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Stevia Makes Sweet Progress with FDA Approval

Stevia Makes Sweet Progress with FDA Approval

I love tea. And I love a little something sweet in it. Yet I have learned that it’s better to avoid too much sugar. Not so much for the fear of gaining weight (not exactly my problem) but because sugar tends to feed the wrong kind of processes in our body. So I was happy that, quite a few years ago, I found stevia. Stevia is a plant from the Amazone with very sweet leaves. Stevia is much sweeter than sugar, yet it has no calories or any of the other bad effects that sugar has. Stevia is available in drops and as a powder. You can get it in natural food stores as a supplement. Yes, stevia is not supposed to be an alternative for sugar. It can only be sold as a supplement. At least that was the case until the Food and Drug Administration approved stevia for use as an alternative sweetener in food just a few days ago.

This is a very important breakthrough. Lots of people use “light” versions of all kinds of food products. These products are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame. These artificial sweeteners have been suspect. Some studies seem to indicate that they are carcinogenic. Others suggest that they support rather than fight obesity. Although science may not have given the final verdict on these artificial sweeteners yet, there are good reasons to avoid these as much as possible.

All major food companies are familiar with the possibilities of stevia. However until the recent FDA decision the manufacturers of artificial sweeteners have been successful in blocking the entry of stevia to the sweetener market. They have used a lot of money and bad science to prevent the entry of stevia, which–as a plant–contrary to the artificial sweeteners cannot be patented.

So the new year begins with some sweet progress. Look at the label of your light soft drink in the months ahead. And, in the mean time, do buy some drops to sweeten your tea. Highly recommended.

Jurriaan Kamp is the founder and editor of Ode Magazine, the magazine for intelligent optimists.

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Jurriaan Kamp

The Intelligent Optimist is a community centered around a magazine, a website and online events and courses. We focus on the people, passion and possibilities changing our world for the better.


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8:41AM PDT on Mar 16, 2013


3:09AM PST on Dec 28, 2012


4:01PM PST on Dec 27, 2012


Over the years, the number of countries in which stevia is available as a sweetener has been increasing. In 2011, stevia was approved for use in the EU starting in early December, 2011
BY THE WAY.... SHERI WELL DONE! Ask for Stevia at your local nursery or google it as to where you can buy it. Remember it doesnt like frosts but you can bring it inside..ask your nursery garden man/lady.

check it out on the link below.

3:59PM PST on Dec 27, 2012

Stevia (/ˈstiːvɪə/, /ˈstiːvjə/ or /ˈstɛvɪə/)[1][2][3][4] is a genus of about 240 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical regions from western North America to South America. The species Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sweetener and sugar substitute, stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, although some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations.

With its steviol glycoside extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has garnered attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets.

The availability of stevia varies from country to country. In a few countries, it has been available as a sweetener for decades or centuries; for example, stevia has been widely used for decades as a sweetener in Japan. In some countries, health concerns and political controversies have limited its availability; for example, the United States banned stevia in the early 1990s unless labeled as a dietary supplement,[5][6] but in 2008 it approved rebaudioside A extract as a food additive. Over the years, the number of coun

7:02AM PST on Dec 27, 2012

Thank you Jurriaan, for Sharing this!

11:26AM PST on Dec 26, 2012

This is great stuff. I use it in place of any other sweetener.

7:52AM PST on Dec 17, 2012

Thank you!

12:11PM PST on Nov 29, 2012

Good news...hopefully stevia proves to be healthy in the long term

8:02PM PST on Nov 28, 2012

great to hear and it's about time!!!

3:49PM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

Good information.

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