What is Stevia?
Stevia is a natural herb originating from South America, and has been used for 1,500 years. It has no calories and is few hundred times sweeter than sugar. It appears to have no known side-effects, and has also been widely used in Japan now for decades as a natural sweetener.
How to Use Stevia
Since Stevia is few hundred times sweeter than sugar, you only have to use a little bit to get the same effect. 1 teaspoon of Stevia powder is equal to approximately 1 cup of sugar. The best way to use Stevia powder is to put it in liquid or semi-liquid foods. For example, you can enjoy it in yogurt, almond milk, or smoothies. It tastes just like sugar.
However Stevia can have a bitter aftertaste if you bake it (cookies, cakes). For baked goods, Xylitol may be a better alternative. (Just don’t ever feed Xylitol to your pets – it can kill them! Also some people may experience bloating or diarrhea.) However, as long as you don’t put too much in, you can use Stevia when stir-frying meats/vegetables or slow cooking them on the stove-top.
It appears some Stevia brands have a bitter aftertaste no matter how you use it. This Now brand Stevia has no bitter aftertaste. Since Stevia is so sweet, this container will go a long way.
Stevia for Weight Loss
Stevia is highly recommended as a sugar substitute for those trying to lose weight. It makes a huge difference if you can pretty much eliminate sugar from your diet. Sugar is addictive and eating lots of sugar makes you crave even more sugar, so it’s also an ideal way to end the vicious cycle and the craving for sugar.
Also, it may be more practical to have a safe sugar substitute on hand for those times when you have a sweet tooth, than to try to cut out all sweets out of your life (which probably is unrealistic for most people). You should not go overboard and over-consume Stevia, as you should not over-consume any 1 food item. But within reason, enjoy Stevia‘s sweetness!