it may well be sensitive to the cold -- I live in Greece so with the Mediterranean climate here, it's quite mild year-round. We export a lot of it to the north, so it would make sense if you're in a typical temperate climate that it may not do well. But maybe indoors?
DRAGONCHILDE- you've done awesome cutting out the crud from your diet!
FANCYQTR - good point about the ragweed. It's a good idea that this is brought up from time to time around here so folks see it and make the connection. My dad has a ragweed allergy but I don't and stevia doesn't bother me. I live in a stevia-producing region actually so stevia leaf (looks just like loose herbal tea) is widely available here and is extremely cheap, and no additives. I use that but I also use drops which have something added (it's not a sweetener, it's just some sort of drop-forming-substance if that makes sense). Sugar alcohols have never bothered me but they raise blood sugar in some people I think so good to know if someone is buying stevia w/ that stuff added. I did a blood sugar test before and after eating sugar alcohols many years ago in preparation for a low carb diet and didn't have any effect, but apparently a fair number of people do.
Well I am happily continuing my stevia usage -- the drops went on sale 40% off here and I bought a whole bunch of bottles! :D
I haven't found stevia to increase my cravings for sweets. In fact, if I start craving sweets it is usually when I haven't had anything with stevia in it. I use stevia to sweeten my tea and have for 7 years.
The Truvia and most of those newer stevia sweeteners they have in the grocery have mostly a sugar alcohol in them and that makes me sick. I've noticed that Stevia in the Raw had dextrose instead of erithritol last time I looked, but that still would be something other than stevia. Years ago I got a powder that was stevia and a fiber, but I usually just get the drops. The kind with erithritol and dextrose might have more side effects than the others.
One thing is that people who are allergic to ragweeds should stay away from stevia.
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
9,717 3/24/13 11:07 A
Honestly, I feel like the links between weight gain and artificial sweeteners have little to do with chemical reactions and more to do with emotional ones.
We've all seen the guy at Burger King with the extra large fries, the triple whopper, and a half dozen other things... and a diet coke.
I think the problem is that because these drinks are calorie-free, people feel like they are entitled to eat more. "I'm good, I have a diet coke, I can have another order of fries."
It's the exact same phenomenon you see in people who work out at the gym, then go have a huge slice of cake. There's a disconnect in how much they're "saving" and how much they're "spending".
Going to the gym doesn't make you overeat. ;)
Honestly, artificial (and non artificial) sweeteners have been instrumental in retraining my eating habits. As I've progressed, I've stopped craving calorie-laden drinks, and I drink mostly tea during the day, sweetened by stevia, or a coke zero now and again for a caffeine boost, and nearly all my calories come from healthy whole foods.
Given that I was drinking a 6 pack of coke a day, that's a pretty significant drop in calories.
I have to say, I haven't noticed any particular cravings with stevia. I get hungry at times but I think legitimate hunger (which can be satisfied by lentils, stale bread, or a wormy apple) is very different from a craving (which is usually sort of specific). I use stevia probably more than the average person would -- I really do like my tea very sweet. But I think it's probably safe, I certainly don't have any negative effects from using it.
3/23/13 9:12 A
I think that whole, artificial sweeteners make you crave sweets thing, is sort of a load of crap. I use artificial sweetener in my first cup of coffee in the morning and it does not make me crave sweets. Maybe if a person had a real craving for sugar to begin with, using the artificial stuff would exacerbate the cravings? idk.
I think the decision to use artificial sweeteners or stevia, which is more natural (yet as sold in the grocery stores in powder/drops is processed), is a personal one. If using stevia doesn't cause you any problems... and you want the sweetness without the calories.... well why not.
The thing is, that whole discussion of artificial sweeteners causing cravings has NO scientific basis. It comes from the "suggestions for further research" section of a research study, the part where the scientists are basically saying, "our project didn't come up with ANY explanation of XYZ, but when we were talking about it over a few beers, we started thinking maybe it has something to do with ABC. We don't have enough money, time, or interest to study ABC, but it would be really cool if somebody else did it." Science-illiterate reporters are constantly reporting the "chatting over beer" section of different studies as if they were the actual results, so the general public half the time gets exactly the opposite impression of the study than what the scientists actually found.
So, it's like the previous poster said-- if you think waht the researchers came up with over beers is probably true, then in theory any low-calorie or non-nutritive sweetener should have that effect. But it's important to know that the "suggestions for further research" section is no more authoritative than what you and I might come up with over beer.
I have used stevia for 2 years now and have no sugar cravings.... I don't use it in coffee or tea... just a little on fruit sometimes... It is from a plant and is not artificial
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
9,717 3/22/13 5:20 P
I use stevia, and have noticed NO side effects like I did with splenda. I got nasty headaches with splenda.
I like the taste better, anyway. It's not an artificial sweetener (although some commercial forms are highly processed, I don't really see that as a big deal.) If you're using the dried leaves, I don't really see that as the same as a packet of aspartame.
I have not noticed that I'm craving sugar nor eating more since I've started using. Everyone's an experiment of one in the nd. Try it, and if it sabotages your efforts, stop using it. :)
I don't buy the white powder they sell in stores because there are additives. My local health store sells it in the green leaf form. I can either buy the leaf, plant, or green powder. But I do not consider the leaf form as artificial in any way, shape or form.
I think Stevia in the Raw tastes just like Splenda. GROSS!
3/22/13 12:18 P
Different types of Stevia are really processed and that could put them on the same level as an artificial sweetener.
For me personally, even though Stevia is made from a leaf. It tastes artificial and doesn't offer the same gratification as real sugar. It is sweet, but there is just something lacking. It is hard to put into words. And that just doesn't work for me.
Although if Stevia works for you. Then I don't see it as bad at all. At least for you
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
3/22/13 12:15 P
I'm no expect and I have a really extremely low opinion of the state of nutrition research in general, so that said ... I understand that the argument that most people make as regards artificial sweeteners is that by promising "sweet" but delivering next to zero calories, it somehow screws up your brain's reward system and/or metabolism. Stevia is exactly the same as aspartame or splenda in that regard, so if you buy the argument for the more artificial sweeteners you should buy it for stevia as well. If not, not.
One of the reasons given for avoiding artificial sweeteners is that they condition the body/mind to expect sugar and then we end up craving sugar and eating more as a result. I'm wondering if stevia, which is a leaf that can be used to sweeten food, counts for this. I use stevia (both in the form of the dried leaf and as drops) to sweeten beverages and foods. I put it in my tea every day. So is it a "bad" artificial sweetener, or just a harmless sweet leaf?