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Natural Stevia Based Sweeteners for Your Health

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introduction

Sugar is your enemy from a health standpoint, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up sweeteners. The sweetener stevia is obtained from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana native to South America. In December 2008, the Food and Drug Administration approved stevia as a natural sweetener. This paved the way for many people to enjoy its benefits.

Since it was approved as a sweetener, the use of stevia in the United States has increased rapidly. It is now available under the brand names Only Sweet, SweetLeaf, fructevia, Slimtevia, Nustevia, PureVia, Reb-A and Truvia. The following is a representative but non-exhaustive list of stevia-based sweeteners.

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Stevia Products

sweet leaf

SweetLeaf® is made by using the leaves of the Stevia plant and extracting their naturally sweet flavor using only cool, purified water. No chemicals, alcohols or additives are used. SweetLeaf® is the only chemical-free, zero-calorie, zero-carbohydrate, zero glycemic index, 100% natural sweetener. Stevia is very sweet and contains zero calories. It’s a good choice if you’re trying to lose weight. For example, a teaspoon of table sugar contains 16 calories. Stevia seems to be the ideal sweetener for people who need to watch their weight and control their blood sugar. However, it has a bitter aftertaste that some people find unpleasant.

Fruitevia

Fructevia is a blend of rebaudioside A, an extract of stevia, fructose, magnesium carbonate and dietary supplements called fructo-oligosaccharides.

Fructevia is about three times sweeter than sugar, so use 1/3 to half as much. The company guarantees that Fructevia has no bitter aftertaste. There are no genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Fructevia and it contains no gluten or chemicals. It is a purely natural product. Fructevia is a healthy sweetener, but much sweeter than sugar, yet with a small fraction of the calories and virtually no effect on blood sugar. It is the fructose that keeps stevia from becoming bitter. This is especially true when only small amounts are used.

The magnesium in Fructevia is an important mineral for your health, including your nerves, muscles, bones and heart. Studies have reported that Americans are dangerously deficient in magnesium.

What is fructose?

Fructose or fruit sugar in Fructevia is a monosaccharide (simple sugar) found in many plants. The glycemic index for fructose is low (19). Fructose has the lowest index rating of any natural sugar. Fructose is not the same as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

SLIMTEVIA

The ingredients of Slimtevia are basically the same as those of Fructevia. Slimtevia like Fructevia adds a little fructose to eliminate the bitter aftertaste and still have a product that doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels. Slimtevia, like Fructevia, does not spike your blood sugar and does not have the bitter taste associated with pure stevia.

NuStevia

A single packet is a serving that is ½ tsp. powder (1). A pack of NuStevia contains 80 mg of stevia and 920 mg of maltodextrin and a very small amount of natural flavors. Thus, NuStevia consists of only 8.96% stevia and over 91% maltodextrin. The glycemic index for maltodextrin is 150, which is high. Maltodextrin is a type of carbohydrate. It is made from starch by partial hydrolysis. The actual glycemic index for maltodextrin (150) is high. However, the amount of maltodextrin is less than one gram per serving of NuStevia White Stevia. This 91% maltodextrin blend is reported to not have the bitter aftertaste associated with regular stevia, although it does raise your blood sugar levels a bit. 1 tsp NuStevia is as sweet as 1 tsp sugar (1 cup = 1 cup).

Truvia

The development of Truvia was supported by a major soft drink manufacturer who was instrumental in getting the FDA to approve the use of stevia. The power of money is indeed interesting. Truvia is a Stevia-based sugar substitute. Truvia is a combination of two different types of sweeteners: Rebiana and Erythritol with natural flavors. Erythritol is a “sugar alcohol” made by fermenting glucose with yeast. Sugar alcohols are generally considered safe, but they can cause gas, gas, and diarrhea and have a laxative effect. Erythritol tends to present less of a problem with these effects than other types of sugar alcohols.

Rebiana is the main ingredient in Truvia. It is a purified form of rebaudioside A, which is one of the components of the stevia plant. Since its launch in 2008, Truvia has become the top-selling sugar substitute in the United States, overtaking Equal and Sweet’n Low. It’s still small next to Splenda, which is said to have negative health implications. Splenda is not a Stevia product. Splenda represents 60% of the sugar substitutes market. Splenda will give you a big sugar boost as it is 95% malto-dextrin or a variant thereof. The glycemic index is higher than table sugar. Truvia and PureVia are both stevia extract sweeteners sold by major business powerhouses that market soft drinks.

PureVia

PureVia® is Pepsi’s sweetener developed from Stevia. It is a low-calorie sugar substitute jointly developed by PepsiCo and Whole Earth Sweetener Company. PureVia is a mixture of several different ingredients. It contains dextrose, cellulose powder; natural flavors and the stevia extract rebaudioside A.

summary

Some Stevia products like Sweetleaf are made by simply extracting the sweetener with water with no additives, creating a safe and healthy product. Fructevia and Slimtevia add a little fructose to eliminate the bitter aftertaste of stevia. They are a healthy sweetener that does not raise blood sugar levels. NuStevia uses maltodextrin to eliminate the bitter taste of stevia. One serving contains 80 mg stevia extract and 920 mg maltodextrin. NuStevia contains only 8.96% stevia and over 91% maltodextrin. Truvia and PureVia® are engineered sweeteners derived from stevia and are manufactured by two major soft drink manufacturers.

Thanks to Harold Franklin

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