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What is Stevia

​​Stevia is an herb with a naturally sweet taste that has no calories, no carbohydrates and a zero glycemic index.  It is 200 to 450 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia plant has been grown and used for hundreds of years as a food enhancer by South Americans, in particular Brazil and Paraguay. It is now being grown commercially and widely used, instead of artificial sweeteners like aspartame, splenda and xylitol all over the world.  It has been used as a healthy alternative to sugar for people seeking overall improved health including controlling blood sugar, preventing hypertension, treating skin disorders, preventing tooth decay and controlling Candida.

Stevia has been approved as a sweetening agent in many countries.  In Japan alone, an estimated 50 tons of stevioside is consumed annually. In Canada and the United States, purified stevia extract is regulated as a food additive.  However, in December 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) stated it is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use as a general purpose sweetener.  The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JEFCA ), United Nations and World Health Organization concluded that they are safe for their intended use - to sweeten foods and beverages and established a permanent Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) level.   In November 2012, Health Canada added Stevia to it’s list of permitted sweeteners to be used as a table top sweetener and as a sweetener in certain food categories. 

Other studies show that it is a natural antiviral agent and antibacterial as well.  It is a great natural sweetener choice for diabetics, and people on a basic diet to control severe liver or kidney diseases such as Hepatitis C.  Because it is a natural sweetening agent, it reduces sugar cravings by fooling the body into a state of satiation. This will result in less sweet food being craved, thus it reduces caloric intake.  It will help with the suppression of appetite, without having to resort to products containing stimulants.

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