There’s not as much buzz about stevia these days, but don’t forget that it is a great alternative to the laboratory/man-made/chemical/artificial sweeteners. Actually, stevia is sold in colas and candies in many countries outside of the US.
FDA Burns Stevia Cookbooks
I’ll never forget when the FDA showed up at the Stevita Company’s warehouse in Arlington, Texas in the 1980s and “burned” all of their stevia cookbooks. The history of stevia in the US reeks with politics, but now that stevia isn’t on the “the FDA hit-list“, don’t forget that it is still one of the best alternatives to adding calorie-free sweetness.
No doubt, more stevia products could be available in the US, but slowly more products are moving into the global stream. As long as aspartame and sucralose are still neck and neck in the sweetener fight for top profits, I guess consumers will just have to wait on stevia products, like gum and soft drinks.
I wonder why Pepsi Next sweetened with stevia is only available in Australia and France, while here, in the good ole’ US, Pepsi Next contains sucralose and acesulfame-K, with no stevia?
Check out the label for the American version:
|7.5 fl oz|
|Low Calorie Sweeteners|
|Acesulfame Potassium (mg)||7|
The Australian Pepsi Next has no artificial sweeteners, and contains both sugar and stevia. It is marketed as having “30% less sugar.”
PepsiCo announced in June 2013 that Pepsi Next no longer contains aspartame, and “aspartame free” is now found embossed on select cans.
Oh buddy, THAT’S a big move in this sweetener war …
New Stevia Products
Here are some new stevia products that are available today on the global market:
- PepsiNext® (with stevia) sold in France & Australia
- Biodrinks’ Nice Tea® is a mix of organically grown tea leaves, fruit juices, and sweet extracts of stevia
- Villars Maitres Chocolatiers® offers chocolates backed by more than a century creating Swiss chocolates; its 70% Dark Chocolate uses stevia for a mildly sweet and rich taste without much sugar
- Dessert Chocolate Fondant ® by Cavalier is a Dessert Chocolate Fondant recognized as one of the top stevia products today
- SweetLeaf’s Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops® is a liquid extract made from high-grade stevia leaves, purified water, and natural food flavoring
- Silk Light® soy milk
- Power Ice Tea® sold in Romania with fruit juice, sugar, and stevia
I wonder why these products aren’t available in the US?
A Natural Remedy
Stevia has been used as a traditional remedy for diabetes and gum disease in Paraguay and other South American countries for over 1,500-recorded years. For centuries, people simply chewed the stevia leaf like any other tasty herb, such as mint or rosemary. Its natural side-effects result in a healthy mouth, teeth and gums.
Research studies show that stevia improves the function of cells in the pancreas needed for insulin production, and can also improve glucose tolerance in people with diabetes. According to the generations of people who have used stevia as a part of their daily diet, stevia regulates blood sugar and has been used for decades as a treatment for diabetes and gum disease.
Hum – don’t YOU wonder why more stevia products aren’t available in the US?
Unlike other sweeteners, stevia has anti-viral benefits. Consumer evidence shows that stevia has blood pressure lowering properties and can be a useful treatment for hypertension. Further research is needed in the US, of course, to declare these health benefits as “real”; nonetheless, stevia users are experiencing these positive side effects to their benefit, and what’s wrong with that?
Stevia is a much safer sweetener alternative compared to the man-made artificial sweeteners, especially during pregnancy, for children, and for diabetics who stand to benefit from its soothing glucose effects.
Tips To Avoid Bitterness
* Try different brands of stevia before giving up on it, as some are milder tasting than others.
* Stevia is much sweeter than Equal(TM) and the other chemical sweeteners, so use significantly less than you might think is “necessary.” Start with one-quarter the amount of stevia you’d normally use of the other sweeteners, and then increase as needed. Any bitterness is usually a result of using too much.
People who have used stevia for generations in South America, Japan, and in Indonesian countries never use the gluttonous amounts of the artificial sweeteners that we, Americans, use every day. They aren’t as obese, either. But, these products aren’t available in the US.
Keep watch for more products with stevia eventually coming onto the American market. Look at the high-end natural markets and ethnic markets, and search the web for stevia products that you can order on-line. Basically, it all comes down to money – if the Big Corps aren’t selling the artificial stuff because people are buying stevia products, then they’ll start bringing these products into your area.
It may be a while before we see Pepsi Next® with stevia in America, but that sounds like a winner to me – if you drink canned sodas, that is. It is surely a better choice in school vending machines …