My daughter who knows I won't use anything other than stevia to sweeten my coffee or tea, handed me a packet of Truvia and then had to listen to my lecture about how this was just a patented copycat of the real herb stevia.

natural stevia plant

The next day, my husband, also thinking he's doing me a favor and with the best intentions brings me home a box of PureVia, such a nice marketing name! So, he also had to listen to my tirade. Why a tirade? It just makes me angry that stevia (the REAL herb) wasn't allowed in food products for years, but as soon as the BIG GUYS took it to the lab and got it patented, well, now it's in lots of products. My take on this is that anytime they take it to the "lab" and take an "extract" out of a whole product, you lose God's synergy and not unlike all the deadly problems we see with pharmaceuticals which are manufactured under the same premise, we have NO idea how safe these products are. Dr. Mercola has written a good article on it - so he's saved me a lot of time and effort. Thank you Dr. Mercola. The article is basically about aspartame and we should all know by now how deadly that is, but he also mentions the stevia debacle. Click here to read Dr. Mercola's article.

To quote Dr. Mercola:

"On December 17, 2008, the FDA did grant GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status to rebaudioside , which is one component  of the whole stevia plant, and this specific purified component of stevia may be used as a food additive and sold as an alternative sweetener. Examples of include Truvia and Purevia. The jury is still out, however, on whether consuming this one component of stevia is as safe as consuming extract from the whole plant, as all the synergistic, protective factors have been removed in these refined products."

I continue to preach - stay as close to the source in every decision you make - whether it be sweeteners, not using processed foods or buying cosmetics that are as free from chemicals as possible. God has put into every plant a synergy and even as science has begun to discover some of these synergies, we don't and won't ever know why the whole plant works best. The same is true of aromatherapy - you can find "isolated" chemicals now taken from the real plant essential oil, but it will always lack the synergy put there by nature. 

Not only that, PureVia's ingredients START with Erythritol, which is a sugar alcohol, and although Wikipedia says it doesn't cause gastric problems like other sugar alcohols, it looks to me like their marketing people wrote the entire Wikipedia article - which is why Wikipedia isn't a particularly good source of information a lot of the time - another discussion, sorry. Then the next ingredient is Isomaltulose, which according to Wikipedia (again sounding like pure marketing) is "fully absorbed in the small intestine as glucose and fructose. Like sucrose, it is fully digested and provides the same caloric value of approximately 4 kcal/g" - so it does have some calories. Then you have Reb A (rebaudioside as mentioned above), and to quote their packaging "a stevia extract." Last ingredient listed, plus you also have "cellulose powder and natural flavor" - what!? Now granted, even NuStevia is a stevia extract - but that's it - that's all it says on ingredients, other than it contains no soy, yeast, gluten, wheat, milk, synthetics, articifical colors or flavors, preservatives, saccharin, aspartame, sucralose or artificial sweeteners. Now I don't know about you, but it's a no brainer for me. Yes, I know the real stevia extract is not available in your favorite soda pop - which you shouldn't be drinking anyway - read here. 

My favorite brand of stevia is by NuNaturals called NuStevia - it seems to taste the best and comes in convenient packets or bulk sizes for cooking. Do you have a favorite brand? We used to have a stevia plant, but there is some bitterness to stevia but it still works very well in smoothies and cooking.

Thanks for listening!