I have been on a journey regarding which sweeteners to use on a daily basis. I have a sweet tooth and I know I am addicted to sugar. As I started to remove sugar from my diet I knew I did not want to consume chemicals like aspartame, which you can find in Equal® and NutraSweet® and most diet drinks and foods on the market today. Nor did I want to use Sweet’N Low® aka saccharin either. When I tried these carbonated drinks, they actually gave me a unrecognizable chemical aftertaste. Here is why:
Aspartame is made out of three chemicals, yes I said chemicals, phenylalanine, methanol and aspartic acid. If you would like to read more about each of these chemicals that most of us consume multiple times daily in our lives, possibly without even knowing it, check out Dr. Mercola’s article.
Immediately I blindly jumped on the band wagon and started using Splenda® aka sucralose, which is also an artificial sweetener. At the time I thought less dangerous and started using it in our coffee and an occasional soda. As I continued my quest for “health”, I found out that part of the production process is to chlorinate it, yes with chlorine.
Needless to say I stopped using sucralose all together and wanted something natural. Then Truvia® was added to our shopping list, “born from the leaves of the stevia plant”, as their website states. However, the production process to create this “natural” sweetener is not so natural. Check out FoodBabe’s article titled, “Is Stevia Safe?”. If you love to drink diet sodas, read, “7 Side Effects of Drinking Diet Sodas”.
Back to the drawing board. I wanted an actual natural Stevia product and then I found, SweetLeaf®, which we have been very happy with. The recommended serving size for a cup of coffee is 1/8th of a teaspoon which is equal to 1 tsp of sugar, but we have been content with half of that in our coffee.
If you are a soda drinker, SweetLeaf® offers another product called Sweet Drops™ when mixed with Sparkling Water you can create your own healthy diet drink!
Here in Washington State, we have found SweetLeaf® at Fred Meyer® stores, online and on Amazon. Of course Trader Joe’s also has their own brand, which my husband has tried and loved as well.
Many of these large companies are creating their own “natural” stevia products. When buying these “natural” products, read the ingredients first. You will be surprised how many “natural” products are not really so. When I see “natural flavors”, I put the product right back on the shelf. Who knows what they consider natural.
Here is an Infographic showing the differences between Stevia and Aspartame. If you have found a natural Stevia product that you love please share it with us in the comments below.