March 31, 2012
Is stevia a safe sugar substitute?
Stevia is a natural herb sweetener that has zero calories. I use the sugar replacement in many baked goods and desserts, and I find it an excellent sugar replacement with a pleasant taste. Some consumers have reported a bitter aftertaste, which I have not picked up from Stevia (I use the Natvia brand) but I have tasted this bitterness with Splenda, another sugar replacement.
Since I use Stevia at least once a week in my baking, I wanted to find out more on its safety record. I was pleased to find that Stevia has a solid track record in safety for consumption, unlike many other sugar replacements which have been linked to cancer and digestive disorders. Stevia has no reports of any adverse reactions.
As for sugar itself, while it is a natural product too, after reading "Sweet Poison" I felt even more compelled to cut sugar from my diet. The author of Sweet Poison explains that sugar is not detected by the body and deposits straight to fat.
Sometimes it can be difficult to judge the safety of these sugar replacements, especially with conflicting reports, some which seem to be biased (sugar companies obviously won't want these products to be successful). After doing research, I will keep using Stevia happily and I would encourage others to use it, especially in baking.
Read the information below and make your own mind up.