Stevia (Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni) is an herb that has been used as a natural sweetener in various Asian countries for decades and in parts of South America for centuries. It is calorie-free, low-cost, and up to 320 times sweeter than sugar. It is not an artificial sweetener like aspartame and sucralose, and is the only sweetener I know of that helps to balance blood sugar. It is therefore a safe sugar alternative for diabetics and ideal for anyone prone to sugar cravings… and weight-gain!Recent research suggests that stevia may also fight viruses, treat cancer, decrease high blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. Quite a wonder when you consider that excessive sugar consumption is associated with just the opposite outcomes: poor immune system function, increased inflammation, and high blood pressure.
Stevia is heat and acid stable (unlike aspartame), which means that you can cook with it, though it is a challenge. There are many websites and books (available at Tara Natural Foods, downtown Kingston) to help you through this process.