Stevia is an herb, like basil, but it’s flavor is sweet.
I have just started using stevia, I’ll use it in baked goods or raw desserts when it is called for, but to be honest, I’m still on the fence about it.
After I shot this episode, I started using stevia in what I call my “Lazy Lemonade” (1/2 lemon squeezed into 8 to 10 ounces of water with 6 to 9 drops of liquid stevia) and after about a week I started noticing that I didn’t feeling so great. I was bloated, off my game and I lost my appetite.
Apparently these side effects of stevia is not uncommon. A quick google search revealed this: “Stevioside — a substance found in stevia — may cause adverse gastrointestinal effects. After consuming stevia, you may experience nausea, bloating or gas. These stomach-related side effects may contribute to a temporary loss of appetite.”- livestrong.com
I don’t know if I was just using and consuming too much stevia in one sitting (most recipes I’ve seen seem to call for at most 15 to 30 drops and that’s spread out over an entire pie) or if I just cannot tolerate it. I haven’t noticed any adverse side effects when I use stevia in baked or raw treats, so I’m going to keep using it when it’s called for, for now. But I have stopped sweetening my beverages with it.
As always, food, and particularly sugar, is very personal. If one kind of sweetener doesn’t work for you, don’t eat it. For instance, I can’t tolerate xylitol. It makes my stomach hurt. Agave nectar, on the other hand, feels good to me, so I continue to eat it. I trust myself. I trust my body to tell me what I need.
I would love to hear any stories from you about stevia in the comments. If you use it and how it works for you.
If you want to hear a great conversation about sugar and how we can manage our cravings better, check out these two short and highly informative conversations that I had with the very impressive Ane Axford:
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Filed in: Food Facts & Tips