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#1 of 5 Old 02-26-2003, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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My daughter has a couple of cavities, so I was trying to think about alternatives to sugar - would stevia also promote cavities, or not? Of course, cutting out sugar would be best, but not likely to happen around here. Otherwise she eats healthy food.

Which is best to use - the powder or the liquid? Can I use it in baking and what are the conversions? Why is this labeled as a "supplement" at the natural food store?

I am thinking of uses such as adding it to plain yogurt, using it in muffins and pancakes, etc.

Any info appreciated!

Mom "D" to DD1 "Z" (14) and DD2 "I" (11) DH "M"

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#2 of 5 Old 02-26-2003, 02:33 PM
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Stevia itself will not promote cavities-it contains no sugars, even safe for diabetics. It is about 200 times sweeter tasting than sugar, & unlike a sugary sweetener(sugar/honey, etc) it does not lose any of it's sweetness when used in baking, so it is easy to add too much. I think the stevia leaf or ground powder (green in color) is the healthier option, as opposed to the refined stevia products, which are usually white or beige in appearance. Stevia extract is nice too, if you want a liquid. The molasses-looking type is an extract from the plant, the clear liquid is refined more. You can also make your own liquid from the leaf by steeping a few teaspoons in a cup of water. This method is also very inexpensive & an easy way to substitute sweetner in beverages.

I've not really baked with it, so maybe those who have could give some recipes. I do know that you would have to convert regular recipes because you would be using a much smaller qty of sweetener with stevia. There are stevia cookbooks out there too, those might help.
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#3 of 5 Old 02-27-2003, 01:41 PM
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I believe it's labeled as a supplement so it can't be added to foods to compete with the multi-billion dollar high-fructose corn syrup and nutrasweet industries.
I remember reading this a few years ago... anyone else know or have more details?
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#4 of 5 Old 02-27-2003, 04:11 PM
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It has been in use as a sweetener in Japan since 1972, with no problems. The argument against approving it for that use in the US is based on an animal study that fed HUGE quantities of refined stevia to, I think, rats or mice. The results of that study suggested possible carcinogenic or tumor causing effects. The argument they use to ignore the fat that Japan has had no problems whatsoever is to say that the Japanese do not eat as many sweets as Americans do, & it would be easier to consume a large qty in a typical American diet. Now we know that it's just BS, cause if they were so concerned Nutrasweet & Sacharin wouldn't still be on the market.

Anyway, some products you can buy in health food stores have started using it as a sweetener, I don't know if they have to call it a supplement on the label or what, & herbal teas sometimes include stevia leaf, I've seen it in Celestial Seasonings. When I use stevia, I use it in an unrefined form, or a partially refined form, like an extract (see my note above). There have been no studies, that I know of, linking the unrefined plant with any problems, plus it can be beneficial for the pancreas & digestive system, among other things, &, like most fully refined foods, you don't get those benefits from the pure extraction of the sweet-tasting components, stevioside & rebaudioside. Oh, I need to correct my earlier post about sweetness, the refined product can be that sweet, whole stevia is "only" around 30 times sweeter than sugar.

This website has info & recipes. There is a conversion chart, too, but it is specific to their products, don't know if it will help or not
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#5 of 5 Old 02-27-2003, 07:23 PM
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I'm not too up on stevia but I am always working on sugar free recipes - I try to use fruit to sweeten baked goods. You can try my sugar-free raisin-bar recipes at this link:

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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