So What is in Stevia, Anyway?
This is a continuation of my blog post: What Is Stevia And Is It Any Better Than Sugar? I was talking about Stevia and whether or not was it any better than sugar. The conclusion I came to was… Well read the post to find out! I have been trying to kick sugar for a few months now.
Key word: “trying”. Sugar is really addicting! Studies show it can be more addicting than cocaine. Doesn’t sound so sweet anymore, does it? There are many alternatives on the market based on the Stevia Rebaudiana plant that are being upheld as all natural sweeteners. Yes, I said based on because some contain very little Stevia that it almost doesn’t count!
What Is Stevia?
There are many types of Stevia from the plant to the powdered form, so I would like to clarify that I am talking about the ones you can purchase at the market. Stevia is a sugar alternative. You can cook with Stevia, use it in your drinks, and it can be beneficial to help you cut down on your table sugar intake. In the above paragraph, I said most Stevia products are loosely based on Stevia and have very little Stevia in the product themselves. So that begs the question, what else is in it?
You’re Eating Wood?:
Some Stevia types like PurVia contain cellulose powder, which is powdered wood pulp. So maybe it is natural after all? Cellulose powder can be found in ice-cream and some cheeses. Stevia also contains:
Dextrose, a type of sugar that is derived from genetically engineered corn.
Xylitol. Xylitol comes from plants and is actually a natural sweetener that can be found in many fruits and vegetables.
“Natural Flavors” Which could mean anything
Erythritol. While erythritol is a natural sugar, manufacturers do not use its natural form. Erythritol goes through a long difficult process, just like dextrose.
Get Into A Label-Checking Habit!
It is always a good thing to read the labels, no matter if it is for Stevia or anything else. You want to have a good idea of what you are putting in your and your family’s body. I say a good idea because these days it’s all just a guess and putting faith into the food companies (but that is another article for another day). While these ingredients are not dangerous in moderation, they serve as a reminder not to blindly trust products that hold the “natural” claim because these alternatives do go through many processes.