For years scientists have tried to come up with a healthy substitute for sugar, but have only found chemicals that have now been linked with a number of different ailments. Now scientists have begun to truly look to nature for the answers.
Stevia is an all-natural sweetener that is now being used as a healthy alternative to sugar. It is chemical free and almost completely calorie-free. It happens to also be very naturally sweet, which means that people only need a small amount to make their food or their coffee sweet. In fact it is about 15 to 300 times sweeter than regular table cane sugar.
The stevia plant is native to the tropical climates of areas in South America and Central America. The plant looks like a type of shrub. The people living in South and Central America have been using the stevia leaves for cooking for centuries and continue to do so today.
If you have decided to use stevia as an alternative to sweetener you can grow your own in your yard even if you do not live in a tropical climate. Once they plant begins to produce leaves you will be able to pick them and use them in your cooking. To get the sweetness from the leaves you can cook with them as they are (fresh) or you can dry them and use them in your cooking. Some will even extract the oil from the leaves to get an even more concentrated sweetness for baked goods. Most often you can purchase the Stevia as a powder or sugar if you are choosing to purchase it commercially.
Stevia is a great alternative to sweetener because it is all natural and does not have any chemicals in it. Other sugar substitutes are created with harmful chemicals that have no real health advantages and in some opinions are less healthy than just using table sugar.
Using stevia as an alternative sweetener is a great idea for those that suffer from diabetes or other blood sugar ailments. The stevia is digested slower, thus it will have less of an impact on peoples blood sugar or blood glucose levels. The all-natural stevia also has very few calories, which will help people to not gain weight or aid in weight loss. Using stevia will help encourage those that use it to lose weight and live a healthier life style.