Stevia is a natural sugar alternative that helps to regulate blood sugar and lower blood pressure. Stevia is a complex sugar extract from the plant Stevia Rebaudiana, grown originally in South America. It is an herb native to the Paraguayan Indians who used it before the colonization by the Spaniards in the 16th century. The Brazilian Journal of Medicine showed that Stevia Rebaudiana actually “increased glucose tolerance.”
Because stevia is very sweet, you only need to use a small amount and the best thing is that it virtually has no calories. Just think about it……a plant sweetening your food with virtually no calories…….how good is that?!!
I never use the first four (white sugar, brown sugar, fructose, sugar alcohols) in my cooking.
I mostly use the last four (16-19: brown rice syrup, molasses, agave nectar, stevia).
I use all the others carefully. For most of us a little of the healthier sugars is fine and can even be good for us.
In my kitchen sugars are used sparingly. I bought a liter of maple syrup seven years ago and still have half a cup left and the only reason there is so little left is because I spilled a cup of it two years ago….in the fridge — what a mess! I bought a package of sucanat three years ago and still have a quarter of a cup left. At Christmas, I make my Fancy Fruit & Macadamia Nut Cookies (dairy- & wheat-free) and use four tablespoons of sucanat for a big recipe. When making desserts, I mostly use stevia for things like rice pudding.
As stevia is almost always in my recipes, I use less of the other “sugars.” To get the right texture and flavor a little of one of the healthier sugars is helpful and they actually add some nutrition……and of course fun.
Which ones do you use and why?
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.