Of all the foods consumed today, refined sugar is considered to be one of the most harmful.
...In 1997 Americans devoured 7.3 billion pounds of candy. Americans spent an estimated $23.1 billion dollars on candy and gum. The average American consumed a record 27.3 pounds of candy and gum in the same year-the equivalent of about six regular sized chocolate bars a week-marking the fifth consecutive year of increased demand.
...Consumption of processed foods (which are laced with sugar) cost the American public more than $54 billion in dental bills each year, so the dental industry reaps huge profits from the programmed addiction of the public to sugar products.
...Today we have a nation that is addicted to sugar. In 1915, the national average of sugar consumption (per year) was around 15 to 20 pounds per person. Today the average person consumes his/her weight in sugar, plus over 20 pounds of corn syrup.
To add more horrors to these facts there are some people that use no sweets and some who use much less than the average figure, which means that there is a percentage of the population that consume a great deal more refined sugar than their body weight. The human body cannot tolerate this large amount of refined carbohydrates. The vital organs in the body are actually damaged by this gross intake of sugar.
...Refined sugar contains no fiber, no minerals, no proteins, no fats, no enzymes, only empty calories. What happens when you eat a refined carbohydrate like sugar? Your body must borrow vital nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize the incomplete food. Calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium are taken from various parts of the body to make use of the sugar. Many times, so much calcium is used to neutralize the effects of sugar that the bones become osteoporotic due to the withdrawn calcium.
Likewise, the teeth are affected and they lose their components until decay occurs and hastens their loss.
...Refined sugar is void of all nutrients, consequently it causes the body to deplete its own stores of various vitamins, minerals and enzymes. If sugar consumption is continued, an over-acid condition results, and more minerals are needed from deep in the body to correct the imbalance. If the body is lacking the nutrients used to metabolize sugar, it will not be able to properly handle and rid itself of the poisonous residues.
Directions: Add 1/4 teaspoon to supplement 2 quarts of unsweetened beverage, or use sparingly to supplement desired food preparations. Reduce sugar usage by one cup for each 1/4 teaspoon of Stevia Extract used.
Other Ingredients: 100% pure Stevia leaf extract standardized to a minimum of 94% Steviosides, including 40% Rebaudioside A.
1. Stevia is very, very potent
The raw leaves of the stevia plant are approximately 40 times sweeter than sugar, and the powdered sweetener derived from them is up to 200-300 times sweeter. What this means, is that just a tiny bit of MilliScents Stevia will suffice for most of your "sugar free recipes". MilliScents Sweet Leaf’s shelf life is about 5 years, so it most certainly is a worthwhile investment.
2. Stevia has no calories
Refined Sugar makes you fat, there’s no denying it. Sucrose contains a lot of calories and there are so many sugary products nowadays that it’s become almost a full-time chore to avoid them. As a consequence, 34% of adults in America are obese and for our children – who are being exposed to sugar from a very young age – that figure is 17%.
These alarming rates are three times higher than they were thirty years ago. Luckily, the stevia sweetener harbors no calories whatsoever. While it isn’t by any means a weight loss product, the benefits of stevia and its huge potential in this area are obvious.
3. Stevia helps to suppress cravings
As we all know, sugar is addictive. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartam or sucralose may not have any calories or glycemic index, but they still promote cravings for sugary sweets. On top of that, an increasing amount of consumers over the years has reported negative side effects when using artificial sweeteners, ranging from headaches and dizziness to rashes and stomach pains. Stevia on the other hand, has been reported to suppress cravings.
Time for a bit of trivia: did you know that stevia has been approved as a sweetener in Japan since the 1970′s, and is now the number one sweetener there, with a market share of over 40%? And all this without any reports of unwanted side effects!
4. Stevia is Good for Your Teeth
When you consume sugar, an adhesive layer of bacteria is formed on your teeth, causing dental plaque and cavities in the long run. So-called “sugar alcohols” (also called “polyols”) such as Xylito, Erythritol, Maltitol and Sorbitol are popular ingredients in chewing gums and toothpastes because the dental bacteria cannot ferment them and thus, can’t adhere to your teeth.
There is a downside to sugar alcohols though: they still contain a lot of calories and some of them still have a high glycemic index which is harmful for diabetics. On top of that, they cause bloating and gas in individuals who are sensitive to them. Stevia has the same benefits as the polyols, but doesn’t come with all the discomforts.
5. Stevia is Great For Diabetics
The reason why sugar is so bad for diabetics, is that it contains large amounts of carbohydrates. In order to illustrate which food types are fit for diabetics and which ones aren’t, a system called “the glycemic index” was developed.
We will spare you the details of this system, but what it boils down to is that food types with a glycemic index value of less than 50 are considered relatively safe for diabetics; the lower the number, the better. To give you an idea: apples have a GI of 39. French fries have a GI of 95. Tabletop sugar has a GI of 80. Stevia has a GI of 0 (yes, zero). This makes the sweet leaf ideal for keeping your diabetes symptoms at bay without having to compromise any sweetness in your food.
6. Stevia Regulates Hypertension
For generations, native tribes in South America have been using stevia to sweeten their maté, a type of herbal tea. Aside from the sweetness, they have also been using it to lower blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension. Nowadays, South American doctors even officially prescribe medicine containing stevia to help control high blood pressure. Extensive testing has shown that stevia does not lower blood pressure in healthy individuals.
7. Stevia Helps With Candidiasis
Candida albicans is a natural type of yeast that’s present in every human’s intestines. But in some people, this yeast population can grow excessively large and that’s when an infection called “candidiasis” occurs, causing symptoms like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. The main culprit with candidiasis is the fermentation of sugar in the intestine, and therefore many candida diets are based on eliminating sucrose from a person’s eating patterns.
Raw stevia cannot be fermented by candida albicans and does not promote candidiasis, so it should be perfectly safe to substitute sugar with stevia for people with this condition. Always consult your physician before altering your diet though, and be careful to use pure stevia only. Some commercially available brands add inulin or maltodextrin to some of their products: substances which are to be avoided when you’re prone to candidiasis.
Bottom Line on Stevia
So what’s the bottom line? When you’re used to sugar, stevia’s taste may take a bit of getting used to. It contains two sweet components (called “glycosides”); stevioside and rebaudioside A. Try to find products based on the latter, ours is 40%, because the stevioside can have a bitter aftertaste that not everyone is fond of. But when you add everything up, the benefits of stevia vastly outweigh the temptations of sugar. You owe it to yourself to give MilliScents Sweet Leaf Stevia a try!