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Is Stevia Safe?

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.


Join The Conversation
laurenislost laurenislost 6 years
Side effects may include: horrible bitter aftertaste... am I the only one who gets that?
pinkvenus27 pinkvenus27 9 years
I thought I would try this being that I am trying to cut down on my sugar. Bad move, Within minutes I felt sick to my stomach and got a headache. I have yet to find something I can use thats not sugar or honey.
alwaysunny alwaysunny 9 years
I love SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia Flavors. Vanilla Creme and Chocolate Raspberry are my favorite! :D :D :D
Wikipedia Wikipedia 9 years
Subscribing is confusing.
Wikipedia Wikipedia 9 years
I don't use artificial sweeteners because they really never satisfy you. Multiple studies have shows that consuming artificial will make one ravenous, while sugar will make one a sugar addict, and sticking to foods with small amounts of natural sugars will help one control their appetite. Taste is an important function when it comes to the digestive system, don't try fooling it. That's just not nice.
techkim techkim 9 years
I have been using the liquid stevia for awhile now. We make our own lemonade with it. A little goes a long way to sweeten. I recently found these little packs you can add to water and get a flavor(strawberry, lime, cherry, orange, grape) again sweeten with stevia. There is also chocolate stevia that mixes in milk. Love it!
jojobear13 jojobear13 9 years
Yes i have tried Stevia and I use it in baking and occasionally when i have some coffee...its delicious and I have never had any problems with it. The only reason the FDA will not approve Stevia or many other natural products is because they do not reap the monetary benefits of the sales generated by these products. They will, however, approve Splenda (sucralose) which has been proven to cause serious illness and bad side effects in many people. I for one have personally been affected by splenda and had to stop using it because of how sick i became. And...just because something causes an effect in a rat does not mean it will do the same in a human. After all, if we had the same body composition of a rat wouldn't rats be running the world?
jnj213 jnj213 9 years
My dad has diabetes and used to use Equal then Splenda... I'm sorry fake sugar is not good for you ... mmmm molecularly engineered sugar- YUM!! It's just weird to me. But I bought him Stevia one day at whole foods after talking to them about better options than what he was using.. keeping in mind he has diabetes. I personally like less processed cane sugar.... the less processed the better
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 9 years
i just use sugar! it's simple & i don't have to worry if it's going to harm me (or lab rats). besides, i don't feel like a few teaspoons of sugar in my morning oatmeal & an afternoon latte is going to do serious damage to my diet.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I don't like stevia because it tastes so weird to me. I usually use aspartame or Splenda in my food because they're cheaper and I like the taste better. And since stevia, aspartame, and Splenda are ALL going to give me cancer at some point (along with everything else on the planet), I figure "what the hell" and eat it anyway. In moderation, of course.
kbrooks7 kbrooks7 9 years
i just bought some stevia to replace my sugar from whole foods.. so far so good. so many people have been recommending stevia to me so i decided to give it a try. it's not bad and you only need a small amount..i also read about it in skinny bitch i think...anyways i think its better than artifical sweetners and i personally think the fda is afraid to market stevia because they may loose money.. i think i heard that some where.. anyways i also think i heard somewhere that it has a decent amount of fiber in it as well.. dont quote me though :)
taratootie taratootie 9 years
I think it tastes funny. I go with agave, honey, splenda or just (gasp) sugar. I mean 1 tsp of sugar has 15 cals. If I eat 2 tsp a day, I can deal with that. I am very healthy so I think I wont get diabetes from that!
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I got some cat treats the other day that have Stevia in them. I can't even find Stevia around here. Once again proof that my cats eat better than I do. :D
cardioqueen88 cardioqueen88 9 years
the FDA has approves letting us put chemicals (artificial sweeteners), fast foods, and so many other things into our body, but dosn't approve of an all natural sweetener. hmmm....i think it all comes down to money. I LOVE stevia, it takes a little while to get used to it, and learning how to bake with it, but it's worth it!
teacherturtle1 teacherturtle1 9 years
chemicals.. whether natural, or synthetic, it's best to know what they are, and of course if they are good for you. everything we eat, even our bodies are chemicals. the FDA is supposed to protect us, however, i also see a conflict in interest when it seems pharmaceuticals are preferred over the use of a plant. perhaps because the profitability is greater with a patent of a drug, and plants can't be patented i think.. maybe my argument is weak, but companies pay billions to get approval of drugs that can have some crazy side effects. plants can have the same problem, too. natural doesn't always mean safe or better. a chemical can exist from nature or from a lab and it is the exact same thing, but you make more money on the synthetic type. i hope whatever it is we eat, it be safe for us, and at the same time maybe learning to understand why is good too, but the FDA is slow to move due to process, and cash is always an issue in this world. idk.. after everything is said and done, there really is no easy way to stay healthy if it is a chore to eat, sleep, and exercise in a healthy manner. but to those who treat their bodies well, it is evident. but gosh, i love to eat sweets! mmm mmm! where is my buddy paula deen at? ;)
aanyanka aanyanka 9 years
I do not like the taste of stevia. It has an overpowering after taste. I prefer agave nectar by far.
HappyKate HappyKate 9 years
I don't know sounded good till the list of side let's just say I wont be trying it yet
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
I don't really care what the FDA says. They approve things that aren't good for us at all so I don't even know how much I trust them. I wanted to get stevia so I can make sweets my diabetic father can have since I don't want anyone consuming fake unnatural artifical sweeteners..that the FDA has approved even if it's not actually good for people.
Kellyim Kellyim 9 years
I use Stevia because I like the fact that it is an herbal sweetener, rather than something chemical. If you use too much, there is a slight aftertaste, but you can figure out what works for you.
HipMom HipMom 9 years
HipMom HipMom 9 years
The studies including rats didn't use stevia, they used only the active compound, steviosides - and in a concentration that was about 50 times higher than you would take in if you were consuming stevia. I use stevia, have used it for years and I think that together with agave nectar it is the best sweetened out there.
sulli21282 sulli21282 9 years
Typing correction: "...looking [out] for it's people's well being?" And in addition, I'm glad I'm not alone in not fully trusting the FDA. It's good to know that we are all becoming people who think for themselves!
sulli21282 sulli21282 9 years
I don't know what to think. I like to be informed, but in all cases, you always hear two sides of the story. I know you should always consider the source, but how do you know who to believe. Should you really believe the FDA? Should you really believe the civilian who put her time and money into investigating the FDA to find out that it's more of a money market than it is an organization looking our for it's people's well being? I never know what to believe. Now-a-days, it seems almost everything can give you cancer!
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