Stevia is a plant that is typically grown in South America but can be grown in your own back yard
It is 200 times sweeter than sugar
It does not raise blood insulin levels
It has been used in countries like Brazil and Paraguay for centuries
“Rebaudioside A” is not whole leaf stevia.. It is a stevia extract that has been highly processed and is far removed from the actual stevia leaf. But may be the only option unless you grow your own stevia plant.
What To Look For and What To Avoid
1. Best Option – Grow your own stevia plant
This is always the best option. The closer you can get to its original whole leaf state, the healthier it is. Very much like eating the tomato instead of pizza sauce, which I think we all can agree is no longer a health food 🙂
2. On Line or Store Bought Guidelines
Option A: Green Leaf Stevia powder. It’s basically raw ground up stevia leaves. So this is a really good alternative to fresh.
Option B: Bottled extracts in most stores. Look for “whole leaf stevia” on the label. And NO OTHER INGREDIENTS. It’s essential to read the label and not the front of the box.
What To Avoid (added ingredients)
Brand like “Truvia” and “Stevia In The Raw” sound natural, but they contain additional sugars and chemicals like Agave, Dextrose, and Erythritol.The whole point of switching to stevia is to AVOID the very things these other companies are adding back in.
What To Look For
“Trader Joe’s” and “Sweet Leaf” brands are both stevia leaf “extracts”. But I have found them to be the best store bought alternative to growing your own plant since they are whole leaf extracts, and do not have added sugar, or chemicals.
The closer you can find stevia to its whole leaf form with no additives, the safer and healthier it will be as an alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.
All the best to your health!
Catherine Rudolph, CNC
Certified Nutrition Consultant