South Beach Diet - Stevia?
03-11-2008, 01:48 PM
So I wanted to find something of a more natural sweetener rather than the artificial sweeteners, and a friend recommended stevia. It's made from the leaves of a herb. Any thoughts? Would this be SBD safe? Any thoughts on equivalencies?
03-11-2008, 01:51 PM
Stevia is super! It has very little effect on blood sugar and you only need miniscule amounts to get big time sweetness. I don't know much else about it, but I know it is acceptable on Atkins, so must be ok for SBD.
03-11-2008, 02:00 PM
I don't know about Stevia, haven't ever tried it, but I do use agave nectar. I really like it and it is low glycemic.
I have been stevia for a while now and I really like it but find it hard to control the amount of sweetness when I'm baking with it. I love the English Toffee stevia that I got from Amazon. It is delicious in my yogarts and ricotta puddings and my chai tea. I'm currently using Splenda for baking, but would like to use the stevia more, because it is so natural.
I've got a stevia cookbook coming. Will let you know how it goes
03-11-2008, 02:27 PM
I'm not on SBD but I've used stevia for a long time and love it. For baking, I buy the stevia powder instead of the liquid - it's easier to measure out the equivalent of sugar called for in recipes. It's also more expensive, unfortunately!
03-11-2008, 02:32 PM
I am also interested in Stevia. Does it have a chemical taste? I use splenda products now. I can not use aspartame, it causes me to have migraines. I think splenda is pretty good, but it still has a bit of chemical taste. I am planning on trying agave nectar, I just haven't been to TJ's to pick up a bottle.
03-11-2008, 03:31 PM
It doesn't have a chemical taste (it's not artificial in any way, after all!), but it does have a very slight bitter after-taste. I love it in teas, but i haven't tried it in other beverages, food or recipes :)
03-11-2008, 04:02 PM
I have heard about stevia and am considering a change to this for sweetening. I know that there are several kinds of liquids and powder forms, so it requires a bit of study. I am unfamiliar however with agave nectar. Can someone bring me up to date? Thanks for helping.
03-11-2008, 10:14 PM
I know others on here...Schmoodle for one from the SBD forum uses agave nectar regularly so she can give proper info. What I have heard--it has the consistency of honey-but not the same flavor as honey-milder I think, made from the agave plant, it does have calories, has a low glycemic index unless combined with high GI foods, then it can take on a higher GI??? that is one thing I'm not sure about how that would work...seems like it should be the same chemically no matter what combined with.
The only place in Northern Virginia that I have seen it is Trader Joe's, but I haven't looked for it at Whole Foods, I suspect they probably carry it. I did look for it at the local grocery Giant and they did not have it.
03-12-2008, 06:52 AM
Most grocery stores around here carry the agave nectar, the most popular brand is "Madhava". It is very similar to honey in consistency and flavor, but doesn't crystallize like honey tends to do. It's made from the juice of the agave cactus plant, which is considered a fruit, so it is usually suggested to wait until Phase 2 to begin using it, but some of us have used it in Phase 1 without any problems. Since it's very low on the glycemic index it 's ideal to use as a sweetener for both diabetics and us here on SBD. It's does have calories, 60 per tablespoon, so you must keep that in mind.