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01:16 AM on 06/24/2010
Just curious. The article says Stevia can be 300 times the sweetness of table sugar. I'm familiar with Scoville units for heat but what is the unit of measurement for sweetness?
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12:11 AM on 06/24/2010
Alright, sugar is bad but now so is shrimp out of the gulf. You can't win. Eat, exercise and try and be happy.
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11:47 PM on 06/23/2010
I've been using pure stevia extract for since the early 2000s, when it was sold only as a "food supplement" and not as a "sweetener". I first tried the green substance that is closer to "natural" stevia, but it didn't dissolve and tasted swampy. I love the white extract! I only need a tiny pinch to get the desired amount of sweetness and I rarely buy anything containing any of the forms of sugar.

The new stevia products found in the grocery stores are awful. Usually maltodextrin or some other substance with a bit of stevia thrown in. I've tried them all... Sweet Leaf, and whatever the other unused packets in my pantry are called.

Before I found the stevia extract, I'd used Turbinado or Sucanat. Agave didn't work for me and I'm glad because of the new study results. I will use Maple Syrup when I rarely have pancakes or waffles.

It'll be Stevia for me until or unless some studies convince me to give it up.
11:38 PM on 06/23/2010
Stevia tastes horrible to me.

But its probably better for a person than sugar. Sugar is one of the most addictive foods on the planet---at least I think so. I try to stay away from sweet foods except on a rare occasion (other than fruit smoothies, or granola as desert).
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TheOceanWalker
Microbiographist
11:32 PM on 06/23/2010
I haven't tried it, but really I don't want to mess around with sweeteners at all anymore. The inevitable cravings aren't worth it.
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LifeChangeStartsNow
I am love, discernment, confident, resourceful, as
08:52 AM on 06/24/2010
Hey, you don't get cravings with Stevia. I like most people grew up as a sugar addict then I discovered Stevia a few years ago from natural food stores I trust and sometimes directly from South America. I don't get cravings (which by the way are emotional). And even if you do, like yesterday I was pining for my beautiful man, so I made some fruit juice and had three huge cups with stevia. It is so sweet that you will NOT be able to overdose and I find it's actually calming.

The artificial sweeteners leave an aftertaste and powerful cravings as with sodas, Stevia does not.

Try it, just one itsy bitsy time..... :)
Cheers
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10:32 PM on 06/23/2010
In my case, no it can't. It has a horrendous aftertaste that I can't stand...better to lay off the sweets completely cold turkey for a while and then only get your "sweet" from a judicious piece of fresh (low glycemic) fruit.
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TakeSake
The United States for All Americans
09:59 PM on 06/23/2010
My sugar replacement? Vinegar.

No, really.

Once I learned to like vinegar, I found sweetness to be less of an interest. By moving away from sweetness, avoiding unhealthy things and selecting healthy things became much easier.

Now I can say things like, "golly, this kimchi isn't hot at all".
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11:49 PM on 06/23/2010
It is possible to like the sweetness of stevia and the sour, hot and bitter tastes as well. I like them all.
09:36 PM on 06/23/2010
Pooja, I just read the FDA filing describing how the crystalized Reb A is extracted from the plant, and there is nothing "unnatural" about the process, if you think about it. It is a process not much different from brewing tea. The fact that ethanol is used to facilitate the process is not a cause of alarm. Ethanol is a naturally occurring chemical, as our ancestors discovered 10,000 years ago, but by the time the Reb A is crystalized there is no ethanol left.

Your comparison of Reb A to Agave syrup is a red herring. Everyone knows the health concerns about agave syrup have nothing to do with whether the extraction process is "natural" or "unnatural". Rather, the issue is what agave syrup is: refined fructose. the whole point of Reb A is that it is NOT a sugar molecule.
09:20 PM on 06/23/2010
I do not like Stevia at all...tastes horrible. I have to wonder if the anti-sugar movement came from early Monsanto/aspartame days, and then all the blue packet, pink packet chemical manufacturers. There is nothing wrong with a moderate amount of sugar. It is MUCH better and more natural than those cute colorful chemical packets that are linked to serious health problems. I cringe when I see young people especially pour packets of the blue or pink chemicals into their drinks. Go natural sugar!
07:48 AM on 06/24/2010
my dh uses a brand called nu-stevia. even my dad likes it
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PocketWatch
08:38 PM on 06/23/2010
Started using stevia and, while it does have a sligthly different taste to it, I add a touch of natural turbinado cane sugar to my coffee, and it tastes just fine. That way I cut way back on the sugar in my coffee that I like and am using a less dangerous product than some I've researched.
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rikster
buy the ticket-take the ride
08:09 PM on 06/23/2010
yes..until big Pharma finds a way to patent it.
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jgarma
07:44 PM on 06/23/2010
I've done some reading about sugars. Our bodies sure need glucose -- particularly the brain -- but sucrose we can do without.

The Finns seem to have done the most research on xylitol which indicates that beyond being a good sugar substitute, it has certain anti-bacterial benefits.

High-fructose corn syrup is the kiss of death; unfortunately, many sodas and fruit juice drinks are filled with it.

This post goes through a discussion of what sugar is best:
http://www.garmaonhealth.com/2010/02/beware-fructose/
07:24 PM on 06/23/2010
I use it with coffee. When I run out of stevia, I use sugar and "whooooo" - sugar rush.

Followed by the inevitable sugar crash.
07:06 PM on 06/23/2010
Stevia has a nasty taste. Agave has the same number of calories per tsp. as sugar.

As a diabetic, if I want something sweet, my first choice will always be whole fruit. Second choice, something sweetened with aspartame or splenda, which are tried and true substitutes. But in general I try to limit my sugar consumption to special treats on special occasions.

Incidentally, for your blood sugar there is nothing worse than white bread.
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RhiannonRings
Childfree and loving it!
07:55 PM on 06/23/2010
The worst is that Malitol that they use in diabetic friendly chocolate...nasty stuff! Yes, white bread is the worst for your blood sugar.
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11:55 PM on 06/23/2010
The sugar alcohols cause gastric distress in many people.
09:21 PM on 06/23/2010
And for your brain, there is nothing worse than aspartame.
07:03 PM on 06/23/2010
I lost 2 days work from diarrhea caused by Stevia. It was in a product which looked like orange juice and I would not have bought it if I knew it had Stevia. Tropicana Products, a division of PepsiCo, Inc. puts stevia in TROP 50, the carton is very similar to their OJ carton and it was sold at SafeWAy in the OJ section.
I am an RN and I know that "natural" does not mean safe, arsenic is natural, hemlock is natural. Both will kill you.
I wrote PepsiCo and got no response.
Stevia is not a safe ingredient in foods, and especially in this kind of beverage, a parent could give it to a child who has diarrhea, and it could kill them by making the diarrhea and dehydration worse.
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11:56 PM on 06/23/2010
Odd effect. I love stevia.
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AmeriGus
Wore On Terror
09:19 AM on 06/24/2010
I've never had a bad reaction to stevia after over 10 years, but I am surprised a nurse would get fooled by packaging with listed ingredients and then make a definitive claim that stevia "is not safe".

Your story is anecdotal, so you have no right to say that. Also, unless you scientifically eliminate all other ingredients in TROP50, it's pretty irresponsible to say the stevia caused your illness in the first place. Maybe the diarrhea-causing ingredient was in the cup, straw, etc.