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Definition: Stevia is a sugar substitute derived from the leaves of the stevia plant that is significantly sweeter than sugar but contains no calories, which has made it ideal for low-carb diets and those watching their sugar intake. Most often considered an herb or dietary supplement, stevia is available in most health food stores, but it has even begun to surface in mainstream products after its approval for use as an additive by the FDA in 2008.

How much stevia should I use?

Stevia, like most sweeteners, is available in both powdered and liquid varieties, so your usage will vary depending on which variety you select. Both varieties are incredibly sweet; you'll only need about one quarter of the amount that you would use if you were using sugar!

So, what's the downside?

Well, Stevia, as you may have guessed, costs about three times as much as sugar, and sometimes even more depending on location, brand and variety.

For more information on Stevia:

  • The Sweet Herb--Stevia
  • Stevia from About.com Guide to Coffee and Tea/li]

  • Pronunciation: STEE-vee-ah
    Also Known As: Stevia sweetener, Stevia sugar, Truvia
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