A Quick Note on Stevia


Nov 22
Better Stevia

We’ve talked about stevia a lot at this site, and we use it in many of our recipes. In fact, we’ve been among the first to mix a bit of erythritol in with stevia. This is because stevia is super sweet, or “too sweet” for many people. We always recommend to use a bit less stevia than a recipe calls for, and then to cut the aftertaste (that so many complain about), add a bit of erythritol. (We discovered that they both cut the aftertaste of the other when used together over ten years ago.) Those who’ve tried our recipes tell us they’ve gotten fantastic results using this recommendation. And our recommendation for erythritol is Swerve Confectionery Sweetener because it is powdered and erythritol in the crystal form just doesn’t dissolve very quickly.

In fact, because people have started using this combination, food companies have caught on, and today there is a new product on the shelves called, Splenda Naturals, which is a mixture of stevia and erythritol.

If you want, you can take a look at this article and see what this company calls “natural,” SPLENDA Naturals takes on Truvia with new stevia-based natural sweetener.

Allergic response

Again, at this site we’ve mentioned this but it’s worth mentioning again.

If you have a wheat allergy, odds are you will have a stevia allergy, or at least a sensitivity to it. So be careful.

Drawbacks of using stevia

Now this is interesting, so pay attention. Cakes, cookies, pies, salad dressings, treats, etc, can turn out wonderful with a combination of stevia and erythritol. However, if you are making a drink, say lemonade, non nutritional sweeteners  can put a strain on your body if you’re going to drink only the drink with no food.

We know that starches turn to sugar and when the sugar hits the blood stream it stimulates insulin release. In fact, the less resistant the starch, the quicker it triggers your insulin, even faster than if you’d eaten a piece of fruit.

What has recently been discovered is that “sweet” also triggers the release of insulin. You can read the abstract to this study here: Relationships between insulin release and taste.

Insulin will lower your blood sugar, and if there is actually no sugar or starch in what you are consuming (a beverage only) hypoglycemia sets in.

This, by the way, is one theory why diet drinks cause weight gain: hypoglycemia sets in, the individual “feels” hungry and grabs a snack. However, we seem to have impulse control issues and you know what they say about Lays potato chips: “Bet you can’t eat just one.” And so we finish off the bag.

Now, when the body becomes hypoglycemic and you don’t grab a snack, your adrenal glands start producing cortisol and adrenaline [source], which are mobilized to hunt out sugar from other parts of your body, such as your glycogen storehouse in your muscles. But the kidneys can grab it from anywhere,  even from your skin to convert protein to sugar through the process of glycogenesis.

Obviously this entire process is a real strain on your body and it’s this kind of stress you really don’t need.

Interestingly enough, one of the first articles I read where this was brought to my attention was called, “Why I Quit Stevia.”

There is no need to quit stevia

All you really have to do is grab a snack, but don’t overdo it. Eat a piece of fruit, a piece of toast with peanut butter, or even a muffin. Just make sure you’re supplying your body enough to raise your blood sugar levels when you drink something sweetened with a non-nutritive sweetener such as stevia or erythritol. 

It’s pretty simple, really. Just listen to your body.