Due to the potential toxicity and unknown long term consequences of using artificial sweeteners, it is good to know that there is a safe alternative.
Stevia is a slow release sweetener that can be used by those who don’t want to use sugar or artificial sweeteners and who are sensitive to either. It is wonderful for diabetics as well.
The Indians of Paraguay have used Stevia for centuries. Europeans learned of Stevia when the Spanish Conquistadors of the sixteenth century sent word to Spain that the natives of South America had used it. Stevia comes from a shrub native to the northern regions of South America. It is now also grown in Brazil, Uruguay, Central America, the U.S., Israel, Thailand and China. We here in the U.S. simply refer to it as the Stevia plant.
It has very potent sweetening properties and can be used instead of sugar for cooking, baking, and sweetening pretty much anything in place of sugar or artificial sweeteners that are used in practically everything processed today. It is probably one of the safest sweeteners on the market.
Stevia is completely natural and doesn’t affect blood sugar levels like sugar does, or pollute our bodies like artificial sweeteners do. Plus, you don’t need to use much, since it is very concentrated. You most likely won’t find Stevia on your grocer’s shelves yet, but it is available at whole food and natural food stores everywhere. It generally comes in liquid or powdered form. For those concerned with sugar intake, Stevia is a wonderful alternative.