Is Stevia a Safe, Natural Alternative to Sugar?Organic Buenos Aires staff
Of all the sweeteners available out there, we believe Stevia to be the best.
Stevia is a natural substance low in calories that is derived from the South American Stevia plant and has been used in Paraguay for centuries.
We have no doubt that the extract made from Stevia leaves is the safest sweetener available. While many of the artificial sweeteners have been found to have toxicities, Stevia is a safe and natural alternative to sugar that is low in calories if you’re trying to lose weight or keep healthy by avoiding sugar.
Stevia is also hundreds of times sweeter than sugar so you only need to use a very tiny amount. This is in contrast to artificial sweeteners, which are often claimed to have all the sweetness without the sugar. The truth is they are often loaded with other sugars.
We would actually go so far as to say that Stevia is the best alternative to sugar that you will find.
Is Stevia Safe when the Other Compounds in the Plant are Removed?
The two compounds found in the Stevia plant, stevioside and rebaudioside A, are metabolized in the body at different rates. Therefore, it is difficult for researchers to assess the risk of rebaudioside A from the toxicity assessments of stevioside. So far the tests are inconclusive.
Despite this, it is recommendable to consume the regular Stevia sweetener rather than one compound of the Stevia plant by itself.
Is Stevia Safe for Everyone?
If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, are overweight, or have any other type of insulin sensitivity, then you would be best advised to avoid all sweeteners, including Stevia.
Other Natural Sweeteners
Other natural sweetener options include raw honey, organic pure maple syrup, and organic coconut sugar. While coconut sugar is another nutritious option, coconut palm trees cannot produce both coconut sugar and coconuts. We would always recommend choosing coconuts and coconut oil over coconut sugar.
Pure maple syrup is high in minerals and low in fructose, while honey has more vitamins than maple syrup and no fat. However, both are very high in calories.
Another option is agave nectar, but we would recommend finding alternatives, since agave nectar is up to 90% fructose and has more calories than white sugar.