Not all food and nutrition experts are content with this research or with the FDA's ruling to add stevia to the GRAS list. Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, is encouraging more testing. While Jacobson doesn't say that stevia is harmful, he doesn't think it should be marketed until new studies establish that it is safe. (To see CSPI's stance, along with Jacobson's letter to the FDA, click here.)
Despite lingering controversy, food manufacturers didn't waste any time bringing this zero-calorie sweetener to the public. As we are publishing this article (Feb. 2009), three companies sell stevia on your grocery shelf:
Adults should consume no more than four artificially sweetened products daily, and that includes products sweetened with stevia. This guideline gives you the freedom to enjoy sweet foods without added calories or carbohydrates, but in amounts that won't take the place of other more nutritious foods that should make up the bulk of your diet.
Examples of a single serving include:
The Truth about Stevia, the So-Called "Healthy" Alternative Sweetener by Natalie Digate Muth, M.D., M.P.H., R.D. for the American Council on Exercise (acefitness.org).
The Science Behind Stevia
How Safe is This Trendy Sweetener?
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