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Stevia Extract. Not worth it IMO

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Food' started by TracieandJim, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. TracieandJim

    TracieandJim Approved members

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    Have you heard about Stevia extracts and related products? The latest sweetner to come out. Not artificial. It comes from the Stevia plant that originates in South America.

    Heres the thing. Google it and you will find several sites selling it but you wont find a nutrition label. You will see many people building it up as 'safe for diabetics' but my question was what about carbs?

    A T2 friend of mine actually brought 'Stevia' to my attention. She was so anxious to get some she sought it out and found it at Whole Foods. She bought a box of 100 packets for $8. She said there are a variety of Stevia products. You can get powder, liquid.. the packets etc. All of the Stevia products she saw were not exclusive to one manufacturer. This box of 100 packets she bought is distributed by Whole Foods. It doesn't say who processed it.

    The web sites are misleading by saying its safe for diabetics and the nutrition label on this box is contradictory.

    Here are some facts you should know:

    1 - Stevia DOES have carbs! There is 1g carb per packet.

    2 - This particular box of 100 pkts was processed in a facility that processes nuts, milk, egg, shellfish, wheat and soy products. Important if you are allergic!

    3 - There is a CAUTION disclaimer on the box. It says: DO NOT USE MORE THAN 8 PACKETS PER DAY. DIABETICS OR INDIVIDUALS WITH BLOOD SUGAR IRREGULARITIES SHOULD CONSULT A HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONER BEFORE USING THIS PRODUCT AS STEVIA EXTRACT HAS A MINIMAL EFFECT ON BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS.

    huh? So.. why not more than 8 packets? It doesnt say. Why the disclaimer about diabetics? Interesting.

    4 - Ingredients are: rice maltodextrin and silica. No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

    5 - Its marketed at a dietary supplement. Not as a sweetener. Something about the FDA and patenting about why its marketed this way.

    6 - It has a HORRIBLE after taste. If you get an after taste from sweet n low, or splenda or Diet drinks or anything diet for that matter then you WONT like this! I put a tiny bit on my finger and tasted it an hour ago, bleh! Ive been drinking coffee since and I can still taste the after taste. ugh.

    7 - Its expensive!


    SO... those are my 2 cents. IMO Stevia is not worth it at all. BTW.. you can find out all this info on your own by googling and going to a Whole Foods or other grocery store that has herbs, vitamins, health stuff etc.
     
  2. Karenwith4

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    We use Stevia and we love it.
    Stevia has a lot of really postive benefits and here in Canada at least we can buy Stevia without an aftertaste (it's clearly indicated as free of aftertaste on the label.)

    I responded to your other post here.
    The brand we buy has chromium and and inulin (and Stevia naturally has a lot of other vitamins and minerals) and because of these micronutrients they have to recommend not to use more than 8 packets again in order not to exceed the DRI for these micronutrients (which are btw very beneficial for diabetics).

    The carb of 1 gram is offset by the fact that it has 1 gram of fiber - essentially rendering it carb free. It also has a GI of 0.


    I agree completely that people need to do their own research about this to make a decision. I personally think Stevia is an excellent addition to anyone's diet and we far prefer it to the artificial sweeteners.
     
  3. TracieandJim

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    Ah.. ok.. Thanks for this info. When my friend told me there were various options to Stevia and they were all diff. manufactures I wondered if the carbs were different too. We only looked at this one particular box and it doesnt have any fiber to offset the carbs. This also explains the vagueness of info on alot of the web sites about it. Soooo.. like with anything, the nutrition label will differ. I dont like the idea of chromium however I wouldnt mind trying one that says 'aftertaste free' on it. Which brand is it you have?
     
  4. Nightowl

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    The Stevia brand I use has zero carbs. It is pure Stevia and has zero impact on blood sugar. Stevia is sold under many brands and with various formulations. You must be careful to read the label. Do not buy Stevia that contains maltodextrin. In some brands, maltodextrin is listed as a first ingredient. This would be more detrimental to blood sugars than table sugar.
     
  5. twodoor2

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    I don't care for the taste at all, maybe it's an acquired taste. Are there some brands that are more pleasing than others, and Karen, what brand do you purchase?
     
  6. KelliTwins

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    Great discussion! I've heard a lot about Stevia, and wondered if it was a good choice for our family.
     
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    I chewed a stevia leaf - blech - reminded me of saccarine. Maybe it would be better in iced tea?

    [​IMG]
     
  8. M Chugg

    M Chugg New Member

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    I am 52. I was diagnosed as a type II diabetic at the age of 40. I used Splenda as a sweetener and had terrible reactions to it. I switched to Sweet and Low and used it without a problem.... I thought! I just realized why I was getting so red everyday about 4:00 p.m. and was feeling nauseous. It turns out that Sweet and Low has a glycemic index of 70. Holy......! I try so hard to keep my diet low on the glycemic index and the stupid sweetener was messing me up!

    So.... I switched to STEVIA. I used to sell frozen orange juice and know that anything added to any product automatically becomes a point of suspicion. For example: DId you know that US food laws allow concentrates of juice products to not label the added sugars in the concentrates. So while you are getting a concentrate from "Pure juice", you still are feeding your child SUGAR! Better off with fresh squeezed due to lower sugar content.

    SO my point is: Any STEVIA product with any additive means it has a filler, which means it could affect your glycemic level or other monitored situations. It also means you are getting ripped off price wise!

    Currently I am using Sweet Leaf Stevia which has no additives. Yes, its taste is not super pleasant but guess what? NO problems with side effects like the red face and nausea of Sweet and Low. Its glycemic index is 0. Nothing can beat this.

    Watch out for the online bulk products!!!! I checked out the Florida herbal site. They charge $90 for 500 grams of Stevia powder and then shipping on top. That's 18 cents per gram minimum. I paid just over $6.60 for 50 grams of SweetLeaf Stevia at Stop and Shop. That is 12 cents per gram. SO internet bulk sellers are making more on this stuff than supermarkets! Watch out!

    I want cheaper pure product than the supermarket, but it must be pure and truly less expensive.

    So I will aquire a taste for Stevia with my coffee and tea and just be satisfied that I am not adding to the glycemic level.

    Hope this helps. - Mike Chugg
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  9. Tori's Mom

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    I tried Stevia they were selling at Sams Club. Also had the nasty aftertaste.
     
  10. Gwyn

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    DD loves stevia for making cinnamon milk. She gets a cup of milk, a packet of stevia and a bit of cinnamon and vanilla and mixes it all together. YUM!

    She also uses it for lemon or limeade, tea, smoothies and to sweeten plain yogurt. I have also tried it in tomato soup recipes, spaghetti sauce, tapioca pudding, pancakes and corn bread, all of which turned out fine. I personally prefer the taste of real sugar, but stevia is not "bad" IMO, just different than sugar. Just as we use brown sugar for some recipes and honey for others, stevia has its place in our kitchen. So far, it seems to go best with milk based recipes.

    Different brands have slightly different tastes/aftertastes though. I just purchased the whole foods brand that Tracie was talking about in the original post and do not like it as much as the brand we got before (which of course I can't remember since I already threw the box out, but it was from Hy-Vee). This new one also seems to have a more "powdery" consistency.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  11. MomtoPatience

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    Our nutrionist recommends stevia.
     

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