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The World of Stevia

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FAQs


 
  1. What is Stevia?
  2. Is Stevia Safe?
  3. I have heard that Stevia has side effects?
  4. What are the benefits of using Stevia?
  5. Where is Stevia Grown?
  6. Does Stevia have the same qualities as sugar in cooking recipes?
  7. Why is Stevia just coming onto the market?
  8. Does Stevia have any effect on hypoglycemia?
  9. How much Stevia is used around the world?
  10. How has Stevia been used in food applications?
  11. Can Sugar be replaced by Stevia in the daily diet plan?
  12. How Sweet is Stevia in comparison to Sugar?
  13. Is Stevia capable of replacing artificial sweeteners in the diet plan?
  14. Is Stevia safe to be used by a diabetic?
  15. Does Stevia increase the Blood Sugar levels?
  16. Does Stevia damage the teeth?
  17. Can Stevia be used while cooking or baking?
  18. Will Stevia break down at high temperatures like saccharin or aspartame?
  19. Does Stevia have any calories?
  20. What can I not `Do` with Stevia?
  21. What is the future of Stevia and its related products?
  22. Which countries have approved the usage of Stevia?
  23. Where can I buy Stevia?
 
1. What is Stevia?
First officially discovered in the 19th century by Dr. Moises Santiago Bertoni, the Stevia plant is a part of the Chrysanthemum plant species and is related to Lettuce, Marigold and Chicory as well. Christened Stevia Rebuadiani Bertoni in honor of the eminent Paraguayan Chemist, Rebaudi, the leaves of Stevia were used by Guarani Indians for sweetening the tea as well as making sweet treats.

Initially found in the lush forests of the Amabai Mountains in the Cordilleras Range in the northern part of South America beside the Brazil-Paraguay border, Stevia has seen a tremendous spurt in growth. The incredible healing properties of this naturally occurring sweetener stimulated the cultivation of Stevia in various parts of the world.

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2. Is Stevia Safe?
Used by numerous people across the world for many centuries now, Stevia is absolutely non-toxic and has never displayed any side-effects resulting from consumption. Recent tests and research on this astonishing natural herb have shown that Stevia does not cause any adverse reactions on human health. Taking over 50 percent of Japan’s natural sweetener industry, Stevia has proven that it is completely safe and actually good for improving overall health. Recognized by FAO, WHO as a beneficial and safe food additive, Stevia has also been approved for sale by the United States FDA as a healthy addition to the diet.

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3. I have heard that Stevia has side effects?
Completely natural Stevia is absolutely non-toxic sweetener and is completely non-mutagenic. Various test conducted around the world including the Japanese Food and Drug Safety Center along with scientists from Great Britain have found Stevia to be utterly harmless. Stevia has been used for centuries now by numerous people around the globe without harming human health. 

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4. What are the benefits of using Stevia?
This miraculous creation of natural elements aids the improvement of human health and cures various ailments. Research and a number of studies carried out by various laboratories and scientists have confirmed the beneficial properties of Stevia and its role as a high quality natural sweetener.
Stevia Benefits -
  • Zero Calories and Carbohydrates
  • Non-Toxic and Non-Mutagenic
  • Natural sweetener that lacks any chemical components
  • Known to cure varied ailments
  • Completely natural herbal sweetener
  • Great alternative for diabetics and the health conscious
For more details, read “Benefits of Stevia”

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5. Where is Stevia Grown?
Initially grown in the dense landscape of the Amabai Mountains in the Cordilleras Range in the northern part of South America beside the Brazil-Paraguay border, Stevia saw a spurt in cultivation due to its incredible healing properties. Nowadays the naturally created wonder herb is grown in India, China, Japan, Ukraine, Paraguay and Europe.  

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6. Does Stevia have the same qualities as sugar in cooking recipes?
Composed of the finest elements of nature, Stevia is 300 times sweeter than Sugar and is packed with a lot of vital health improving ingredients. Stevia and its extracts can be used in cooking or baking a variety of items. Even though Stevia is a better alternative to sugar in all possible ways, the molecular structure of Stevioside is completely different from that of Sucrose (sugar). Sugar caramelizes when heated while Stevioside does not and thus can’t be used to make treats like cookies and fudge. 

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7. Why is Stevia just coming onto the market?
Even though Stevia has been around for a long time and has been used by numerous people for centuries, it was unable to gain a foothold in the commercial market due to very powerful sugar and artificial sweetener lobbies.

During the 1950’s the entire sugar industry rallied against the use of Stevia in the United States. Even today Aspartame companies wield a tremendous influence over the FDA and have prevented Stevia from being approved by the regulatory council as a sugar substitute. A program on CBS called 60 Minutes that was aired in 1997 revealed the unscrupulous conduct of these aspartame companies in influencing the decisions of the FDA in approving Stevia.

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8. Does Stevia have any effect on hypoglycemia?
Stevia does not introduce sugar into the blood stream unlike sugar and fruit, which in turn automatically allows the body to control the blood sugar levels normally. This was confirmed by the research on the effect of Stevioside and the aqueous extract of Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni conducted by Professor Carlos Eduardo Pinheiro. The report was presented to the II Brazilian Convention on Stevia Rebaudiana (Bert) Bertoni in September of 1982. Consequently the tests prove that Stevia has no effect on hypoglycemia.  

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9. How much Stevia is used around the world?
Consumed around the world in massive quantities due to its numerous health benefits, pin pointing the exact amount of Stevia that is consumed around the world is difficult. The Japanese had consumed about 700 metric tones of Stevia in 1987 alone, though he numbers have risen tremendously over the years. This data does not take in to account the thousands of tonnes of Stevia that is used in the entire region of South America, South Korea, China, and all the areas in the Pacific Rim region along with countries in Europe, Australia and North America, where Stevia is consumed in large quantities.  

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10. How has Stevia been used in food applications?
Apart from the major use of Stevia in its raw form, it has also been developed commercially to be used as an alternative for sugar and other artificial sweeteners. In Japan Stevia is used to manufacture the sugar-free variety of Wrigley's chewing gums, Beatrice Foods yogurts and diet Coke. Stevia is also used in many Japanese foods like the pickles, dried seafood, fish and meat products, vegetables, confectioneries and a range of other items.

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11. Can Sugar be replaced by Stevia in the daily diet plan?
Numerous reports have shown that refined Sugar lacks all nutritive value and is responsible for unnecessary increase in calories. Many studies also indicate that Sugar is responsible for increasing the risk of many life threatening diseases. On the other hand Stevia which is much sweeter than Sugar is packed with the goodness of nature and does not contribute to calorie intake. 

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12. How Sweet is Stevia in comparison to Sugar?
The naturally occurring Stevia plant has been used for centuries by numerous people around the world and is found to be 250 to 300 times sweeter than Sugar. Stevia has a distinct sweet taste which is different from that of cane sugar and may need getting used to. Stevioside the white powder that is extracted from Stevia is about 100 to 150 times sweeter than ordinary Sugar.

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13. Is Stevia capable of replacing artificial sweeteners in the diet plan?
Artificial sweeteners are chemically formulated, man-made sugar alternatives that have been known to harm the body. Research conducted around the world clearly indicates the adverse effects of artificial sweeteners. While Stevia is an all natural herb that guarantees that none of the harmful affects of artificial sweeteners are present in its composition. The incredible healing properties and benefits of Stevia make it imperative for people to substitute Stevia for artificial sweeteners.  

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14. Is Stevia safe to be used by a diabetic?
Yes, Stevia is absolutely safe for diabetics due to the fact that it does not raise the blood sugar levels. The research that was conducted at the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism in Aarhus University Hospital located in Denmark confirmed that Stevioside and Steviol present in the Stevia increase the secretion of insulin by directly impacting the beta cells in the pancreas. The data collected from this experiment show that Stevia can actually be used for treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. Stevia must be the preferred sweetener for all diabetics since it is natural and absolutely safe with no side effects.  

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15. Does Stevia increase the Blood Sugar levels?
Neither Stevia nor pure Stevia extracts have any impact on blood sugar levels and according to some research if Stevia is consumed in a greater quantity than that is used for sweetening tea and food, it actually decreases the blood sugar level. 

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16. Does Stevia damage the teeth?
Sugar has elements that damage the tooth while Stevia on the other hand inherently possesses constituents that retard the growth of plaque and anti-bacterial elements, therefore improving the overall condition of the teeth. Stevia is actually beneficial for the teeth in contrast to Sugar that is responsible for damaging it. 

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17. Can Stevia be used while cooking or baking?
Research conducted all over the world has shown that Stevia is heat stable up to 200 degree Celsius or 392 degrees Fahrenheit. According to studies conducted in Japan, Stevia and Stevia extracts are immensely heat stable and can be used while cooking or baking a variety of items. Stevia is now widely used to manufacture sugar free products for consumption by people of all ages.

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18. Will Stevia break down at high temperatures like saccharin or aspartame?
Stevia has the remarkable capability of withstanding heat and stays stable up to 200 degrees Celsius or 392 degrees Fahrenheit. Thin trait allows Stevia to be utilized in almost any food preparation unlike Aspartame which breaks down at over 60 degrees Celcius. This is the reason that Aspartame tablets are never used while making tea or coffee and only added after it is made since otherwise it will disintegrate into methanol, formaldehyde and formic acid. Methanol is a deadly poison while formaldehyde and formic acid are known to cause seizures, brain tumors and sudden heart attacks.

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19. Does Stevia have any calories?
The marvelous aspect of Stevia is that it does not contain calories and therefore does not contribute to unnecessary weight gain. Stevia is natural and assists in weight control.

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20. What can I not ‘Do’ with Stevia?
Packed with all the goodness of nature, the Stevia plant is an immensely healthy alternative to sugar. While Stevia and its extracts can be used in cooking and baking at high temperatures, it does have limitations in its usage. Due to the chemically different molecular structure of Stevioside, Stevia does not caramelize or crystallize and therefore it limiting the role of Stevia as a binding agent. The extremely effective and naturally concentrated Stevia does not add texture or mass to a food product like sugar.

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21. What is the future of Stevia and its related products?
The growing awareness and the increase in usage of Stevia natural sweetener around the world guarantees that it will soon replace Sugar in all aspects of usage and consumption. The numerous tests that were conducted around the world have proven the health benefits of Stevia. Now it is only a matter of time, when world over people will realize the benefits of using Stevia. With growing awareness about health and emphasis on natural products, Stevia is bound to become an intrinsic part of everyone’s diet the world over.   

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22. Which countries have approved the usage of Stevia?
Due to the lobbyists that gained economically from Sugar production, Stevia was unable to gain a foothold in the market. However with increasing awareness about the benefits of Stevia, it is gaining popularity as an important food ingredient and table top sweetener. Countries like Malaysia, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and India have understood the significance of using Stevia and approved it for use in manufacturing food and as a sweetener.

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23. Where can I buy Stevia?
We, Herboveda India, are the pioneers in the manufacture of Stevia products in India under our brand name “So Sweet”. So Sweet is available at all health stores across the country and is highly recommended by top dieticians in the country. (Please see testimonials). We welcome direct enquiries and will be happy to courier your requirement of “So Sweet” to your address. You can also place your orders over phone, email, fax or from our website through the Query section.

Our customer care executives are very well trained on Stevia and will be happy to answer all your questions and help you take the right “So Sweet” decision. Orders received before 4 pm are dispatched the same day. In certain cases, we also dispatch on “Cash on Delivery” basis. You can be rest assured of a pleasant experience dealing with us. If you are convinced about “So Sweet”, do recommend it to your friends and relatives since we all deserve the goodness of Stevia. We will always be grateful for your support and patronage.

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