What Is Stevia? 24 Myths & Truths About Stevia

 

Stevia is a herb. The stevia plant thrives in a mild climate with pure water and abundant sunshine. A mature stevia plant is a small shrub, growing to a height of two to three feet that produces naturally sweet leaves. The sweet compounds are extracted from the leaves. 

Stevia has proven to be essential to the future of a healthier world. A natural non-caloric sweetener, stevia is a effective in lowering calorie count while satisfying desire for sweet products. 

 

Myths, Perceptions & the Truth about Stevia Sweeteners

There are a number of myths, imaginary or otherwise, about Stevia, as well as concerns about it's after taste, usage, and safety. This is understandable, since it is human nature to question anything that is new. Especially since using Stevia demands we change a natural habit formed in us from our early years, that of adding sugar every morning to our morning cuppa and to consuming sugar in all its glorious forms of sweet treats.

Fortunately, a large part of this is answered by Stevia’s pure taste which is as sweet as sugar, and this taste test coupled with the Australian Government’s approval for Stevia to be used as an authorised food ingredient, sets to rest a lot of questions about the future of Stevia. Today, Stevia is a global phenomenon, gaining approvals from doctors, dieticians, users - adults, teens and even kids, which explains its growing popularity.

 

 

1. Myths and Perceptions

Stevia is a plant that grows in the wild.

The Truth

The botanical family of Stevia is a group of plants that grow in the wild.

 

2. Myths and Perceptions

Stevia is not as sweet as sugar.

The Truth

Stevia is 250-450 times as sweet as sugar.

 

3. Myths and Perceptions

Stevia does not taste as sweet as sugar.

The Truth

Now it does! Pure Stevia is refined to perfection, leaving no after taste at all. Try it ! We challenge you that in a blind test, our Stevia from top-end SweetLeaf products to our own Naturally Sweet Stevia brand will delight your taste buds, so much so, you won't be able to tell the difference between our Stevia & your Sugar.

 

4. Myths and Perceptions

Stevia does not come in an easy to use a form like sugar.

The Truth

Stevia in the past has been in powder form; However, new techniques now allow it to come in a variety of ways. We offer Stevia in both granular and powder form as well as in liquid form.

 

5. Myths and Perceptions

But liquid? Is that easy to use?

The Truth

SweetLeaf Stevia is used as a liquid & it’s just a question of getting used to. In fact, our liquid Stevia comes with a free home dropper measure to assist you in easy measurement since you only need a drop or two. Have a look at our Conversion Chart to see how little you need to use.

 

6. Myths and Perceptions

A drop or two? That's all? And my coffee or tea will be as sweet?

The Truth

It's all in the mind, frankly. Your morning cup of tea or coffee or baked cakes won't know the difference. They will taste as good as they did with sugar!

 

7. Myths and Perceptions

Come on, adding a liquid drop or two is not the same as adding a big tablespoon of granular sugar.

The Truth

Try it once! You will be surprised! Remember that Stevia is 250 times sweeter than sugar.

 

8. Myths and Perceptions

But what about usage? Surely there are restrictions to where I can use Stevia?

The Truth

It's as versatile as sugar, so feel free to add it to anything ; everything, at any temperature. From an ice-cold beverage to a piping hot muffin, Stevia is fine to use in both cases.

 

9. Myths and Perceptions

 Stevia is used by zero-calorie drink manufacturers - is that safe?

The Truth

Yes. And because it is zero calories, naturally, it's in demand by zero-calorie beverage manufacturers

 

10. Myths and Perceptions

 Haven’t we all heard this story before? You know, artificial sweeteners and such stuff...

The Truth

Hang on, nothing can be further from artificial Sweeteners than natural Stevia. All those products are artificially induced to have high sugar content. With Stevia it's the other way round. It’s 100% natural, it’s 100% beneficial, 100% safe. So it’s wrong to put it in the Artificial Sweetener category. Stevia is a new category in itself and a proven reliable; viable substitute for sugar.

 

 

11. Myths and Perceptions

 Let’s switch tracks! Stevia is sweet, Stevia is great, Stevia is versatile BUT is Stevia affordable to use?

The Truth

Good question! The honest answer is Yes. Your usage will only be a few mls in a month at best. That’s because you won’t need more than a 2-3 drops (for the liquid Stevia) when you use Stevia. So not only can you afford it, you can also indulge yourself by buying top quality Stevia, either our imported SweetLeaf range or our more economical in-house brand, Naturally Sweet.

 

12. Myths and Perceptions

 How will I know which Stevia is pure; good for me? I need the 100% guarantee of quality!

The Truth

That's a very valid point. Which is why our efforts are in creating consumer awareness for Stevia; also guiding you on where to get the best Stevia. Since Stevia is a commodity, it takes an expert eye to liaise with world manufacturers and ensure certified pure Stevia. We guarantee Purity of Quality at all times, be it in retail packs or in bulk packs. Our SweetLeaf range is top of the line since it is processed; refined using 100% natural water. Our Naturally Sweet range is more economical, but with no compromise to quality or purity.

 

13. Myths and Perceptions

 We have talked about taste and affordability .... what about health?

The Truth

 You do not need to go too far to get the answer. Look at your kids and ask any dentist. As consumers of candies, chocolates, ice creams (which currently use sugar or artificial sweeteners) the risk of tooth decay is real. And we haven't even started talking about Obesity or Diabetes. Think of how harmful any sweetener can be to them. Now take a look at Stevia. Here is something sweet with Zero Calories! Zero Carbohydrates! Zero GI! So Stevia is safe for anyone! Stevia is non-toxic and beneficial for obesity, dental cavities, diabetes, hypo- and hyperglycemia, hypertension and a proven healthy alternative to sugars, and other synthetic sweeteners.

 

14. Myths and Perceptions

 The Triple Zero Advantage of Stevia? Zero Calories! Zero Carbohydrates! Zero GI! I find that very hard to believe!

The Truth

As long as we don't add anything to Stevia, except a certified cleansing agent to refine and process it, this incredible gift of nature will be ours ... forever....with all these beneficial advantages

 

15. Myths and Perceptions

 The Triple Zero Advantage of Stevia? Zero Calories! Zero Carbohydrates! Zero GI! I find that very hard to believe!

The Truth

 As long as we don't add anything to Stevia, except a certified cleansing agent to refine and process it, this incredible gift of nature will be ours ... forever....with all these beneficial advantages.

 

 

 

 

16. Myths and Perceptions

Is it true that Stevia can help people with obesity?

The Truth

Stevia is an exceptional aid to those trying to lose weight because it has ZERO CALORIES. 28grams of sugar contains 50 calories. By replacing the sugar with Stevia you will have a valuable aid to long-term weight control.

 

17. Myths and Perceptions

Does Stevia help people with diabetes also?

The Truth

Various studies conducted give a favourable indication that Stevia can be beneficial to diabetics. Even if Stevia by itself does not lower blood sugar levels, its use may allow diabetics to consume less sugar, which would be helpful in achieving better blood sugar control.

 

18. Myths and Perceptions

 Non Caloric Stevia, Non Toxic Stevia…. Doctors love Stevia, Nutritionists love Stevia, Beverage Manufacturers love Stevia. So is it right to use as an everyday product?

The Truth

It is meant for everyday usage only! It's not meant to be used as a special supplement. It's just that there is a lot of growing popularity of Stevia not just among the home user base, but also among society at large, including health food specialists.

 

19. Myths and Perceptions

 If Stevia is so good for us, how come it took so long for Stevia to gain acceptance as a certified food ingredient in Australia?

The Truth

It takes time for anything to be tested, approved, accepted. It doesn't happen overnight, because the government has your best interests at heart. Also, there are so many considerations & parameters: availability, affordability, health, safety. The good news is that FSANZ approved Stevia as a food ingredient in Australia several years ago after extensive research. This is in line with a global trend wherein Stevia is finding favour in most countries, as a food ingredient, rather than just as a dietary supplement.

 

20. Myths and Perceptions

 Where has Stevia got regulatory approval for use?

The Truth

Stevia has been approved as food additive and sweetener in many countries including Malaysia, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, and India.

 

 

 

21. Myths and Perceptions

 Where is it finding use in these countries?

The Truth

As a natural sugar substitute in carbonated drinks, fruit juices, health and sports drinks, yoghurts, desserts and jellies, snacks, candies, chocolates, pastries, noodles, rice wines, soy sauces, pickled vegetables, cookies, and biscuits. The list is growing daily!

 

22. Myths and Perceptions

 So in terms of numbers, what is the population of Stevia users?

The Truth

Here's something to make you smile and reassure you on the safety of Stevia: In Japan Stevia has been used by a population of 90 million people for 35 years without a single adverse effect ever being reported or suspected.

 

23. Myths and Perceptions

Is there anything that I can't do with Stevia but can do with sugar?

The Truth

 Stevia, like Xylitol, does not caramelise as sugar does; Stevia also does not brown or crystalise as sugar does

 

24. Myths and Perceptions

Is it a fact that Stevia has a lot of additional beneficial properties?

The Truth

That is also true and well documented and researched by leading scientists from all over the world. In fact, if you look at health benefits of Stevia, here's what you may know by now:

  • Naturally sweetens
  • Zero fat
  • Zero calories
  • Zero carbohydrates
  • No additives, no fillers
  • 250-450 times sweeter than sugar.

 Here's what you may have read (all true):

  • lowers elevated blood pressure
  • Regulating effect on pancreas and helps stabilize blood sugar levels
  • Can resist heat up to 200 degree Celsius
  • Digestive aid that reduces gas and stomach acidity, soothe upset stomachs, help speed recovery from minor illnesses
  • Useful in fighting obesity
  • Aid to weight loss and weight management
  • It inhibits the growth and reproduction of bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay. Can be added to toothpaste or diluted in water as a daily mouth wash
  • Flavour enhancer
  • Reduces the craving for sugar
  • Increases glucose tolerance and inhibits glucose absorption
  • Non-glycemic
  • Non- toxic
  • Anti-plaque

Here's some more facts which are true, but not so well known about Stevia:

 

  • The herb acts as a general tonic which increases energy levels and mental activity
  • Dilates blood vessels
  • Kills fungi
  • Kills viruses
  • Reduces inflammation
  • pH stable (3-9)
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Non-fermentable
  • Reduces the craving for tobacco

 

 

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