04 March 2009

Stevia is the newest addition to my kitchen, and the best sugar replacement I have found. I have avoided stevia because of sticker shock, but once I started researching what exactly it was I found out that you need considerably less stevia than sugar. Still skeptical, and quite leery of any new dietary trends, I decided to do some research on this sweet plant.

Stevia is a shrub that is native to Brazil and Paraguay. People in South America have been using stevia to sweeten tea and foods for centuries. The herb is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar in it's processed form, but contains no calories or carbohydrates.

The body processes stevia slowly, and therefore there is not a "sugar crash" that many experience. Studies have also shown that Stevia did not produce any significant glycemic effects in normal or diabetic rats. Stevia is also non-fermentable which means those struggling with yeast overgrowth will not battle with candida while using stevia like they do with sugar.

The Japanese have spent much time and research on stevia. In the 1960's Japan started to strictly regulate the use of artificial sweeteners. By the 1970's the Japanese discovered that stevia was an ideal replacement for sugar, and have reported no ill side effects in the last 35+ years. Stevia has been used to sweeten candy, soft drinks, and baked goods in Japan since the mid-1980's.

After doing a lot of research I am confident in giving my family stevia as a sugar substitute. Stevia is used in 41% of Japan's sweetened goods. There is no study that shows stevia has had a negative impact on the Japanese in the last 40 years, or that the Native Americans of South America have had any adverse reactions to the plant in centuries.

Some more info:


The best price I have found on stevia is from Herbalcom, and it costs $8.35/lb. This pound will last our family 7-8 months using it to sweeten tea, baked goods, oatmeal, etc. 1 teaspoon of stevia is equivalent to 1 cup of sugar! The stevia I order is green in color, but such a small amount diluted does not turn what I'm sweetening green.

Sugar --- Equivalent Stevia Powdered Extract

1 cup --- 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon --- 1/4 teaspoon
1 teaspoon --- 1/16th of a teaspoon


Sugar: $.02 --- Stevia: $.005


Ashlee Dawn said...

I know you're a crazy busy mama, but I miss your blog! I came across a post (The Modernity Ward) mentioning stevia and I knew you had a great article about it. Sure enough, 2 Google minutes later and here it is.

Post a Comment