“Consumers have been looking for a natural way to sweeten products without calories,” says George Pugh, PhD, stevia expert and Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for
Here’s a breakdown of what stevia is, where you can find it, and how it can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The stevia plant is in the Chrysanthemum family.
- There are hundreds of different species of stevia plant, but only one, called Stevia Rebaudiana, contains natural chemicals that make its leaves taste sweet.
- To create the sweetener, leaves of the stevia plant are refined until only the sweet-tasting molecular compounds remain.
- The sweetener is calorie-free, making it a great option for people trying to manage their weight.
- Stevia is found in some of your favorite drinks, including Vitamin Water Zero, Odwalla Strawberry Protein Monster, Honest Tea, Honest Fizz, Sprite Select, and Fanta Select.
- Stevia helps keep calorie counts down because it’s 200 times sweeter than sugar—that means a little goes a long way.
- You can cook and bake with stevia. Just be sure to consult a sugar-to-stevia conversion chart to make sure you’re using the right amount.
- Clinical studies are currently under way to determine if stevia might have health benefits for people with high blood pressure and diabetes.
- Stevia is available as a granular powder, a liquid extract, and even as small pellets that you can drop into your tea or coffee.