The Hidden Dangers Of Stevia Leaf Sweetener Sugar Substitutes

February 22, 2019 2 min read

A packet of stevia resting against a cup of coffee. The Hidden Dangers Of Stevia Leaf Sweetener Sugar Substitutes

Stevia is a very popular and generally safe sugar substitute.  Stevia is a 0 calorie sweetener, it's naturally plant based and as much as 200x sweeter than sugar. It's becoming very popular as a food additive and sugar substitute, for weight loss, low calorie cooking, health issues and low carb diets like the Ketogenic Diet.

Studies show there is an extensive list of potential nutritional benefits. There is a hidden danger though in many of the most popular stevia products though. The stevia you are buying in the store or using in restaurants and coffee shops (Especially when in packet form) is likely NOT stevia!

Check your packaging closely, you will likely see that the product you actually have is likely erythritol or dextrose as a base with some stevia extract, with the primary ingredient not being stevia. Even the "X-in-the-raw" brand is NOT raw stevia, it's dextrose with a shot of stevia.

This presents several issues and at the same time exposes a flaw with FDA regulations designed to protect consumers. Lets go over some of the more important ones that you likely may not be aware of.

  1. Hidden GMO's and contaminants. Erythritol and dextrose are both natural manufactured sweeteners. They are generally considered to be safe, but when you look at how they are made, concerns arise. Most erythritol and dextrose used in food manufacturing is made from GMO corn.  RoundUp ready, glyphosate contaminated, pesticide residue, not-fit-for-consumption corn.  More and more evidence is being uncovered about the documented dangers of glyphosateand GMO food.
  2. Keto Friendly & FDA Issues. Possibly today's most popular diet / lifestyle being practiced and investigated and/or considered for many of its reported health benefits. An essential and key practice on the Ketogenic diet is limiting carbohydrates to 30 net carbs a day.  This makes stevia a potential win for those who are Keto, here's the issue with that, according to federal regulations food only contain under 5 calories to be called 0 calories. Neither erythritol nor dextrose is truly 0 calorie, and 2 packets of "zero calorie" stevia 3 times a day = 24 calories of carbohydrates in a product the FDA calls 0 calorie.

TIP 1: With ALL foods it's recommended to check product labels and learn about what the information there means.  It's not always safe to buy based on packaging or even brand reputation anymore, you have to know how to read and understand product nutritional panels

TIP 2: Don't give up on Stevia, it's truly a great product with many benefits that we'll cover in another article.  Instead, check your product ingredients and stick with pure stevia with no additives and always look for Non-GMO labeling.


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.