What artificial sweeteners are safe?
Sugar is very dangerous. It's named one of the most addictive things on the planet to put into your body. Studies show it's more addictive than cocaine. And if you're on Keto you know sugar is a big no no. Americans eat around 130 pounds of sugar a year. And we wonder why everyone is sick and depressed.
So let's talk artificial sweeteners. Which are good, which are bad?
Two of the most common ones are Stevia and Monk Fruit. Essentially Monk Fruit is Erythritol.
My personal favorite is Stevia, but because it's the safest option by far.
So Stevia is a plant if you don't know. It's grown in South America. Some think that Stevia raises blood sugar, and I myself have even discussed this, but upon further research Stevia has NO IMPACT whatsoever on blood sugar. *
In 1991 the FDA refused to approve Stevia because they were being pressured from Sweet n' Low and Equal which are Billion Dollar companies. An interesting thing happened in 2008 though, the FDA approved the use of rebaudioside compounds that are derived from Stevia and used by Coca Cola and Pepsi. Interesting. And very suspicious. So now the FDA suddenly approves a "version" of Stevia but not the real thing, but a highly processed version that uses a patentable process loaded with chemicals.
And guess what we call that? Truvia. But Truvia isn't the only one. Most Stevia products on the market unless they are "pure whole leaf stevia" are made with this same process.
Truvia is made by Coca Cola. The way Truvia is made along with many other products is a 40 step chemical process. They use chemicals such as acetone, methanol, ethanol, aceonitrile and isopropanol. Some of these are known carcinogens that cause cancer.
The whole Stevia leaf, which you can even grow at home, is still NOT approved by the FDA. But the fake stuff with 40 chemicals IS.
So now let's talk Erythritol, because that one is bad news. And it's even used in most Stevia and Monkfruit products. Erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar found in fruit, however the manufacturers don't use the all natural stuff. Instead they start with GMO genetically engineered corn and it goes through a complex fermentation process.
“Natural flavors” is another ingredient added to many stevia products, former FDA director David Kessler calls is a "food carnival" in your mouth. The products are synthesized to trick your mind into wanting more.
Many of us have heard of Stevia in the Raw. Sounds all natural right? wrong. The first ingredient is Dextrose. So it's not "just" Stevia as they promise. Then there's Pure Via that's made by Pepsi. This product actually lists Dextrose first on the list of ingredients. Dextrose is a sweetener derived from genetically engineered corn.
How To Choose The Right Kind Of Stevia
The most important thing is finding organic non gmo versions of these products. But most non calorie artificial sweeteners are horrible. I personally stay away from Monkfruit also because of the chemical process used to make most of it. It's possible that Organic Non GMO Monkfruit is ok, but I stick with Stevia.
So here’s some other options:
Buy a stevia plant or purchase the pure dried leaves online – you can grind up them up using a spice grinder (or use a mortar and pestle) for your own powdered stevia.
When choosing products with stevia, look for “whole leaf stevia” on the ingredient label. And nothing else!
Add fresh or dried leaves directly to tea or drinks for natural sweetness (note the straight stevia leaves are only 30-40 times sweeter than sugar, vs. 200 times using the extract).
Here's a few I found on Amazon that I believe to be good.
1. Amazon.com: Organic Stevia Leaf Powder in Sachets, Mayan Sweet: Health & Personal Care
2. 100% Organic Stevia Leaf Powder- An Organic Substitute to Sugar (227g / 0.5 LB / 08 oz): Amazon.com: Grocery & Gourmet Food
* Effects of stevia on glycemic and lipid profile of type 2 diabetic patients: A randomized controlled trial (nih.gov)
* Is Stevia Safe? (foodbabe.com)