There is a wide range of Stevia based sweeteners that come in varying mixtures and concentrations of Stevia extract in both liquid and powder forms.
I have used almost every type of Stevia extract available with varying success. Some are so concentrated that they are difficult to measure.
Some forms leave a bitter aftertaste.
I have had the most success with Fructevia, which is a blend of Fructose (Non-GMO), Stevia, Chicory (FOS) root extract and Magnesium Carbonate. It is easy to measure, and blends very evenly into foods. It tastes very similar to sugar and contains no GMO's, gluten or chemicals. It is safe for diabetics and individuals on a low carb or low glycemic diet.
Fructevia is a patented all natural proprietary blend of GMO Free, non-corn based Crystalline Fructose, FOS, Rebaudioside A (stevia extract) and Magnesium Carbonate.
Fructevia is about three times as sweet as sugar so you use less than half as much. Fructevia has less than 3 calories per serving and does not affect blood sugar levels like sugar so it is safe for diabetics, low carb dieters, low glycemic dieters, persons suffering from hypoglycemia and more.
Crystalline Fructose It is GMO free, corn free crystalline fructose from Galam, Inc. It is the only plant in the world that produces such a clean non GMO fructose. Crystalline fructose should not be confused with High Fructose Corn Syrup which can contain less than 10% fructose. The fructose that is used in Fructevia has one of the lowest glycemic indexes of any food - with a rating of only 20, compared to 31 for skim milk, 59 for sucrose (ordinary table sugar), and 98 for an equal weight of mashed potatoes. This means that 1 ounce of fructose raises your blood sugar only about 1/3 as much as an ounce of sucrose, and it releases only about 1/3 as much insulin. And since Fructevia is twice as sweet as table sugar you use only a third as much bringing insulin impact down to practically nil.
FOS (Fructooligosaccharides) - FOS is considered a prebiotic as it supports the healthy well-being of intestinal probiotics, the friendly flora in your intestinal tract. FOS occurs naturally in bananas, garlic, artichokes and certain other foods, and technically is a soluble fiber. FOS is an effective sweetener, being half as sweet as sucrose, yet not absorbed and has minimal caloric value. There is a small amount of FOS in Fructevia as a as a healthy supplement to our products.
Stevia is derived from the herbal plant Stevia Rebaudiana. It is refined into a white powder extract (Rebaudioside A), it becomes 200-300 times sweeter than sugar creating an intense sweet effect upon the taste buds without raising blood sugar levels and contains no calories. Research indicates that both diabetics and persons suffering from hypoglycemia may safely use Stevia.
Magnesium Carbonate is derived from ancient sea deposits. Magnesium Carbonate is used as an anti-caking agent so Fructevia does not clump or stick together and flows freely, it is very important for the normal functioning of cell, nerves, muscles, bones, and the heart.
Stevia is a genus of about 150 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical South America and Central America. The species Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, commonly known as sweetleaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sugar substitute, stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar.
With its extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has gathered attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. Stevia also has shown promise in medical research for treating such conditions as obesity and high blood pressure. Stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, it has a glycemic index of zero. Stevia can even enhance glucose tolerance, therefore, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to diabetics and others on carbohydrate-controlled diets. In Brazil, Stevia has been used by herbalists to regulate blood gluecose for over 40 years.
For centuries, the Guaraní tribes of Paraguay and Brazil used Stevia species, primarily S. rebaudiana which they called ka'a he'ê ("sweet herb"), as a sweetener in yerba mate and medicinal teas for treating heartburn and other ailments. Stevia is widely used as a sweetener in Japan. The Japanese have used stevia in food applications from soft drinks to soy sauce since the 1970s, and recent reports indicate that stevia commands up to 50% share of Japan's commercial sweetener market. Stevia is also used in Canada, China, Taiwan, Brazil, Paraguay, and Malaysia.
In 1931, two French chemists isolated the glycosides that give stevia its sweet taste. These compounds were named stevioside and rebaudioside, and are 250-300 times sweeter than sucrose (ordinary table sugar), heat stable, pH stable, and non-fermentable. Stevioside and rebaudioside are made of glucose, sophorose, and seviol. These glycosides do not get absorbed into the body, they pass through leaving no calories.
Most medical experts would agree that one of the best ways to improve your health is to reduce your sugar intake. Doing this can help decrease one's chances of getting diabetes and being overweight or obese---both epidemics in this country with adults and children alike. Consider these facts:
The average American ingests over 150 lbs. of sugar annually. That represents 30 - 5 lb. bags of sugar each year! Much of this sugar is in the form of high fructose corn syrup prevalent in foods because it's much cheaper than sucrose, the common tabletop sugar.
While some might think that artificial sweeteners are the best solution to cut down on sugar, others disagree. Artificial sweeteners do eliminate the high calories and carbohydrates associated with sugar, however many believe that these alternatives are unsafe and are actually worse than sugar. Saccharin has been linked to bladder cancer discovered as early as 1957 (Blaylock, RL, Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills, Health Press, 1994). Nutrasweet (aspartame), which constitutes the majority of artificial sweeteners in the U.S. today, has been linked to a number of other side effects including headaches, seizures, hyperactivity, and even brain tumors in animal studies (Munro IC, Moodie CA, Krewshi D, Grice HC, Toxicol Appl Pharmacol, 32:513. 1975. Cuir R, Schiffman, et al,. "Aspartame and Headache" (letters), NEJM 318:1201-2, 1988.) It appears that the FDA approved the use of Nutrasweet despite significant evidence that there may be serious consequences associated with its widespread use as a sweetener in foods.
To watch a video about the risks of artificial sweeteners, and the benefits of natural sweeteners go to: www.videojug.com. Click here to read more information on the health risks of artificial sweeteners in my Health Info.
Widespread use of sugar and artificial sweeteners are at dangerous levels. The negative side effects and controversial studies regarding their proposed safety suggest that another alternative is desirable and necessary. Stevia is a good option for those who want to use more natural ingredients with no known side effects, no calories, no carbs, no fat, no affect on glucose levels, and no sugar or artificial sweeteners.