Better Stevia

Nutrition

Apr 09
Sweet Strawberries

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The product we are talking about is NOW Foods BetterStevia Organic Extract Powder (4oz).

We’ve chosen this product because it comes with a tiny scoop. We measured the scoop and found it to be “close to” 1/32nd of a Teaspoon.

When you cook with stevia, you are told that one teaspoon is equal to one cup of sugar. That being so, there are 16 tablespoons in a cup, which would mean that one tiny scoop of Better Stevia is equal to half a tablespoon of sugar. But this is approximate. We have learned in the kitchen that one teaspoon of stevia (or just under) is the equivalent of one cup of sugar, but a half teaspoon of stevia is way sweeter than a half cup of sugar.

The problem is this: stevia is potent. If a recipe calls for three tablespoons of honey, using our math, you would think to use six tiny scoops of stevia to equal three tablespoons, however, one rule when working with stevia is to under-use. So instead of six tiny scoops, you might want to try five, or even four. I also find that when a recipe calls for a cup of sugar, using just a “hair” under a teaspoon is best. But since there is no accounting for taste, these rules are more justly called guidelines.

If you are going to use any other stevia, whether powder or liquid, you’ll have to experiment on your own. However, we would love to hear from you so that we may learn from you. Write us and tell us what you used and how you measured it for best results. Thanx!

Cancelling Stevia’s Aftertaste

We learned this some ten years ago, and corporate America discovered this some two years ago: When you mix erythritol with stevia, they cancel out each other’s aftertaste. The only time you will notice it is if you drink water (maybe other things too) right after eating something with this mixture in it. Otherwise, and we’ve been told this by nearly everyone who has tried it, it tastes like sugar. (See Mixing Erythritol and Stevia.)

Problems With Stevia

If you are allergic to ragweed (and related plants) you might have a reaction to stevia.

There have been some interesting studies that have shown that artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, etc) actually “raise” blood sugar levels, however, with stevia, the problem for diabetics and people with hypoglycemia is that studies show it can lower blood sugar levels. It has also been reported to lower blood pressure. So if you are a diabetic, you might wish to monitor your blood sugar levels. (See below to see why stevia lowers blood sugar.)

Needless to add, but I will, if you are on diabetes drugs or taking high blood pressure drugs, you should be careful with stevia. Personally, I’d cut out the drugs and use stevia, but PLEASE; always consult with your health care professional before dropping any prescription your doctor has you on.

One Final Problem

If you feel you must use a sugar substitute all the time, you have to be careful when you make a drink using stevia (or erythritol), because “sweet” makes the body think it’s getting sugar/carbohydrates and insulin is released (thus the hypoglycemic state as mentioned above). When that happens and it can’t find any carbs, the kidneys/adrenal glands actually go to work making carbs to satisfy the insulin that’s on the loose, and you can overwork and strain your kidneys. This is not a healthy situation. So, remember to get a few carbs with your sweet drinks; a piece of fruit, a few raspberries, but something so that you don’t stress our your kidneys/adrenal glands.

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