What is Stevia?

Myths, Perceptions & the Truth about Stevia

There are a number of myths, imaginary or otherwise, about Stevia, as well as concerns about its 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.

Myths and Perceptions

 The Truth
Stevia is a plant that grows in the wild The botanical family of Stevia is a group of plants that grow in the wild.
Stevia is not as sweet as sugar Stevia is 250-450 times as sweet as sugar
Stevia does not taste as sweet as sugar 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.
Stevia does not come in an easy to use form like sugar 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.
But liquid?  Is that easy to use? 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 here to see how little you need use.
A drop or two? That’s all? And my coffee or tea will be as sweet? 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!
Come on, adding a liquid drop or two is not the same as adding a big tablespoon of granular sugar Try it once! You will be surprised! Remember that Stevia is >250 times sweeter than sugar
But what about usage? Surely there are restrictions to where I can use Stevia? 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.
Stevia is used by zero calorie drink manufacturers - is that safe? Yes. And because it is zero calories, naturally, it’s in demand by zero calorie beverage manufacturers
Haven’t we all heard this story before? You know, artificial sweeteners and such stuff... 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.
Let’s switch tracks! Stevia is sweet, Stevia is great, Stevia is versatile BUT is Stevia affordable to use? 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.
How will I know which Stevia is pure & good for me?  I need the 100% guarantee of quality! 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.
We have talked about taste and affordability .... what about health? 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.
The Triple Zero Advantage of Stevia? Zero Calories! Zero Carbohydrates! Zero GI! I find that very hard to believe! 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
Is it true that Stevia can help people with obesity? 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.
Does Stevia help people with diabetes also? 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.
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?
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.
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? 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.
Where has Stevia got regulatory approval for use? 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.
Where is it finding use in these countries? As a natural sugar substitute in carbonated drinks, fruit juices, health and sport drinks, yoghurts, desserts and jellies, snacks, candies, chocolates, pastries, noodles, rice wines, soy sauces, pickled vegetables, cookies and biscuits. The list is growing daily!
So in terms of numbers, what is the population of Stevia users? 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.
Is there anything that I can't do with Stevia but can do with sugar? Stevia, like Xylitol, does not caramelise as sugar does.  Stevia also does not brown or crystalise as sugar does.
Is it a fact that Stevia has a lot of additional beneficial properties?

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 upto 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
  • 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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