If you're trying to eat healthier, you may be trying to ditch foods made with white sugar and artificial sweeteners. What about the sweetener stevia? Have you ever heard of it? People are adding it to their coffee, flavoring their iced tea, and baking with it. Stevia is an herb from South America, and since the leaves from this plant have a sweet flavor that is 30 times sweeter than sugar, it's being used as an all natural sugar substitute. People watching their weight like the idea of stevia because it's calorie free. Is it safe though? To find out
It's a plant, so it must be safe, right? Well, the only problem is that although it's been approved in other countries such as China and Japan, the FDA considers it an unapproved food additive. At this time, the FDA feels that no one has provided them with adequate evidence proving that it's safe. It was however approved in 1994 to be sold as a dietary supplement, so that's why you can find it at some health and vitamin stores. What's more is that the Center for Science in the Public Interest thinks stevia should be avoided because studies show that sperm production was affected in rats, and there was an increase in cell production in their testicles. Hamsters fed a derivative of stevia gave birth to smaller and fewer babies. Studies also show that it may cause cancer.
I'm not sure I will be using it anytime soon and will just work it out to eat my sweets in moderation. How about you, do you use stevia? Tell me why you like it in the comments section below.