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Everyone loves a delicious sweet treat, but consuming too much added sugar may have negative side effects. The CDC says that eating and drinking added sugar in excess can lead to things like weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other health complications over time. But with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) daily recommended limit of added sugar being only 10% of your total calories—about 50 grams per day if you follow a 2,000-calorie diet—it can be all too easy to consume “too much.”
Thankfully, there are plenty of zero-calorie sweeteners on the market, such as Stevia In The Raw, that can help you easily lower some of your sugar calories when a sweet craving arrives. But what exactly is stevia, where does it come from, and what can you do with it? Read on to learn more facts about stevia that you never knew before.
Some zero-calorie sweeteners, like stevia, are derived from plants.
Stevia is a zero-calorie sweetener that comes from a green, leafy plant known as Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni. This plant is part of the Asteraceae family, which includes sunflowers, daisies, and chrysanthemums. It is native to areas like Paraguay and Brazil, but it can also easily be grown in people’s homes.
So how does this leafy plant become the powdered sweetener found at your local grocery store? When the stevia plant is ready, it is harvested, dried, and then the dried leaves are soaked in water. The water soaking creates an extract that is then dried and crystallized.
Not all zero-calorie sweeteners are created equal.
Courtesy of Stevia In The Raw
Many stevia powders that you see in stores are not pure stevia extract and are mixed with different ingredients. Because of this, it’s important to know which stevia products have the purest ingredients. For example, Stevia In The Raw avoids artificial flavors or additives—which other brands use to enhance flavor—and derives virtually all its sweetness from Stevia Leaf Extract. It does contain…