Healthy Natural Sweeteners

Published: September 25, 2012
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Good News! The FDA has finally approved Stevia for use as a sugar substitute.

After over a decade of economic special interests seeming to block the way (i.e., NutraSweet), the FDA has finally approved the healthy herb Stevia as a natural sweetener to add to foods and sodas.

In fact, the first Stevia-sweetened soft drink, "Sprite Green" by Coca-Cola, was on its way to stores.

Pepsi said its first Stevia product, SoBe Lifewater, should hit store shelves next week, and Trop50, a Stevia-sweetened light orange juice product, is due out in January.

Dr. Pepper Snapple, the No. 3 soft drink company, said on Thursday it will market Stevia within a few weeks.

We have recommended Stevia as a safe and healthy natural sweetener for decades — even as the FDA, seemingly driven by someone heavily on the Nutrasweet payroll (though this is simply my impression, of course, without definite evidence) required the first and only book burning demanded by the U.S. government — which just happened to be books recommending Stevia. Till now, the FDA would not allow stevia to be added as a food sweetener. Instead, it could only be added as a "nutrient."

Stevia is a safe, healthy and calorie free natural sweetener. Expect the media to jump all over bizarre stories raising questions of its safety (which will be fed to the media by publicists for the sugar, Splenda and Nutrasweet trade groups trying to protect their market share). In the middle of their trying to scare you away from this healthy sweetener and back to their toxic ones, let yourself enjoy watching an example of American marketing hype in action. And indulge your sweet tooth ;-)

One word of caution. If Stevia is not filtered, it will taste bitter and with a licorice aftertaste. I suspect the large soda companies will do proper filtering to ensure taste. If you buy Stevia on your own, I recommend either the clear liquid called "Stevia" (conveniently enough) from Body Ecology (1-800-4-Stevia). This is the brand I have used for many years. Another good "powder packet" brand is made by Stevita and can be found easily in many health food stores and online.

Stevia simply comes from soaking a Stevia leaf in water and using the sweet liquid.

Stevia — another great example of keeping your pleasures — while staying healthy!

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Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of four research studies on their treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome From Fatigued to Fantastic! and his newer The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution.  Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health. 

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