Thursday, December 18, 2008

0-cal Stevia, Truvia, Rebiana, Purevia, Zevia for Diabetics

Stevia, Truvia & Other Natural Sweeteners

Stevia is a naturally sweet plant native to Paraguay that is 30 times sweeter than sugar in its unprocessed form. With more than 1,000 studies and patents on Stevia, it is known to be all-natural, contain zero calories and have a zero glycemic index. Through a patented process the pure glycosides can be extracted from the Stevia leaves and turned into an intensely sweet powder that is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia is claimed to be safe for diabetics and hypoglycemics.
2 drops = 1 tsp. of sugar

I've used Stevia in the form of a glycerine extract, powder and some kind of liquid extract which was different from the glycerine ext.
The most cost -effective was the powder form shown in the pic- theres a teensy weensy scoop inside it, 1/2 a scoop is more than enough to sweeten my tea and have used it in various baked good items and sweet dishes with good results. There is a very negligible after taste to it.
When I last got it, it was around $12.95 at Vitaminworld and lasts about 6-9 months, depending on usage.
General usage includes daily 3 cups of tea which I brew myself and once monthly cookies, banana & chocolate muffins, etc to indulge my sweet tooth.
I prefer sweetening with banana, molasses, dates, raisins etc +augmented with a tiny bit of Stevia.

News today:
FDA approved the use of zero-calorie sweeteners made from stevia for use in food and beverages. Soon after, Coca-Cola Co. said it launched Sprite Green, which uses a form of stevia called Truvia,and two Odwalla juice drinks using Truvia. PepsiCo Inc. said it will launch three flavors of zero-calorie SoBe Lifewater and a light Tropicana orange juice using the stevia-sweetener PureVia, made by Whole Earth Sweetener Co.

So what is Truvia?

Coco Cola Company, in collaboration with Cargill developed a no-calorie natural sweetener using what it calls, the “best tasting” part of the stevia plant. The company also called its product Rebiana, after the sweetest compound of the stevia leaf, which it had managed to isolate. The product is available online, and at select supermarkets in the US, as Truvia.

Unlike other stevia based products that the FDA has refused to categorize as a food additive due to safety concerns, Truvia is being promoted as a table top sweetener.

Truvia has been put through a series of safety evaluation studies and showed no impact on blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, healthy person’s blood pressure. Tests on lab rats found no impact on fertility and reproductive health.

PepsiCo launched its new no-sugar beverage recalled SoBe Life, containing the company’s very own natural stevia-based sweetener, Purevia. The drink has been launched in Latin America, and is available in Peru in strawberry-kiwi, orange-tangerine, and pomegranate flavors.

Another new cola maker on the block has introduced its no-sugar and no-artificial sweetener cola, called Zevia. The company claims that its three varieties of diet soda are healthier than regular diet sodas available in the market that contain artificial sweeteners.

Other Natural Sweeteners

Milk and honey were among the chief dainties in the earlier ages, as they are now among the Bedawin; and butter and honey are also mentioned among articles of food.
At 64 cal/tbsp, it seems to have relative mild effects on blood sugar compared to other sweeteners. It also contains small amounts of a wide array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants.

Lo Han Guo (Siraitia grosvenorii
) has been used as a food, beverage, and traditional medicine, from the same family as cucumber, melon, squash, and gourds.

The most unique component of Lo Han Guo are the triterpene glycoside, which are non-caloric sweeteners, also known as mogrosides. Lo Han has traditionally been used as a analgesic, expectorant, antitussive, and to treat infiltration of the lungs. The Encyclopof edia Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends for lung complaints including dry coughs and as a laxative. The fruits are used in Chinese medicine for heat stroke with thirst, acute and chronic throat inflammation, aphonia, chronic cough, constipation in the aged, and as a sugar substitute for diabetics.
Picture is an instant extract granule or dissolving block of extract

Pics of Maple Syrup samples.
Maple syrup, sap, is a sterile, clear liquid, which provides the trees with water and nutrients prior to the buds and leaves opening in the spring. In the boiling, concentrating, and filtering processes, all the nutrients remain in the syrup. The main sugar in pure Maple syrup is sucrose.
The darker grades, especially Grade B syrup, contain small and variable amounts of fructose and glucose.In pure filtered maple syrup the main minerals present are: calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. In pure maple syrup trace amounts of vitamins are present, mainly B2 (Riboflavin), B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), PP (Niacin, B1), Biotin, and Folic Acid. Many amino acids are present in trace amounts. The total solid's in pure maple syrup amount to 66.5%, with the remaining 33.5% consisting of water. Maple syrup is 88-89% sucrose and about 11% glucose..

Cane Molasses
3 major grades of molasses: first molasses, second molasses, and blackstrap molasses.

Each season, the sugar cane plant is harvested and juice is then extracted from the canes), boiled to appropriate consistency, and processed to extract the sugar. The results of this first boiling and processing is first molasses, which has the highest sugar content because comparatively little sugar has been extracted from the juice.
Second molasses is created from a second boiling and sugar extraction, and has a slight bitter tinge to its taste. Further rounds of processing and boiling yield the dark blackstrap molasses, which is the most nutritionally valuable, and thus often sold as a health supplement, and for other industrial uses.

Pic of Fresh Sugarcane juice made by Indian vendors. To the juice are added fresh ginger & fresh lemon juice making a super-cooler in summer.

Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn and can be found in numerous foods and beverages on grocery store shelves in the United States. Contrary to its name, HFCS is not high in fructose. At the time HFCS was developed, the only sweetener in all other corn syrups was glucose; none contained fructose. So the name "high" fructose corn syrup, in comparative terms, makes sense and is entirely appropriate. But when compared to table sugar (sucrose), HFCS is not at all "high" in fructose. In fact, HFCS is nearly identical in composition to table sugar (sucrose), which is composed of 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose. HFCS is composed of either 42 percent or 55 percent fructose, with the remaining sugars being glucose and higher sugars. HFCS is used in foods and beverages because of the many benefits it offers. In addition to providing sweetness at a level equivalent to table sugar HFCS makes foods such as bread and breakfast cereal "brown" better when baked, and gives chewy cookies and snack bars their soft texture.

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