Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Health Post of the Day: Make the Switch to Stevia

If you're a habitual coffee drinker like myself you more than likely dump in a pack (or 2) of splenda or equal every time you have a cup. Two years ago I read an article about just how bad these artificial sweeteners can be and decided to try alternative options. You may have seen the adds for stevia or truvia on television and wondered what the difference is between these new sweeteners and the ones already on the market.

As opposed to natural sugar, stevia has a very small effect on your blood glucose level and is great for people on carb-controlled diets or with diabetes. It is also a natural sweetener derived from plants and has very few calories. It doesn't contain sucrose or fructose and doesn't really add any health benefits to your diet (although it doesn't have many negative effects either!) Like artificial sweetener, it is much sweeter than regular sugar. Some people complain that there is a bitter after taste but it is, in my opinion, very minimal.

Swapping stevia for sugar can help your waste line and although not proven, swapping it for splenda, equal or sweet and low may help you to avoid cancer and other health dangers. Some brand names of stevia that can be found at a grocery store near you include A Sweet Leaf, Sun Crystals, Truvia, PureVia and Steviva.


Reduced Sugar Fudgy Brownies w/ Truvia


Ingredients
3 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
14 cup unsalted butter
14 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
3 12 Tbsp Truvia® natural sweetener spoonable*
14 cup white granulated sugar
12 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp skim milk
34 cup all-purpose flour
12 tsp baking powder

*or 12 packets Truvia® natural sweetener

Optional Garnish: Make powdered Truvia® natural sweetener by blending 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp Truvia® natural sweetener spoonable* and 1 Tbsp of corn starch in a blender on high for 1 minute. Lightly sprinkle this powdered garnish on brownies using a tea strainer. Store leftover garnish in a sealed container.

*or 8 packets of Truvia® sweetener




Nutrition Facts per Serving (one 2x2-inch square)


Calories, 130; Total Fat, 9g; Saturated Fat, 4g; Trans Fat, 0g; Cholesterol, 45mg; Sodium, 85mg; Total Carbohydrate, 13g; Dietary Fiber, 1g; Sugars, 3g; Erythritol, 3g; Protein, 2g; Vitamin A, 4% DV; Vitamin C, 0% DV; Calcium, 2% DV; Iron, 8% DV.

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