Stevia – good or bad for you?

I have been meaning to post this article for awhile now; there is much debate recently about artificial sweeteners including herbal or “natural” being bad for you.  I want to share this information with you in order that you might make an informed decision…..

The person in the post below discusses how stevia is bad for you; mainly because of the additives included in Stevia in the Raw, Stevia, Stevia extract, etc.  It is very important to read labels and know what is going in your food.   Personally our family uses Stevia in place of sugar in most cases.  If we do use sugar it is Sugar in the Raw!  You can also order Stevia seeds that can be planted in your home.  I recommend ordering from Baker’s Greek Heirloom Seeds.  

http://empoweredsustenance.com/is-stevia-bad-for-you/

 

Is too much Stevia bad for you?

Commercial preparations of stevia are safe for daily use.

Stevia, a natural sweetener derived from the plant Stevia rebaudiana, can be a zero-calorie substitute for sugar, honey or other sweeteners. However, because research on stevia is still limited, it’s difficult to know whether there is an upper limit above which stevia becomes unhealthy. Even the type of stevia you use can make a big difference, since food manufacturers have created refined versions that do not have the same effects as the unrefined version.

Types of Stevia

Whole-leaf stevia, the natural form of this sweetener, is only sold as an herbal supplement. It is green in color and tastes about 300 times as sweet as sugar. Whole-leaf stevia has not been approved by the FDA as a food additive, so it cannot be used in commercial products, such as baked goods or soft drinks, in the U.S. Crude extracts made from stevia leaves are also in this unapproved category and can only be sold as dietary supplements. In 2008, the FDA approved a refined form of stevia, made from just the component called rebaudioside A, for use in food. This version is now sold at the grocery store as an artificial sweetener and included as an ingredient in commercial foods. Many other countries, including Japan, allow the use of whole-leaf stevia in commercial food products.

Blood Sugar and Stevia

Some of the components in whole stevia leaf or stevia extracts may lower blood sugar in diabetics, but not in individuals without diabetes, according to Drugs.com. This could be a concern for individuals who need to keep their blood glucose levels stable throughout the day. However, the specific amounts of stevia needed to cause this effect and which specific components of stevia affect blood glucose are still under investigation. The components stevioside, steviol, isosteviol and glucosyl-steviol have all shown effects on blood glucose levels in preliminary trials. Rebaudioside A, the component found in commercial stevia products, does not affect blood sugar levels at all.

Side Effects of Excess Stevia

In some people, stevia can cause nausea, bloating or gas. The effects of pure stevia on the kidneys, cardiovascular system and reproductive system remain under study, because animal research has revealed conflicting results that might indicate areas of concern. No adverse effects have been shown to result from excessive consumption of rebaudioside A, and commercial stevia products made with this component are generally recognized as safe by the FDA.

Considerations

Using commercial stevia products in place of sugar may help with weight management when included as part of an overall balanced diet, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, if you plan to use whole-leaf stevia or crude stevia extracts, talk to your doctor about the potential side effects and adjusting the dosages of medicines you are currently taking, such as diabetes or blood pressure medications.

Whether you choose to use Stevia commercially made or grow your own, always make sure to read labels and know your sources.  Feel free to post any comments or reviews or your experience with Stevia!

 

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GMO labeling on all foods

This company offers excellent organic produce and is seeking your help in passing a bill that will require companies to label GMO food!  Please read the article below for further information.

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Dear Azure Community,

As you know, providing our customers with natural and organic, health-giving food is a mission of Azure. We strive to do it better and better every day. That is why the subject of labeling GMOs is so important to us. We do our absolute best to not buy or sell products with GMO ingredients, and for the last few years we have required non-GMO statements from companies for any new (not certified organic) products we buy. But, there needs to be more transparency on the broader level.

I am writing to personally ask that you support Yes on 522 – even if you don’t live in the State of Washington, because its passage would be a landmark statement, and hopefully provide the tipping point we need for people to understand what genetic engineering of foods means. Labeling GMOs is not the end game, but it is the critical start. We need the non-natural GMOs labeled clearly so that more and more people can become aware of their presence, and then learn to make informed decisions on their growing, purchasing, and eating habits.

Right now, the vast majority of people (clearly not Azure customers!) still don’t know what GMO means. The only way we can help them to understand is by getting the labels in front of them – it will beg them to start asking the questions, “What is that? Where did that come from? Is that safe?” We can then address those questions through education and healthy options. But, if people don’t even know what ingredients are HIDDEN in their foods, they don’t know to ask.

Right now, Yes on 522 needs financial contributions, sooner than later. That is how this battle for labeling will be won or lost which was made clear from the results of the efforts to label in California. Those who supported the Right to Know in California donated about $8 million dollars, and those who opposed the Right to Know donated $45 million in total. The margin of defeat was narrow – about 3%, but definitive. So far, we have heard that Yes on 522 has raised around $3 million dollars. While that is great progress, it is not enough.

So, here is our challenge: Azure is committing to donate (a minimum of) $1 to the Yes on 522 Campaign for every Azure customer who donates to Yes on 522 by October 15th. Please click here to donate to the Azure Standard/Yes on 522 match program!

We have a large customer base, and we know this email will reach the vast majority. We know you care about the food you eat, and we truly hope this incentive we are putting forth will encourage all Azure customers, friends, AND families to participate and support everyone’s Right to Know, Yes on 522 in Washington.

Finally, I want to let you know that SO many Azure vendors are stepping up- some very significantly, in support of Yes on 522. Please take a look at this list ofvendors who endorse Yes on 522. We feel they deserve recognition and our appreciation! One of the stand-out supporters has been Dr. Bronner‘s. Not only have they contributed substantially, but the Bronner family also made a short video explaining what Ballot Initiative 522, “The Washington Right to Know Genetically Engineered Foods Act” means to them. Watch it here, and thank you.

In Abundant Health,

David Stelzer,
CEO, Azure Standard