The Healthy Sweetener
If you are a coffee or tea drinker, you have probably used a sweetener in your drink at some point or another. Most coffee shops will offer a variety of sweeteners such as sugar, brown sugar, and sugar substitutes such as the “yellow packet” (splenda) or the “pink packet” (sweet ‘n’ low). These sweeteners may be the preferred choice of your taste buds, but they are not the preferred choice of your body. Sacharrin and aspertame are some of the ingredients found in many of the sweeteners mentioned, which are known to be harmful to your body. Because of this, you have now have probably begun to see the “green packet” which holds stevia. Stevia is a natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. It comes from a leaf known as stevia rebaudiana. The leaves of this plant are sweet due to the naturally occurring “glycosides” found within, and make for stevia in it’s purest form. Stevia is calorie-free and can be two-to-three hundred times sweeter than “regular” sugar. Stevia can be used to sweeten your favorite coffee or tea drink (Caveman Blend or Dean of Caffeine, of course) or it can even be used in baking. The use of stevia as your sweetener of choice can help you in reducing the amount of calories that you consume, especially as it relates to your favorite coffee and tea drinks. It also helps in reducing blood sugar levels and increasing insulin sensitivity. Stevia has also been shown to suppress hunger.
Stevia is a great alternative to sugar, but the correct form of stevia needs to be used. It can be found as a powder (the green packet) or as a liquid (dropper). Not all stevia is created equal, though. Depending on what brand of stevia you choose, it will be processed differently. It can often be combined with dextrose, or erythritol. It is important that you look over the ingredients used when choosing your brand of stevia. If you are trying stevia for the first time, it can have a bitter after taste at first. Use just a few drops or half a packet (depending on its form) to sweeten your drink or baked good. So, If you are looking for a healthy alternative to satisfy your sweet tooth, then stevia is definitely a great sugar alternative for you!