I was wondering how healthy Stevia is? I've been finding it in more of my drinks, even in my orange juice. Is it healthy? Does it cause cancer?
— Alisha in Canonsburg
Stevia is a sweet herbal sugar substitute derived from a perennial shrub. It is many times sweeter than table sugar and, therefore, can be used in smaller amounts. The herb doesn't upset the insulin in the system as refined sugars do because it still contains chromium, which works with insulin to process carbohydrates.
All indications are that Stevia is extraordinarily safe. I've found no evidence of any untoward toxic effects in humans.
Use of Stevia had been opposed by the FDA for a long time. It's suspected that this was due to powerful influence from the sugar industry. It has been used as a sweetener in other countries for many years.
As with everything, moderation is the key. But to my knowledge, it's safe; so go ahead and enjoy it as a great alternative to regular table sugar.
Beaming with Health,