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Thread: Stevia - Safe?

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    The Question Man
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    Stevia - Safe?

    I just heard about this sweetner from someone behind me in line at Whole Foods. She said she uses it (Stevia that is) all the time and it's much better than any artificial sweetner (because Stevia is natural) and also much better (duh) than white sugar. Has anyone used Stevia before? Are there any side effects? I can believe it is being suppressed by the Sugar companies but I guess it would be possible that it could be detrimental to one's health. Thanks in advance guys!
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    lws
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    White sugar is poison! It's the same color as arsenic, and they use that to kill rats! Plus, white sugar catches fire and burns, just like gasoline and wood, and you wouldn't eat gasoline would you????

    Stevia, on the other hand, is made from a plant, so it must be good! Plus, the plant is an herb, just like hemp, so it's even better together!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by lws
    White sugar is poison! It's the same color as arsenic, and they use that to kill rats! Plus, white sugar catches fire and burns, just like gasoline and wood, and you wouldn't eat gasoline would you????
    I know. I haven't had white sugar in about a year. I was just trying to give people a reference in case they hadn't heard of Stevia.
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    I discovered Stevia about a year ago and have been using it ever since in coffee, tea, etc. I still use Splenda if I need something to cook with. The only side effect that I have found is a packet of Stevia has a gram of fiber in it. Also, it is very sweet, so I only use part of a pack for an entire pot of tea.

    Sandy

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandySwimmer
    I discovered Stevia about a year ago and have been using it ever since in coffee, tea, etc. I still use Splenda if I need something to cook with. The only side effect that I have found is a packet of Stevia has a gram of fiber in it. Also, it is very sweet, so I only use part of a pack for an entire pot of tea.

    Sandy
    good to know. For me, fiber is welcome though I've read that you can cook with it too though. Is there any particular reason you don't?
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    It's just that it takes very little Stevia to sweeten. If you need the consistency of sugar for a recipe, you wowuld need to use something else. I did some research when I first heard of it. What I like is there are no chemicals in it. I can't remember the number, but I think it's 10 times sweeter than sugar. I like the packets because they are convenient.

    Sandy

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandySwimmer
    It's just that it takes very little Stevia to sweeten. If you need the consistency of sugar for a recipe, you wowuld need to use something else. I did some research when I first heard of it. What I like is there are no chemicals in it. I can't remember the number, but I think it's 10 times sweeter than sugar. I like the packets because they are convenient.

    Sandy
    I see what you mean. I'll have to look for recipes. I like baking (and yes I'm a guy and no I'm not gay) but I have no idea how to use natural sweetners that are liquid (honey alone or cane juice). I figured Stevia powder would be a good sugar sub. Have you ever found it at local markets or do you have to order it online?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lws
    Stevia, on the other hand, is made from a plant, so it must be good!

    I must have been sick the day they told me what sugar was made out of......... apparently it is not from cane or beets, or aren't they plants?

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    I have found stevia at Whole Foods and Earth Fare. The brand I happen to buy (because the woman at Earth Fare first recommended it) is SweetLeaf. A little is very sweet, too much and it becomes a bit bitter. Now that I think of it, I may only use 1/2 packet in a pot of tea. I usually have two pots in a day though. A little goes a long way.

    Sandy

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    Stevia is a great product to use, I have been using it for over a year now, I can't completely replace sugar with stevia, but I have cut down alot in areas that sure needed it. I use it in kool-aid (I like the lemonaid koolaid) and I like it quite sweet so its probably about a teaspoon and a half I use. I have tried to bake with it without much luck, particularly chocolate chip cookies... no success you just use too much sugar and the consistancy is wrong. But it is good in cooking I find, things like sauces, if you make your own dressings or anything like that it works great.
    As for where to find it, you should be able to get it from health food stores, its quite popular espicially as a diabetic substitute. I would not recommend ordering it online, I've not found anywhere online that makes the price worth it.
    I did however order stevia seeds, I am growing an indoor herb garden for the winter and stevia is top on my list.
    Also I will make note it doesn't taste exactly like sugar, it is sweet, espicialy on a one to one ratio but I personally don't find it as sweet as they say it is, but still very sweet in compairison. Also the stevia extract is less bitter.

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    I highly recommend sucanat, which is the rawest of sugars (also referred to as green sugar). I use it whenever possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandySwimmer
    I did some research when I first heard of it. What I like is there are no chemicals in it.
    Sandy
    I do not believe that there can be no chemicals in Stevia, for it would not exist if there were not any.

    I read an interesting journal article (Efficacy and tolerability of oral stevioside in patients with mild essential hypertension) Where stevia is succesfully used to lower blood pressure in people with hyper tension.

    It may be interesting to know that one the makers of aspartame convinced the FDA to label stevia as unsafe. Another study declared that large amounts of stevia can cause cancer and other problems. The funny thing is that the articles used for the negative points on stevia are about the only ones that are reffered too but the ones that show the positive uses are not reffered too. Hmmmmmmm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by akarius
    It may be interesting to know that one the makers of aspartame convinced the FDA to label stevia as unsafe. Another study declared that large amounts of stevia can cause cancer and other problems. The funny thing is that the articles used for the negative points on stevia are about the only ones that are reffered too but the ones that show the positive uses are not reffered too. Hmmmmmmm.
    It may also be interesting to know that Stevia is currently banned in the EU, Singapore, and Hong Kong as a food additive, with (apparently) no urging from the makers of aspartame. Also, as it is currently in the U.S., it's only approved as a "dietary supplement", not a food additive, in Canada and Australia.

    The funny thing is that just about any food can have a negative effect, in addition to positive ones for different people, in different quantities, etc. Just because something is "natural" or doesn't contain any chemicals (ha ha!) doesn't mean it's inherently good (or bad). Last I checked there were plenty of "natural" substances which are quite toxic, and plenty of synthesized or refined ones which are benign or even beneficial.

    For some, stevia may be a good alternative to regular sugars, particularly if there is some sensitivity to sugar. But it may also be problematic, particularly if one has allergies to ragweed or other members of the Asteraceae family of which stevia is a member. And of course the studies mentioned above have to make you wonder, but then again there are probably tons of similar ones about sugar, aspartame, and other sweeteners.
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    awesome stuff guys. Really, I come here when I have questions about nutrition, not my doc. Why? Because you guys know more I'm so glad I found this site
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheebahmunkey
    I just heard about this sweetner from someone behind me in line at Whole Foods. She said she uses it (Stevia that is) all the time and it's much better than any artificial sweetner (because Stevia is natural) and also much better (duh) than white sugar. Has anyone used Stevia before? Are there any side effects? I can believe it is being suppressed by the Sugar companies but I guess it would be possible that it could be detrimental to one's health. Thanks in advance guys!
    Yeah. It's ok. I just got back from a fitness conference from this weekend where I received my sports nutrition certification, and the woman issuing the classes and giving the lectures for the weekend on nutrition said that Stevia was totally safe and healthy also.

    Koffee

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    Quote Originally Posted by 'nother
    It may also be interesting to know that Stevia is currently banned in the EU, Singapore, and Hong Kong as a food additive, with (apparently) no urging from the makers of aspartame. Also, as it is currently in the U.S., it's only approved as a "dietary supplement", not a food additive, in Canada and Australia.
    it has been around for thousands of years. there is no profit in it like there is in sugar and other sweetners. hell the UK is banning all herbal products. it is a typical money is more important then our health issue.
    we don't see thigns that are natural and good for us reccomended because they can't be made profitable.

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    There are studies on stevia that indicate that there is no harm done on a genetic level by taking large quantities of stevia, these studies were done on mice and rats. I have found that on the net when they say stevia in large doses can cause DNA mutations which lead to cancer, they do not name their sources.
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    Just about anything can cause cancer in mice and rats while in the lab. I remember when they said that Orbit gum caused cancer in mice- therefore, it causes cancer in humans. Orbit gum was yanked from the shelves, all for nothing. Now we know that just because it does something to lab rats, doesn't exactly mean it'll have the same effects on humans.

    But I do not think stevia has any harmful effects on folks.

    Koffee

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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    Just about anything can cause cancer in mice and rats while in the lab. I remember when they said that Orbit gum caused cancer in mice- therefore, it causes cancer in humans. Orbit gum was yanked from the shelves, all for nothing. Now we know that just because it does something to lab rats, doesn't exactly mean it'll have the same effects on humans.

    But I do not think stevia has any harmful effects on folks.

    Koffee
    Where does it say it causes cancer? A gene mutation is a gene mutation, since the genes in humans and rats are almost the same do you not think that there would be some relavence. The fact is doses as high as 2000 mg/kg caused no gene mutations, but sources on the net say stevia in high doses causes cancer but they offer no proof.
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    Quote Originally Posted by akarius
    Where does it say it causes cancer? A gene mutation is a gene mutation, since the genes in humans and rats are almost the same do you not think that there would be some relavence. The fact is doses as high as 2000 mg/kg caused no gene mutations, but sources on the net say stevia in high doses causes cancer but they offer no proof.
    But then we have all the artificial sweeteners that are perfectly safe. The problem is money that really pays to find out something that is almost free is bad for you? Who wonít pay for testing on something that makes a huge profit?
    The only reason stevia is not in foods is because it will not make anyone a profit. So we suffer with bad for us products so someone can make a buck.

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    It tastes really bad in coffee. Goes well with fruit flavors.
    I used to use it in my fruit shakes; but I decided to give up
    artificial sweetners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    It tastes really bad in coffee. Goes well with fruit flavors.
    I used to use it in my fruit shakes; but I decided to give up
    artificial sweetners.
    the problem is there are different qualities of it. some taste bad some don't. it usualy comes as a extract the white powder can be bad or ok. but if you can get the actual ground up leaf it is green and tastes better. but stevia is a plant and if you get the ground leaf it is not artificial.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveknight
    But then we have all the artificial sweeteners that are perfectly safe. The problem is money that really pays to find out something that is almost free is bad for you? Who wonít pay for testing on something that makes a huge profit?
    The only reason stevia is not in foods is because it will not make anyone a profit. So we suffer with bad for us products so someone can make a buck.

    So the fact that stevia is used is by millions of people does not mean that the people who sell it are making big profits? There is a possibility for a huge market considering all the diabetics that could benifit from a sweetener that does not have the physiological effects of cane of beet sugar

    It seems that one of the main reasons that stevia is not is foods is because the government will not allow it to be used as such.

    There have been tests on stevia, and they seem to point to the same thing.
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    huge profits? I doubt it. since it is not a big seller like splenda. imagine if coca cola used it? thats a big deal. health food strores are nto a big deal.
    the plant is easy to grow and it can be grown at home. these are reasons why big buisness does not want it. profit has made this world a hard place to live. al lthe processed foods all the medicines ignored because they can't be made profitable all the people that starve and die becaue of profit. stevia has been used for a hell of a long time without problems. but will you really see real studies about it? I doubt it who would pay for them? studies can only be valid they are not sponsored by someone that will profit from the results.
    one reason I don't have any proof about the two big sweetners today who owuld pay for the real studies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveknight
    huge profits? I doubt it. since it is not a big seller like splenda. imagine if coca cola used it? thats a big deal. health food strores are nto a big deal.
    the plant is easy to grow and it can be grown at home. these are reasons why big buisness does not want it. profit has made this world a hard place to live. al lthe processed foods all the medicines ignored because they can't be made profitable all the people that starve and die becaue of profit. stevia has been used for a hell of a long time without problems. but will you really see real studies about it? I doubt it who would pay for them? studies can only be valid they are not sponsored by someone that will profit from the results.
    one reason I don't have any proof about the two big sweetners today who owuld pay for the real studies?
    There have been studies on stevia, in fact the studies have proved that there are chemicals in stevia that are known to cause a hypoglycemic condition in diabetics. I donít know how one can say there have not been studies on stevia when there have been.

    The people who are looking to control diabetes will pay for studies on it and already have, people who are trying to understand and build a knowledge base on sweeteners other than sugar already have. As well on people trying to understand the effects of stevia on hypertension have.

    There are lots of things that can be grown at home quite easily and people go to the grocery store and pay for them. The fact that someone can grow something at home does not stop big business from cashing in.

    Health shops are not in it for the money? Is that what you mean by "health food strores are nto a big deal" (sic).

    I guess a single company selling 1.57 billion dollars in product in one year is not a big deal.

    I see many health food stores that are huge, and have locations all over the country, is a corporation with over 5000 stores not a big deal? I guess they are not in it for the money, or do you have to be a Mcdonalds or Coke to be in it for the money. It is many companies coming together making huge profits off of what can be sold for a fraction of the price in a grocery store.
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