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Healthy Natural Sweeteners


© Dr Jacob Teitelbaum MD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled "From Fatigued to Fantastic". View all columns in series
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. 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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