One of the most common questions I get is “What do you think about artificial sweeteners?” So, over this month, I want to highlight different artificial sweeteners and give you an overview of what they are, how they work, etc. While there is alot of bias around this issue, I’ll try to stay neutral.
The first sweetener I want to highlight is Stevia. Stevia is derived from the South American plant stevia rebaudiana and has up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar. While Stevia has a slower taste onset and longer duration than sugar, it also has a slight aftertaste which scientists are working to get rid of.
It is important to note that Stevia has not yet been approved by the FDA in the United States and Europe, meaning that it is sold with a disclaimer on the label like many herbs are (the FDA has not yet approved or disapproved the product for use but there is alot of pressure on them to approve the product).
I could find no reported bad side effects for Stevia – most sites were very positive toward it.
Many researchers expect the FDA to approve Stevia very soon which will probably lead to us seeing it more in products across the market.
The substitution ratio for Stevia is generally about 1 teaspoon Stevia per 1 cup sugar. Stevia is sold in both powder and liquid forms.
Another point to note: The FDA has no definition for “natural” so when products claim they are natural there is no standard for what they are saying.