

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  1. Brenda Spencer says:

    I would like to know where I can get stevia online.

  2. I will send you an email as to where I get mine from.

  3. clara says:

    I would like to know where I can get stevia online.

  4. Cheryl says:

    I would love to know where to buy the proper stevia. I have been using the white powder form from the whole food store. I didn’t realize there was a difference. Thanks for the information.

  5. Yes Cheryl there is a big difference. I will send you an email with how to get my favorite stevia.

  6. Lisa says:

    I’d like to get some of your “favorite stevia”. Do you mind sending me the website? Thanks!

  7. Hi Lisa, I will send you an email with the details.

  8. ihsan karatepe says:

    Dear Diana ,
    Witch one is better : stevia or splenda

  9. Splenda is a not at all a good choice. Choose stevia.

  10. Renee nwamaka Ikpelue says:

    Hi. I woukd likr to know where I can buy liquid stevia. Could u send me the website address? And a couple of shops in Arizona that stock it? Thamks

  11. Renee, I will send you an email about my favourite Stevia.

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Diana…I sure would like to know where I can get the good liquid stevia. Thank you so much.:)

  13. I will send you some info via an email today.

  14. Joy Markman says:

    Hi Diana, please help me get some sunnyDew stevia liquid.
    Thanks,
    Joy

  15. I will sent you an email; reply and I will send you the info.

  16. jerris riordan says:

    Hi Diana,

    I have been following your website for some time now. I have a terrible sweet tooth
    and have been using Splenda for years in my coffee. I have tried Stevia and find it
    bitter tasting. I’ve just read the above article and still am unclear as to which whole
    food stevia would be best for coffee. Pls advise. jerris

  17. Shirley Feather says:

    Could you please let me know where to get the SunnyDew brand? Thanks so much for all the information on alkaline foods for the body.

  18. Alicia says:

    Hi Diane, please email me the information on getting the sunnyDew brand of stevia. Thank you for all the wonderful tips and information.

  19. bob says:

    I’d like to know where I can get the SunnyDew brand of Stevia. I live outside Boston,MA

  20. Elaine Rosario says:

    Diane,
    Can you please email me the information on where to buy stevia?

    Thank you!

  21. Tammy Daniel says:

    Where do you get the stevia?

  22. Musadaq says:

    Where can i get liquid or dry Stevia stuff in Saudi arabia?

  23. Sharon says:

    Hi Diana,
    I would appreciate the website that you get your “favourite stavia” from. I am a 100% sugar addict.

  24. Cathy says:

    Would love to know where to purchase “good stevia”. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  25. Coni says:

    Please sent information as to where to but “your favorite stevia”
    Thanks so much,
    Coni

  26. barbara says:

    I would like to know where to get real stevia thank you

  27. Maria says:

    May I have the info for ordering stevia? Thank you.

  28. Trish says:

    Please send me info on how/where to get good Stevia!

  29. Maria & Trish, I just sent you both an email with the info. Also, we can talk about more if you want, simply reply to my email.

  30. carolyn says:

    Hi Diana, please add me to the list. I would like to know where to buy Stevia also. Thanks.

    I see it in several stores, however, it is good to know that there is only one place to buy the best and most nutritious brand.

    Thank you for sharing,
    Carolyn

  31. Audrey D'Souza says:

    Would appreciate if you could let me know where I can buy Stevia. Many thanks
    Audrey

  32. Carolyn & Audrey, I sent you both an email.
    All the best,
    Diana

  33. Ellen May says:

    Please send me the information on how to buy your suggested Stevia.

  34. April says:

    Plesse let me know where I can purchase the best stevia – thanks so much!

  35. Melba Rodgers says:

    I would like to know where to buy good Stevia. Thanks

  36. catherine abadilla says:

    Hello. I am planning to use stevia in my processed fruit juice as i am recommending it for diabetics. Please inform me of the best form of stevia to use so the taste of the juice would not be affected. At present i am using minimal amount of brown sugar to sweeten the juice. Thanks

    Cathy

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