Vigorbuddy | Is Stevia Safe? | Stevia has been growing in popularity as a healthy alternative to sugar. It is appealing in that it has zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero glycemic indexes but is approximately 200-300 times sweeter than sugar in the same quantity.
For those unfamiliar with Stevia, these characteristics may seem too good to be true and they may understandably be skeptical. They may question if this is really authentic, but more importantly, if it is actually safe. Since this is something that will be ingested, these concerns are very much valid. What you put in your body directly affects your health, so it is justified to want to know about what you are eating.
The good news with Stevia is that studies show there is nothing to worry about.
Stevia’s Regulatory History
Originally, there were concerns regarding Stevia when it was first made available as a product. In 1991, Stevia was banned in the United States due to early studies suggesting that organic sweetener may cause cancer. However, this was immediately refuted in a follow-up study, so in 1995, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed Stevia to be sold and imported as a food supplement.
Though it overcame the first hurdle, it was still just categorized as a food supplement, not as a sweetener. Several manufactures made the argument that Stevia should be grouped with the artificial sweeteners as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS). Substances that are GRAS must meet the criteria that the substance has been determined safe through expert consensus, scientific review, and/or widespread use without negative complications. In December 2008, the FDA declared Stevia as GRAS, which opened the door for Stevia to be used in mainstream food production.
So is it safe?
There is sufficient evidence to support the claim that Stevia is just as if not safer than its artificial sweetening counterparts. Though there are still on-going studies to see the long-term impacts of Stevia extract, scientists agree that it is not harmful if consumed in reasonable amounts. It is widely accepted that Stevia in its purified form is completely safe.
Studies are currently being conducted, not just to see if it is safe, but to actually measure just how effective Stevia is in terms of the health benefits it may bring. For example, there were initial concerns that Stevia would reduce fertility or worsen diabetes, but studies discovered that Stevia might actually improve glucose tolerance. Another study found that Stevia may even induce the pancreas to release insulin and can potentially serve as a treatment for type 2 diabetes.
In fact, Stevia has already been integrated as an ingredient in over 5,000 food and beverage products around the world. It could be found in desserts like ice cream and yogurt, to gum and candy, to bread and wine, and it is even used to sweeten pre-workout drinks. One of the most well-known brands that have used Stevia in their products is Coca-Cola. In 2008, they developed and patented a Stevia purification process that allowed them to use Stevia in one of their drinks, claiming a delicious yet unique taste while proudly advertising the use of the healthy sweetener. Their Stevia-sweetened products were brought to different regions worldwide for mass-market consumption, so there can be no doubt as to the safety of the ingredient.
Sweet and Fit Stevia
Sweet and Fit Stevia was the first Stevia Powder registered by the Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines. Manufactured and distributed by Glorious Industrial and Development Corporation, Sweet and Fit Stevia Food Supplement Powder has already seen widespread use in hospitals and institutions across the Philippines.
Stevia has proven to be a great sweetening alternative for those with diabetes, so it is no surprise that hospitals use Sweet and Fit Stevia when preparing meals for their diabetic patients. The most well-known hospitals in the Philippines including Makati Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Manila Doctors Hospital, and Medical City all use Sweet and Fit Stevia. Vendors Megamelt, Good Shepherd, House of Polvoron, and Fruit Magic, restaurants Banapple, Chili’s, and Tony Roma’s, hotels Manila Peninsula and Manila Hotel all use Sweet and Fit Stevia.
Sweet and Fit Stevia is carefully handpicked in their farm in Bulacan and immediately sent to a plantation for spray drying, locking in freshness. Each and every batch of Sweet and Fit Stevia undergoes a strict safety analysis to ensure its quality. This means that the product that reaches your dining table is guaranteed to be safe.
Where can I buy Sweet and Fit Stevia in the Philippines?
Sweet and Fit Stevia can be purchased online at the official GIDC website and can be found at your local Mercury Drug Store, Generika, South Star Drug, and other leading drugstores. It can also be bought at Robinsons Supermarket, Waltermart, Ever Gotesco, Landmark, and other supermarkets nationwide. It is also available on popular online marketplaces.
Glorious Industrial and Development Corporation
72 Nuestra Señora St. 6th Ave.
1400 Metro Manila