As you may know, Stevia is a sweetener that’s recently climbed in popularity for two main reasons. 1 – It has no calories. And 2 – It doesn’t have a significant effect on your blood sugar and therefore, your insulin. But what’s the difference between the green stevia and the white?
Well, what IS stevia? Stevia is a shrub that is native to Paraguay. This shrub has leaves and when you dry those leaves and grind ‘em up, you get stevia. And it’s green. Makes sense – green leaves make green stevia. Green stevia is therefore a whole food, completely intact with its minerals, just minus the water and ground up. It has a slightly bitter taste (that usually goes away when mixed into food or drinks) and is around 10-15% sweeter than table sugar, so you actually use less sweetener in general.
The white stevia, on the other hand, has been processed from it’s leafy green state to a white powder. It often contains other ingredients, like maltodextrin, a food additive commonly found in sodas and candy. And while stevia is a natural, whole food, the same can’t be said for maltodextrin, which is usually derived from GMO feed corn using bleaching agents and chemicals. The end result? The white stevia is a processed food that comes out even sweeter than the green stuff (which, remember, is already much sweeter than table sugar).
So that’s the deal-io. Stevia can be a great sugar substitute because it doesn’t significantly affect blood sugar, it’s non-caloric and it won’t promote dental cavities. Just remember to use the green stuff when you can because whole foods are complete foods that contain all their minerals. And processed foods…well, it’s not always easy to tell what you’re getting there.