Q5: How widely is STEVIA being used?

STEVIA extracts are currently widely used in different applications and formulations in food & beverages, pharmaceutical, agriculture, animal feed, personal care and skin care industries.

Some products sweetened with STEVIA:

Food & beverages

:

Beer, wines, carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, iced tea, iced coffee, sport drinks, isotonic drinks, powder soft drinks

Baked goods

:

breads, cakes, cookies, brownies, pies

Condiments / Sauces

:

ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, steak sauces

Confections

:

hard and soft candies, chewing gums, chocolates, chocolate powders, cereal bars

Dairy products

:

yoghurts, ice-creams

Personal care

:

cosmetics, lipsticks, mouth washes, toothpaste, cough syrup, dietary supplements, protein drinks, replacement meal drinks, vitamin bars

Tabletop sweeteners

:

tablets, liquid, powders

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Q6: What is the difference between a natural sweetener and artificial sweeteners?

A sweetener is a substance used to make food or drink taste better, used instead of sugar.

A natural sweetener is one that has not been altered from how it is found in nature and that actually comes from nature. 

Artificial sweeteners or we sometimes call them ‘sugar substitutes’, ‘alternative sweeteners’, or ‘non-sugar sweeteners’, are substances used to replace sugar in food and beverages. They can be divided into two large groups: nutritive sweeteners, which add some energy value (calories) to food; and nonnutritive sweeteners, which are also called high-intensity sweeteners because they are used in very small quantities as well as adding no energy value to food.

Nutritive sweeteners include the natural sugars — sucrose (table sugar; a compound of glucose and fructose), fructose (found in fruit as well as table sugar), and galactose (milk sugar) — as well as the polyols, which are a group of carbohydrate compounds that are not sugars but provide about half the calories of the natural sugars.  The polyols are sometimes called sugar replacers, sugar-free sweeteners, sugar alcohols, or novel sugars. Polyols occur naturally in plants but can also be produced commercially. They include such compounds as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates.

Click on the link below to know more about STEVIA as a natural sweetener
http://www.raw-living-food-success.com/natural-sweetener.html

Now, watch and listen to Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D. sharing with you the benefits and safety of consuming STEVIA.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9BtnIxE6Ls

Watch about a TV programme (in German) speaking about the contributions STEVIA can make to our everyday life.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-LtRrVLSyU&feature=related

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Q7A: How do we compare a natural sweetener & some artificial sweeteners?

A comparison of STEVIA, sugar and other major sweeteners in the market can be found below.

Per 2 Teaspoons STEVIA Sugar NutraSweet
(Aspartame)
Splenda
(Sucralose)
Sweet ‘N Low
(Saccharin)
Natural vs. Artificial Natural N/A Artificial Artificial Artificial
Calories 0 32 4 Kcal / g 0 0
Net Carbs 0 8 g 1 g 1 g 1 g
Gylcemic Index 0 70 0 0 0
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Q7B: Which one should we prefer and choose?

Dr. Ray Sahelian M.D. has the following opinions and advice regarding the choice of sweetener.

Since the beginning of human history, man has been looking for a natural sweetener to make food more palatable. There are several available in nature, and in recent decades many artificial sweeteners have been created. Most Americans [people] are not aware of certain natural sweeteners that can be as good as the artificial ones in terms of taste and potency.

In my opinion, many alternative or natural sweeteners are healthier and have less potential to cause long term health problems. Low calorie choices can help consumers cut down on calories and control weight, help to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, and potentially prevent cavities.

My favorite natural sweetener is STEVIA liquid.  I use three drops in my herbal tea each morning and it is calorie free.

Natural sweeteners are certainly a better option than refined sugar and some artificial sweeteners. However, they all have fructose which has four calories per gram, and has the potential to raise blood sugar levels.  The advantage of natural sweeteners such as STEVIA is that it also naturally contains carotenoids, flavonoids, and other plant substances that have antioxidant properties which limits some the potential harm from the use of fructose.

STEVIA has no calorie and is a good option.

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Q8: What is Gylcemic Index (GI)?

Gylcemic Index or GI is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates in food on blood sugar levels.  It estimates how much each gram of available carbohydrate (total carbohydrate minus fiber) in a food raises a person’s blood glucose level following consumption of food, relative to consumption of glucose.  Glucose has a gylcemic index of 100, by definition, and other food have a lower glycemic index.

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