How does stevia compare to cane, beet or corn sugar?
Cane, beet and corn sugar (HFCS) as well as stevia are mass volume sweeteners that taste great, are economically priced and have a scalable supply. However, unlike the various sugars, stevia has the added advantage of contributing fewer calories to foods and beverages
What are steviol glycosides?
Unless you want to chew on leaves, stevia needs to have its sweetness extracted from it. The sweet tasting components of the stevia plant which are extracted from the plant are called steviol glycosides. Steviol glycosides can be isolated and purified from the leaves of the stevia plant and can be up to 400 times sweeter than sucrose. Each steviol glycoside has a particular taste profile and sweetness intensity.
Is stevia safe?
Yes. There are more than 200 studies attesting to the safety of stevia for subjects of all ages. Additionally, all major global regulatory organizations including the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), have determined that there are no safety concerns with stevia.
How much stevia can someone safely consume?
As explained elsewhere, stevia leaf extracts are a mixture of sweetening compounds called steviol glycosides. In order to establish an acceptable daily intake for the mixture, safety studies calculate intake based on the common feature in the steviol glycosides – the steviol backbone. Therefore, the acceptable daily intake for the stevia leaf extracts has been established and adopted globally recognized safety studies as 4 mg per kg of body weight expressed in steviol equivalents. Safety authorities, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), have calculated this intake level to include a substantially high (100 fold) safety margin. You can find more information about the calculation of daily intake here.
An adult weighing 60 kg can consume an amount of stevia leaf extract with sweetening power equivalent to about 45 teaspoons of sugar a day, however, due to their lower weight, children reach the recommended daily intake faster than adults: a child that is half as heavy as a 60kg adult can safely consume half as much (approximately 22 teaspoons).
How does the body metabolize stevia?
Through a series of digestive processes, the body breaks down steviol glycosides (the form of stevia we eat) into steviol glucuronide. The steviol glucuronide is then removed from the body in the urine.
Stevia is a green leafed plant so, if Sweetly Stevia® were really 100% Natural, shouldn’t it be green?
Actually, the sweetener component of the plant is a crystal-white transparent colour completely natural in the unaltered Stevia plant structure (see image). These crystal-like substances actually sit on the surface of the leaf and are generated by the plant to cover its surface to protect the leaf underneath. You can think of these crystalline structures as stevia’s internal “sunscreen”. At Sweetly Stevia®, our patented water extraction process washes these crystals off the surface of the plant leaf. You can think of it as us giving our stevia a shower!
Why aren’t you zero calorie?
We couldn’t find a way to be calorie-free and stay true to our primary objectives which were to (1) be truly 100% Natural and (2) taste great! What’s the point, we figured, of having a zero-calorie product if people have to force themselves to use it? Even, if people do force themselves for a time, eventually we figure they’d probably backslide to sugar. As a company interested in doing its bit in the battle versus obesity & diabetes, we want to develop products which people will want to use long term not just as a quick fix.
Also, there’s some research out there that suggests that zero-calorie products trick the body because it doesn’t get any calorie injection for what it expects from the sweet taste ingested, potentially encouraging people to eat more than they should! Kinda defeats the point of a diet product, doesn’t it?
Why don’t you have it in tablet form?
We haven’t found a way to do so in a way that is true to our 100% Natural ethos. We’ll keep looking though! In the meantime, we offer sachets and sticks for on the go use.
Why don’t you use Erythritol, Xylitol or Sorbitol?
We don’t want to have to put a laxative warning on our product (we’re not kidding; check out the small print of products containing these sugar alcohols)! Our bodies do a poor job at digesting sugar alcohols (which is why they are lower in calories), and, as a result, these alcohols hang out in our intestines where they are fermented by colonic bacteria. The most common by-product of this fermentation is diarrhea but can also include cramping, gas and bloating. How pleasant.
Also, it’s debatable how natural and how non-GMO these sugar alcohols are. Please click on the tab below to learn more, particularly about Erythritol.
How come Sweetly Stevia® comes in a granular form whilst most of the other stevias on the market are powdery?
Generally speaking these stevias tend to be extremely concentrated and have typically been chemically processed with things like Hexane and Aqueous Ethanol.
How is that Sweetly Stevia® genuinely tastes like sugar?
At Sweetly Stevia® we use a patented process that extracts the sugary goodness using only water. Having a patent means no-one else can use this process. Many other manufacturers use ethanol, methanol, or even rubbing alcohol to extract and purify. This not-so-natural process can result in a bitter after-taste.