Over the last 5 years stevia has been gaining a lot of steam in the sugar alternative market.
The fact that stevia is “all natural” and coupled with the marketing power of two multinational companies, stevia based sweeteners are quickly gaining market share.
But, are all stevia based sweeteners created equal?The FDA still hasn’t officially approved stevia, but they have loosened their tough stance regarding the sweetener that they originally embraced. This has allowed many stevia products to be mass marketed to the huge population of sugar alternative users.
Popular Stevia Brands
This stevia based sweetener is marketed by the Cargill Company, but the giant Coca Cola is behind Truvia®. This version is powdered and isn’t pure stevia extract, but blended with erythritol (a sugar alcohol) and natural flavors which aren’t disclosed. 40 packets will cost about $4.
The Pepsi Company is behind this sweetener. This version is also powdered and not pure stevia. It’s blended with dextrose (a form of glucose), cellulose (fiber), and natural flavors. 40 packs of Pure Via™ will cost about $4.
Made by Wisdom Natural Brands and available in both liquid and powdered form. This product is made with stevia extract and inulin (fiber), but the liquid version would be pure stevia extract. 50 packets will run you about $7.
This stevia product is made by the Steviva Company, but could be distributed also under the names Tree of Life, Kehe, UNFI, and Nature’s Best. They have several blends, but can include erythritol, fructose, and FOS (a type of sugar made with fructose). 50 packets will cost about $4.
There are many other store brands available as well, so just be conscience of what additives the brand is cutting into the product. Pure stevia will cost more than other products that cut in cheaper additives.
I think stevia can be a good alternative to sugar or artificial sugar, but I recommend choosing a pure stevia variety. However, in the long run it would be far better to retrain your taste buds away from needing foods sweet. Have a sweet food or drink just a couple times a week as a treat, but not as a daily ritual.