A natural sugar, but no calories. It doesn't taste exactly like sugar, but close enough for my enjoyment and I've never received complaints when I bake with it.
It's considered an ideal sugar substitute for diabetics.
(most of article under the first big square ad.)
My endocrinologist told me to stay away from Stevia because of its potential problematic impacts on my blood sugar/insulin levels.
As recently as 10-16-07, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned: "If stevia is to be used in a dietary supplement for a technical effect, such as use as a sweetener or flavoring agent, and is labeled as such, it is considered an unsafe food additive."
On August 17, 2007, the FDA warned the maker of Celestial Seasons teas (Hain Celestial Group Inc.) about a potentially unsafe herb (Stevia) in some of its teas, saying it might be dangerous to blood sugar, reproductive, cardiovascular and renal systems. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to Hain, dated Aug. 17, calling the herb, a natural sweetener made from a South American herb called stevia, "an unsafe food additive."
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As far as I'm concerned, I recommend caution using Stevia as a sweetener until its been scientifically confirmed that its not a danger to your blood sugar, reproductive, cardiovascular and renal symptoms.
"Because people in South American have used stevia for centuries and because many more in Japan, Korea, and China have used it for 20 years or so, many people argue that it must be safe. But it is not generally recognized as safe, or GRAS, the FDA’s category for food ingredients like sugar that have been used so long that they predate premarket testing."
I've personally been using it for 3 years without any problems whatsoever.
The FDA approves dangerous items too often and doesn't pass safe ones for decades - I have little to no trust in them.
Thanks for the suggestion. It won't help with the artificial sweetners being triggers, but it might help cut down on how often I get them.
I do use Stevia on occasion. Unlike chemical sweeteners, it causes no spike in blood sugar. But mostly, I just watch my calories, eat healthy food, and use sugar in moderation. I no longer drink soda of any sort. I have 2 teaspoons of sugar in my morning tea, that's only 32 calories. I drink unsweetened iced tea, water, and water with a splash of fruit juice in it. I eat things like jam and fat free pudding cups in moderation.
I started last January 14th, I weighed 230 lbs. I've lost over 50 lbs now, and I'm still going. One doesn't need to use artificial sweeteners to lose weight, in fact, recent studies show that they aren't particularly helpful in weight loss. Eat healthy food, get daily exercise, and you don't need chemical sweeteners to lose weight.
Thanks everyone. I've been cutting out the refined sugars. I don't use a lot of it to begin with unless I'm baking. I've tried some recipes with honey that have turned out wonderfully! We have a local Farmers market where I get the honey from.
Once we figured out what was causing my migraines, I have been carefully reading my lables looking for those sneaky little devils and I have been amazed at what they put that stuff in! Even things that aren't sugar free!!!! I fly a lot for work and I chew gum to equalize the pressure. It's been REALLY tough finding any gum without aspartame in it! I've found a few fortunately, but none of them are mint flavored...*sighs* but I'm still looking!
The hardest to change was getting rid of the soda. I really don't like too many non diet sodas. But, the carbination also wrecks havoc on your metabolism so I have given them up except for rare occasions. I lost 10 pounds just by cutting out soda. It was amazing really.
Thanks again everyone! And if you find a mint flavored gum that doesn't have those artifical sweetners in it let me know!!
Whey Low and Whey Low D. I ordered a bunch and they do taste the same to me. I gave the Whey Low D to my mom who is an insulin dependent diabetic and she had no problems with it.
I wanted to recommend two sweeteners to you. They are not low calorie, but they are the only two sweeteners that are complex carbs rather than simple carbs (simple carbs: sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc). Brown rice syrup, and barley malt syrup. They can be used like you are using the honey, but they have more nutrients and they break down slower, so they don't spike your blood sugar level.
Let me second (or third?) the call for Stevia - I'm borderline diabetic and high blood pressure myself, and I've been using it for more than a year. It hasn't had any effects on either my BP or my FPG, either. There seems to be a political agenda behind the non-accreditation of stevia, more than any concerns for public safety. We even use it to make ice cream (one tablespoon of liquid extract is the equivalent of a cup of sugar).
As for the aftertaste, it's no worse than any of the artificial sweeteners out there.
The side effects of allergy medications keep some people from using them. Natural remedies can be a great alternative, but some are more effective than others.