First Do No Harm

Better Stevia

The product we are talking about is NOW Foods BetterStevia Organic Extract Powder (4oz).

We've chosen this product because it comes with a tiny scoop. We measured the scoop and found it to be "close to" 1/32nd of a Teaspoon.

When you cook with stevia, you are told that one teaspoon is equal to one cup of sugar. That being so, there are 16 tablespoons in a cup, which would mean that one tiny scoop of Better Stevia is equal to half a tablespoon of sugar.

The problem is this: stevia is potent. If a recipe calls for three tablespoons of honey, using our math, you would think to use six tiny scoops of stevia to equal three tablespoons, however, one rule when working with stevia is to under-use. So instead of six tiny scoops, you might want to try five, or even four. I also find that when a recipe calls for a cup of sugar, using just a "hair" under a teaspoon is best. But...there is no accounting for taste so these rules are more just guidelines.

If you are going to use any other stevia, whether powder or liquid, you'll have to experiment on your own. However, we would love to hear from you so that we may learn from you. Write us and tell us what you used and how you measured it for best results. Thanx!

Problems With Stevia (or are they benefits?)

If you are allergic to ragweed (and related plants) you might have a reaction to stevia.

Stevia has been known to rarely cause anaphylaxis, but this is more common in those that already have an allergy to chrysanthemums, marigolds, ragweed or daisies. Those that develop an allergic reaction to stevia may see difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, hives, dizziness, pale skin, wheezing or weakness. []

There have been some interesting studies that have shown that artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, etc) actually "raise" blood sugar levels, however, with stevia, the problem for diabetics and people with hypoglycemia is that studies show it can lower blood sugar levels. It has also been reported to lower blood pressure. So if you are a diabetic, you might wish to monitor your blood sugar levels.

Needless to add, but I will, if you are on diabetes drugs or taking high blood pressure drugs, you should be careful with stevia. Personally, I'd cut out the drugs and use stevia, but PLEASE; always consult with your health care professional before dropping any prescription your doctor has you on.


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