From a health standpoint sugar is your enemy but this does not mean you must give up sweeteners. The sweetener stevia is made from the leaves of stevia rebaudiana, a plant that is native to South America. In December 2008 Stevia was approved as a natural sweetener by the Food and Drug Administration. This cleared the way for many people to be able to enjoy its benefits.
Since approved as a sweetener the use of stevia has risen rapidly in the US. It is now available under the brand names such as Only Sweet, SweetLeaf, fructevia, Slimtevia, Nustevia, PureVia, Reb-A and Truvia. The following is representative but not an exhaustive list of stevia based sweeteners.
SweetLeaf® is made by using the leaves of the stevia plant and extracting their naturally sweet taste with only cool, purified water. No chemicals, alcohols, or additives are used. SweetLeaf® is the only chemical-free, zero-calorie, zero-carb, zero-glycemic index, 100% natural sweetener. Stevia is very sweet and contains zero calories. It is a good choice for use when trying to lose weight. A teaspoon of table sugar for example, contains 16 calories. best liquid stevia drops seems to be the ideal sweetener for people watching their weight and needing to control their blood sugar. It however has a bitter after taste that some people find objectionable.
Fructevia is a blend of Rebaudioside A an extract from stevia, Fructose, Magnesium Carbonate,and nutritional supplements called Fructo-Oligosaccharides.
Fructevia is about three times as sweet as sugar so you use 1⁄3 to half as much. The company guaranties Fructevia will not have a bitter after taste. There are no genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) in Fructevia and it contains no Gluten or chemicals. It is completely a product of nature. Fructevia is a healthful sweetener but much sweeter than sugar yet with a small fraction of the calories and virtually no effect on blood sugar. It is the Fructose that keeps the stevia from being bitter. This is particularly true when only small amounts are used.
The Magnesium in Fructevia is an important mineral for your health including nerves, muscles, bones, and heart. Studies have reported that Americans are dangerously magnesium-deficient.
What is fructose?
Fructose, or fruit sugar, in Fructevia is a monosaccharide (simple sugar) found in many plants. The glycemic index for Fructose is low (19). Fructose has the lowest Index rating of all natural sugars. Fructose is not the same as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
The ingredients of Slimtevia are basically this same as that of Fructevia. Slimtevia like Fructevia adds a little fructose to eliminate the bitter after taste and still have a product that does not raise your blood sugar level. Slimtevia like Fructevia doesn’t spike your blood sugar and does not have the bitter taste associated with pure stevia.
An individual packet is one serving which is ½ tsp. powder (1). A packet of NuStevia contains 80 mg of stevia and 920 mg of Maltodextrinand a very small amount of natural flavors. Thus NuStevia is only 8.96% stevia and over 91% is maltodextrin. The glycemic index for maltodextrin is 150 which is high.Maltodextrinis a type of carbohydrate. It is produced from starch by partial hydrolysis. The actual glycemic index for maltodextrin (150) is high. The amount of maltodextrin however a serving of NuStevia White Stevia is less than a gram. This mixture with 91% maltodextrin is reported to not have the bitter after taste associated with regular stevia even though it will increase your blood sugar level a little. 1 tspof NuSteviais as sweet as 1 tspof sugar (1 cup= 1 cup).