Friday, 13 April 2012

Sugar Substitutes and Sweeteners Using Stevia

Sugar gets a lot of bad press lately. Along with ‘fat’, sugar is often blamed as one of the contributing causes of the obesity epidemic. Whether or not this is true, the fact remains that sugar is found in much of the processed food we buy today, hidden in everything from cereals and ready meals to sauces and crisps.

There might be little we can do to prevent how much sugar manufacturers add to their products. However, we can control how much refined sugar we use in everyday life. This is the white (or brown) granulated sugar we sprinkle onto our food or add to hot drinks and recipes.

Every teaspoon of sugar contains 15 calories. It doesn’t sound like much, but once you start adding up each teaspoon you use during the day, it can contribute a significant amount of calories to your daily diet. 
And these are empty calories, with little nutritional value and it’s not doing your teeth any favours either.

Cutting down the use of refined sugar is one solution, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. But this can be hard as it takes some time for our palates to adjust. Instead, many of us turn to artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes. These can satisfy a sweet tooth but won't add unwanted calories.

Stevia Leaf
(Photo courtesy of Jovia)
One of the recent additions to the growing sweeteners market is Stevia. This is a natural and virtually calorie-free sugar substitute. It’s made by extracting the steviol glycosides from the Stevia leaf, a wild plant which grows in parts of South America.

These glycosides are many times sweeter than sugar and are the sweetening ingredient used in several of the well known sweetener brands.

Because Stevia is heat stable, it can be in granulated form for cooking or as a table top sweetener for sprinkling over food, as well as in tablet form for adding to hot drinks.

Stevia plant with truvia sweetener products
Stevia plant with Truvia sweetener products
Below is a table showing some of the sweeteners available in the UK which contain Stevia (steviol glycosides) as their sweetening ingredient.

 Sugar Substitutes using Stevia

Sweetener Name
Calories per Teaspoon/Tablet
Canderel Green Stevia Granulated  
Maltodextrin, Sweetener: Steviol Glycosides, Natural Flavourings
Canderel Green Stevia Tablets
Lactose (from Milk), Sweetener: Steviol Glycosides, Natural Flavourings, Carrier (Cross Linked Sodium CMC), Anti-Caking Agents (Calcium Salts of Fatty Acids, Silicon Dioxide)
Hermesetas Stevia Sweet Tablets
Sweetener: Steviol Glycosides, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Citrate, L-Leucine, Sweetener Thaumatin
Pure Via Cubes and Sachets
Bulking agent: Erythritol, Sweetener: Steviol Glycosides, Anti-Caking Agent (Cellulose Powder), Natural Flavourings.
Pure Via Granulated
Bulking Agent: Maltodextrin, Sweetener: Steviol Glycosides, Natural Flavourings
Truvia Granulated, Jar and Sachets, Silver Spoon 
Bulking Agent: Erythritol, Sweetener: Steviol Glycosides (1%, Stevia Leaf Extract), Natural Flavourings
Light At Heart Brown Sugar & Stevia Blend, Tate & Lyle
Sugar, Sweetener Steviol Glycosides, Natural Flavouring
Light At Heart White Sugar Stevia Blend, Tate & Lyle
Sugar, Sweetener Steviol Glycosides, Natural Flavouring
Stevia Sweet Granulated Tesco
Maltodextrin, Sweetener: Steviol Glycosides

Stevia was approved by the European Food Safety Authority for use in food and beverages in April 2010. If you’d like to know more about Stevia, how it’s made and its history, you can find plenty of information at

Related Posts:

Pure Via Zero Calorie Sweeteners - Read Post
Truvia Calorie-Free Sweeteners - Read Post

© Diets and Calories 2012


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