|Photo by Siona Watson|
I've been getting a lot of comments on my recipes asking if stevia can be substituted for honey.
Honestly I've never used stevia before. It's always been tied in my mind to artificial sweeteners. I realize this is a wrong assumption and that it comes from a plant leaf. But honey has always seemed very "real food" to me.
I've been hearing so much about stevia that I decided to do some investigating. I googled "honey vs. stevia" and when that got me nowhere I tried "honey" and then "stevia". Here's what I found out:
- Our caveman ancestors would most definitely eaten honey, although it would have been rare.
- Raw Honey is antibacterial and has many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Honey's glycemic index varies depending upon the nectar source. It can range from 30 to 75.
- It has slightly more calories than table sugar per spoonful.
- Like table sugar, honey will produce an insulin response and blood sugar spike.
- Stevia is a plant with very sweet tasting leaves.
- Most stevia is processed into a powdered or liquid extract.
- It has been used for hundreds of years in Paraguay and Japan.
- Stevia contains 0 calories.
- Stevia has been shown to lower elevated blood pressure.
- It is commonly thought that stevia has a glycemic index of 0 and does not produce an insulin response.
- Some of the more processed brands such as Truvia contain additives.
- Stevia can sometimes have a licorice like aftertaste.
After looking around for quite awhile I found no evidence that stevia is harmful and found it may even be beneficial.
I don't plan on replacing my honey completely but I do think I will pick up some stevia the next time I'm at the store and play around with it a little. I have to admit- 0 calories and no insulin response sounds pretty tempting!
Sources and further reading:
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