Contributing to everything from weight gain to premature ageing it’s common knowledge that sugar is a diet no-no, but if you’re a total sucker for the sweet stuff, it’s worth investigating some of the better healthier alternatives on offer. We put in our two cents worth on the great sugar debate.
Enter stevia, a calorie-free natural replacement that’s up to 300 times sweeter than sugar itself.
Weight loss expert and best selling author Louise Parker, a stevia advocate answers the commonly asked questions about this natural alternative.
Why should one use stevia as a sugar replacement?
I’m a big fan of stevia, although you should only use it where necessary. I don’t recommend eliminating any food groups entirely, as your diet needs to be sustainable and enjoyable. It therefore helps to have stevia up your sleeve to sweeten anything from creamy bowls of porridge to protein shakes so you can ‘save’ your sugars for the weekend, when you’re craving a Martini or pain au chocolate.
How should one use stevia?
It’s a natural sweetener, derived from the stevia leaf, and it is incredibly sweet, so the trick is to only use a fraction. I use it in smoothies where the fruit is tart or mixed into cocoa powder to make sugar-free hot chocolates. I even beat it into egg whites with cinnamon to create a coating on both sweet and salty protein-rich snacks.”
What are the benefits of using stevia over other natural alternatives?
It has zero calories and zero impact on blood sugar levels, so I prefer it to the likes of agave nectar, natural syrups or dried fruits, including dates. While these alternatives are natural and healthy, they do impact your blood sugar levels, compromising fat loss. We’ve seen a massive rise in clients coming to our clinic perplexed as to why they are ‘eating clean’, but still gaining weight. The reality is that anything with ‘ose’ on the end is sugar, even if it’s natural fructose.
From the Doctor…
Another natural sweetener is Xylitol, derived from the birch tree, in its purest form. The dandelion and shitake mushrooms - used in the Alkalising Greens formula – are very bitter in taste, so we use Xylitol to counter this bitterness. It is important to us that our products taste good so that our customers include in their diet regularly. If a food or food supplement doesn’t taste good, you are highly likely to stop eating/drinking it, regardless of how good it is for your health.