Stevia is a
to South and Central America, which has naturally sweet
leaves. The Stevia
extract from this plant is thought to be 250-300 times sweeter than
ordinary table sugar.
has been used for centuries in South America as a
natural sweetener in food and drinks. It was also used for
medicinal purposes, for obesity, hypertension, heartburn
and as a cardiac stimulant.
1970s Japan began to cultivate Stevia as an alternative
to the sweeteners cyclamate and saccharin, which were
suspected of being carcinogens. The Japanese are the
biggest consumers of Stevia, using it in food products,
soft drinks, including well known brands, and can be
found on tables in place of sugar.
Stevia extract was approved in December 2011 for use in the EU,
Stevia has been appearing more and more on our supermarket shelves and
in some of our well known brands of beverages.
Stevia instead of sugar or other sweeteners?
contains no calories, no carbohydrates, doesn't cause
tooth decay, does not affect blood sugar levels and is
thought to be safe for diabetics to use. Making it a
very appealing alternative to sugar and sweeteners which
can have harmful effects on the body. Sugar is now
coming into the forefront as one of the major causes in
weight gain and obesity, which in turn results in a
multitude of health problems.
has no known health risks compared to artificial
sweeteners, some of which can cause many health
problems, spanning from migraines to even risks of