What does Stevia actually do?

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Hi all, I wanted to get to the bottom of the stevia mystery and researching myself has not been fruitful :) I think it may have caused chronic stomach inflammation when I was using it a lot (1-2 packets a day, sweet leaf brand), but then it may have been coincidental. I really like using it because it helps me skip real sugar, but before I get back into it, I would like to know if anyone knows what it really does. I heard it can break up biofilms. When I read online, I found such a variety of claims and caution that I do not know what to think! Has anyone really determined anything conclusive? Thanks!!
 
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Stevia is crazy fucking sweet. I hate it in the products that I use.

I really like using it because it helps me skip real sugar,
In that case it's definitely preferable, but getting off sugar is not as difficult as it seems. When you do, many foods taste so much sweeter than before. If you're not a child, eating sugar is inadvisable. I do feed my children some whole sugar, but I don't eat any.

I would like to know if anyone knows what it really does. I heard it can break up biofilms.
That sounds like a benefit for your dental health, do you remember where you saw that?
 

BrightCandle

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There are plenty of other sweeteners you could use. Inulin is about half the impact of normal sugar but its also prebiotic. Erythritol is pretty much zero calory and no insulin response and works a lot of places sugar does and is pretty close in sweetness but it is processed by the body. Monk fruit sweetener is also very low calory compared to sugar and has no insulin response. There are now loads of different options some of which just pass right through us, some good for the microbiome, some bad and some raise insulin and some don't. I suspect Monk fruit is just an easy recommendation at this point for added sugar but its worth some investigation to find a good alternative to help get off sugar.
 
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When you do, many foods taste so much sweeter than before
I still eat a bit of sugar...the less you eat the sweeter things become. Like I'll eat those toddler graham crackers...just barely sweet.

I had to quit cooking Asian food after I discovered that there is just too much sugar and glutamate reactions happening.

Fall back diet: Mexican
 

Wishful

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I still eat a bit of sugar...the less you eat the sweeter things become.
That applies to salt too. When I first started cooking, I used the amount my mother used. Then I started using less, and then none, and found that various foods had more flavour. The next time I had my mother's cooking, I couldn't bear it, it seemed so salty. :yuck:

While I still enjoy sweet or salty treats, I haven't bought sugar or salt in maybe 10+ years. I don't use alternative sweeteners either.
 
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When I read 'packets' I suspect other ingredients. Often there is for example added succralose.
And right there with 'ya @pamojja .


There's any number of things you could be reacting to in powdered Sweet Leaf stevia, @Tiger Lily 813. They add maltodextrin to it, and list 'natural flavors' as well, which sounds benign, but the definition of 'natural' includes pretty much anything that has a carbon molecule in it. Which would be anything grown, mined, or produced on Earth. As an example, one of the 'natural' vanilla flavors is produced from the anal glands of beavers, sooooo .....

Take a look at the contents of Sweet Leaf powdered stevia to see what else you might be reacting to.

I've been using stevia for a decade and a half, but I use liquid stevia, which is pure stevia with 11% organic alcohol (the residual ethanol used to extract stevia from the plant leaves) and deionized water. As far as I know, I've never had any problems with it, or experienced any ill-effects, and the alcohol part is invisible, with no taste or other indication that it's there ...

If you use powdered stevia for its convenient packet portability, the liquid version I use (NOW Organic Better Stevia) comes in a 2 oz squeeze bottle, which makes it easy to measure exact drops.
 
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Erythritol is pretty much zero calory and no insulin response
I'd be really careful with erythritol as a sweetener, since alcohol sugars can be really .... counterproductive.


Among other side effects, erythritol often causes digestive problems like diarrhea, gas, and bloating, with the added benefit of nausea ....

"Erythritol side effects typically include digestive problems and diarrhea. It may also cause bloating, cramps, and gas. Additionally, erythritol and other sugar alcohols frequently result in more water in the intestines, causing diarrhea. Nausea and headaches may occur as well....."
 
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I enjoy that I've shifted my tastes away from sweets.
I salute you, C. Cat :trophy::trophy: ..... I have a deadly sweet tooth, that generally concentrates its interest on dark chocolate anything .... the thought of leaving that small treat behind actually makes me visibly cringe. I had to do without it during The Troubles, when my system was reacting to absolutely everything, and it was miserable ...
 
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I"d wonder about its blood vessel dilating qualities, if folks are worried about POTS.
Not sure why .... I think you're safe ....


Here's a copy and paste from the article you thoughtfully linked to (and thank you !!), above .....

4) Blood pressure
Certain glycosides in stevia extract have been found to dilate blood vessels.
They can also increase sodium excretion and urine output.


A 2003 study showed that stevia could potentially help lower blood pressure.
The study suggested that the stevia plant might have cardiotonic actions.
Cardiotonic actions normalize blood pressure and regulate the heartbeat.


However, more recent studies have shown that stevia does not
seem to impact blood pressure. Further research is required
to confirm this benefit of stevia.

EDIT .... For additional emphasis ....
 
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I salute you, C. Cat :trophy::trophy: ..... I have a deadly sweet tooth, that generally concentrates its interest on dark chocolate anything .... the thought of leaving that small treat behind actually makes me visibly cringe.
Proper chocolate is so good for your health, looking at you Hershey :cautious: . It's also one of the few sweets I eat, yet I buy my kids sweet chocolate and eat the darkest with the least sugar for myself.

For Birthdays I will cook and eat Brownies, Cheesecake, Apple Cobbler, etc. That's so rich tasting when only consuming sweets a few times a year. I don't feel like I'm missing anything.
 
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For Birthdays I will cook and eat Brownies, Cheesecake, Apple Cobbler, etc. That's so rich tasting when only consuming sweets a few times a year. I don't feel like I'm missing anything.
OMIGOD !!!! Now I'm going from admiring your fortitude and discipline to actually being pissed off by it .... only ONCE a year ???!!??? That's like, almost inhuman restraint.

Proper chocolate is so good for your health, looking at you Hershey :cautious: . It's also one of the few sweets I eat, yet I buy my kids sweet chocolate and eat the darkest with the least sugar for myself.
Oh wait ..... never mind !!! Anyone who appreciates the benefits of chocolate HAS to be totally human, in the best sense of that .... altho I have to admit, I've never understood the lure of milk-chocolate over the dark kind. Seems like a waste of good chocolate ..... maybe you can gradually lure your kiddos from the milk to the Mighty Dark ....

Chacun a son gout .... I'll butt out now ....cause what all parents need is more unsolicited input from The Cyber ....:xeyes::xeyes::xeyes: :hug::hug:
 
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Stevia is in a couple of supplements I take, and I can't stand the taste. There are types of stevia that don't taste as bad to me, but I really don't like it.

The main thing I use sweetener in is my 1 cup of black tea in the morning. For that I use about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of honey, which I figure won't kill me.

If I have something like oatmeal or a smoothie, I like to add a little frozen banana to sweeten them just a bit. I peel ripe bananas, cut them into pieces, and store in the freezer.

As for chocolate, I'm in the dark chocolate camp. One square of Theo's 85% dark chocolate with a cup of green tea boosts my mood every morning.