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Wednesday October 21, 15:44

Sugar substitutes: the proper use of stevia and other

Stevia (Eupatorium urticaefolium) is 300 times sweeter than sugar
Stevia (Eupatorium urticaefolium) is 300 times sweeter than sugar

Stevia (Eupatorium urticaefolium) also called water hemp, the plant from South America that grows naturally in Paraguay, has a sweetness approximately 300 times greater than sugar.

Intense natural sweetener, it does not convey any calories and do not alter the rate of glucose in the blood.  Intense sweeteners are widely used for 50 years as sweeteners added to dairy products, beverages, sweets (candies, chewing gum) etc.

They are mostly consumed by those who wish or must limit their sugar and/or calories intake, particularly overweight people and diabetics.

"It is not really demonstrated that their use encourages the habit to taste sweet, but as for salt, certainly no abuse is desirable," say dietitians. The safety of these artificial sweeteners is not questioned, because the daily dose allowed is rarely exceeded.

Intense sweeteners are interesting for some, but it is essential to respect the balanced diet, through a careful diet and overall nutritional rehabilitation.

Their production must be clearly defined. However, intense sweeteners appear under different names and it is not always easy for consumers to navigate.

All sweeteners are zero calories: polyols (sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol). Used in candy or "sugar free" chewing gum, they play a role in tooth decay preventing, but consumed in large doses, they can cause intestinal upsets.


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