Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Why I don't like stevia

I am so over hearing about or receiving products that say they are "all natural" and "healthy" only to scan the ingredients and see that Stevia is an ingredient.
I know that for many, Stevia is a great option. If you are diabetic and must have something sweet, I can see how it could be a life saver. I also understand that Stevia comes from a plant, stevia rebaudiana. But, sugar, real sugar, also comes from a plant, and it isn't the best, either.
Anything that is sweet, whether real or chemical, causes a change in the body. While a natural change is better than a chemical change, like from aspartame or sucralose, our body still perceives that it is getting sugar and prepares itself to handle that. This leaves your body in the same predicament that chemical sweeteners do, meaning that the body amps up it's production of cortisol, glycogen, adrenaline, etc, to help break down the sugar, only to have no sugar to break down.
So, stevia is not quite the miracle plant it is touted to be and, in my opinion, has no place in a clean diet.
Honey (go local!) and maple syrup are my two favorite ways to sweeten naturally. Agave is another option, but it is also a bit controversial for some of the same reasons as stevia. Also, in my opinion, I feel like if you "have" to have a sweet treat, live it up. Have real, raw sugar in a cookie or ice cream. Not everyday, but for a treat. Your body does know how to process this and, while it isn't ideal daily, your body can handle it every now and then. (Unless you have a medical condition that causes you not to be able to have sugar.)
For food and drinks that don't require sugar or sweetener, just let it go! Drinking black coffee, unsweetened tea and unsweetened milk (think coconut or almond) may not be great at first, but I switched all of those and now I can't stand sweet drinks.
I love to bake and will splurge and use real, raw sugar every now and then, especially if others will be eating it. Other than that I use local honey or applesauce.
Plus, you guys, I just tried a shake that was sweetened with stevia and it tastes gross. Fake sweet. Icky sweet. You don't want fake. You want real.