Is Stevia the sweet solution? [news]
Stevia has been said, by many, to be the sweet solution to the sugar 'problem'. Native to Paraguay, the stevia plant is as much as 300 times sweeter than sugar, but has barely any effect on blood glucose levels and contains no calories. It's pitched as the 'natural' alternative to artificial sweeteners and is the choice of US physicist and renowned sugar critic, Gary Taubes, who has said that by spiking our insulin levels, sugar, not fat, is responsible for the obesity epidemic and a slew of related illnesses. For a natural sweetener, pop leaves in your tea Alice Gibson suggests ... Stevia plant. For a natural sweetener, pop leaves in your tea Alice Gibson suggests ... Stevia plant. Photo: David Tease In an article for the New York Times, he said stevia "gets my vote as the best noncaloric sweetener, by virtue of being the only one that's truly 'natural'... Extracts of the herb have been used as a sweetener for centuries. In Japan, Stevia has been sold widely as a sugar substitute since the early 1970s without any documented ill effects."