Stevia: What is Wrong With This Picture
Stevia is a hot topic in the industry. Some people are in love, some people (like the FDA, corporations, and some wellness experts) say it is dangerous. I usually find the truth somewhere in between. Stevia won’t be the only natural sweetener discussed on this blog.
I was excited when Stevia first came out. A plant that is super sweet, not classified as sugar, that does not cause sugar imbalances or weight gain? Sign me up!
It took me awhile to get used to the taste of Stevia. My body just seemed opposed to it. The leaves picked straight off the plant did not seem to affect me in the same way, so I thought that was curious.
We are a society that is obsessed with sugar. Sugar is addictive and is hidden in just about everything nowadays. Unfortunately, sugar makes us age very fast and throws our hormones out of whack, even in small dosages. The older we become, the more sugar negatively affects us.
I regularly talk to my clients about kicking their sugar habit. Many say they still need their sweet treat every day. That small sweet treat is doing more damage than they realize. Many switched to Stevia and interestingly, their bodies didn’t react like they should when off of sugar. I did some research and found a few interesting positions on Stevia. There have been some studies that show that larger amounts of Stevia can be mutagenic. I am protective over my DNA. I think our DNA has been messed with and altered enough. There were also studies pointing to reproductive problems related to Stevia consumption.
The FDA has been the center of controversy around Stevia. People have said the FDA is only preventing something great from being on the market for economic and political reasons. I do not have any thoughts on the politics of this subject, however, seeing what I have in my clinic over the past few years, I am not onboard with Stevia being a suitable sugar replacement.
I do support using Stevia in the natural plant form; meaning a leaf picked off the bush and eaten. The problem happens with most sugars, from cane to honey, once refined the chemical action completely changes and something benign or beneficial becomes dangerous to the body. The powder form of Stevia is highly altered, processed and devoid of nutrition. Stevia contains bulking agents which can include toxic excipients. People are not using Stevia to move away from sugars, they are using Stevia as a crutch. Because they consider Stevia natural, they consume large doses which has a negative impact on the body.
If your body is craving sugar, you may have an overgrowth of Candida in your body or your cravings may simply be your body needing more fruit. Our body was designed as a tropical body. No matter where we live or how the climate has changed, there is still that need deeply imprinted on our cells passed down from our human beginnings. Eating adequate amounts of fresh fruit will often stop the cravings for sugar.
Stay tuned for more pros and cons of healthy sweeteners widely used in the wellness and raw food communities.