AVOID! The Toxic Truth About Stevia

By Jane Barthelemy. Stevia is marketed as a healthy sweetener. But surprising new evidence indicates all stevia sold in grocery stores is highly processed with methyl alcohol or other toxic chemicals. Healthy Solution: Look for natural zero-sugar sweetenersIs your stevia pure? Or is it mixed with other sweeteners and chemicals? Do you wonder how your stevia is refined? What does “natural” mean, if anything? You deserve to know what’s hidden in your stevia. It is essential for your health to learn how stevia is processed, and decide for yourself. This article strips away the marketing hype, with clear evidence that’s very surprising.

Executive Summary:
Yes, Stevia’s green leaves are naturally sweet. However those white powders and clear drops we find in groceries have very little to do with stevia leaves. They aren’t really stevia at all. They’re an extract that’s been super-refined using toxic chemicals, bleach, and marketed as “healthy”. When you look at the chemical refinement process, stevia is no more natural than Aspartame, Splenda, NutraSweet, Equal, Sweet N Low, etc. Everybody is looking for a non-addictive, healthy sweetener. But beware of any sugar-free sweetener that gives you the illusion of a “free ride”, because you may just be deepening your addiction.

Grow Your Own Stevia!
The best stevia is the kind you can grow yourself. When it’s alive you know it’s REAL! Stevia plants grow beautifully in a pot, a garden, a window box, or on your kitchen window sill.  Just pull off a leaf when you need to sweeten something. This way you can be sure it’s organic, and the soil is healthy.

What is Stevia Really?  How can I Know if it is Pure?
Stevia, or “stevia rebaudiana” is a plant that originates in Brazil with naturally sweet leaves. The leaves can be dried and powdered into a pure sweetener about 40 times sweeter than sugar. These raw, unprocessed stevia leaves have a strong aftertaste akin to licorice, and taste artificial. Pure unprocessed stevia leaves and green powder are not widely available due to their strong aftertaste. If you live in Santa Fe like I do, buy them bulk at the Coop on Alameda near the almond butter grinder. (Or you can order a pound here from Frontier on Amazon).

In grocery stores, we find an entire shelf of “stevia” in the form of processed liquid drops and white powders – all highly refined chemical extractions from the leaves, in the hopes of reducing the aftertaste. The resulting processed sweeteners are called myriad confusing names such as stevia, stevia extract, pure stevia, Rebaudioside A, Reb A, steviol glycosides, etc, and are anywhere from 2X to 350X sweeter than sugar, depending on the blend with other fillers. As a high-intensity sweetener, a little goes a long way, therefore it is often pre-measured in packets or mixed with other fillers such as GMO Maltodextrin, GMO corn Erythritol, inulin fiber, or even cane sugar. Processing is done with a variety of chemicals, such as, methanol, arsenic, ethanol, acetone, and others.

The resulting artificial sweetener called “Stevia” is toxic and unhealthy.
Don’t be fooled by the name, that seemingly innocent stevia we find in grocery stores is a chemical concoction just like Splenda and Aspartame. In fact, it’s highly probable that you’re buying a blend that’s 99.8% Erythritol, a fermented sweetener made from genetically modified corn, with a pinch of refined stevioside powder. Your “Stevia” can be processed, mixed with chemicals, blended in a hundred ways, and still legally be called simply “stevia”. Refined stevioside is sold under countless brand names such as Sun Crystals, SweetLeaf, Truvia, PureVia, Stevia in the Raw, Pyure, and NuStevia to name a few.

Commercial Stevia is bad news.
Stay away from it. That includes Stevioside and Rebaudioside and all the names. All “stevia” in grocery stores is processed with toxic chemicals. If you’re still going for the story that stevia is natural and comes from Peru, know that 85% of all stevia comes from China. Even the world’s top stevia marketer, international sugar giant Cargill, top food manufacturer in the world with over $102.7 billion in 2016 sales, manufacturer of Truvia and PureVia with Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, has all of its stevia produced in China. It’s a small world when you control the sweeteners every body is addicted to.

Take-Home Message:
If you truly want to be free of sugar addiction, then processed stevia and other artificial sweeteners won’t help you. It’s better to skip all forms of Stevia, Truvia, and the blends listed below. Check out my two preferred sugar-free sweeteners: Just Like Sugar Table Top, and PureLo LoHan by Swanson.

stevia-sugarQuiz: Which sweetener is “Natural”?
1) Sugar cubes, 2) Processed stevioside powder, or 3) Stevia leaves from your garden?

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(Most people don’t want too much information. However if YOU are one of those folks that desire the whole truth, read on. To learn how Stevia leaves are processed into a toxic sweetener, it required a bit of digging. As usual, the devil is in the details. To learn the whole Stevia story, continue reading…)

How is Stevia Processed?
Processed stevia is made with a dangerous chemical refining process hidden from the public and deceptively marketed as “natural”. Manufacturers run into the problem that stevia leaves are extraordinarily resilient. The stevia cell walls are so tough that they resist the usual methods of boiling or centrifuging. Producers aim to to extract the active sweet compound, stevioside, and remove the funny aftertaste. In order to concentrate stevia to 300X concentration, toxic chemicals and artificial chemical enzymes are used, such as methanol, kerosene, alcohol, chlorine, ash, acids, titanium dioxide, arsenic, preservatives, chemical stabilizers, and emulsifiers.

The world’s largest producers of stevia hold patents for undisclosed, proprietary extraction methods. These patents belong to industry giants such as Coca Cola, PureCircle in Malaysia and USA, Cargill – maker of Truvia and PureVia, JustBio – A Canadian Biotech firm, McNeil Nuritionals LLC- maker of Splenda, and Chengdu Waggott Pharmaceutical Company in Sichuan China. That’s quite a line-up! Here are 5 common stevia extraction methods I located in public patent records. They all indicate the use of toxic chemicals, which are difficult or impossible to remove.

  1. One of the more popular methods of producing stevia extract was developed by D. Payzant, U.S. Pat. No. 5,962,678. In summary, sweet stevia glycosides are extracted using methanol, a toxic, colorless, volatile flammable liquid alcohol. This method has been used for decades. The major drawback is that a toxic solvent like methanol is difficult to remove. Trace amounts are harmful to health and not ideal for human consumption.
  2. Another common production method comes from Uenishi Hideaki, Japan Patent 54030199. To extract the sweetness and discard a bitter aftertaste, this method also requires the use of various toxic solvents. The removal of solvents requires energy and time, which are not considered cost-effective.
  3. A third production method developed by R. H. Dobberstein, U.S. Pat. No. 4,361,697, uses several toxic solvents including methanol in a complex multi-step process. The major drawback is still the presence of toxic solvents, and their complete removal is not possible and not considered commercially viable.
  4. Sato Toru, Japan Patent JP57005663 uses a new and improved process to extract sweetness from stevia hydrated in water containing alcohol, with the addition of calcium, iron, or aluminum. These compounds are then removed, passed through an acid-ication exchange resin using toxic solvents such as ethanol, acetone, etc. The major drawbacks here are the removal of water from aqueous extract, and removal of toxic solvents, which is not economical.
  5. US. Pat. No. 4,599,403 by Sampath Kumar uses an improved method that is said to be less dependent on toxic chemicals. The major drawbacks are that the aqueous extract is treated first with an acid and then with base and then treated with toxic solvents like n-butanol, which lower the final yield and must ultimately be removed. Again, removal of solvents is not commercially viable, therefore most stevioside products generally contain these toxins.

What’s Really in Your Stevia Bottle?
Well, you can start with the knowledge that there’s almost NO pure stevia out there, except for that rare green powder with a funny aftertaste. (I don’t mind the aftertaste, but many people don’t care for it.) If you want to know what’s really in your stevia, you can try reading the label. However that’s a problem since labels don’t have to disclose all ingredients. Your next hint is serving size. A low serving size of one gram or less is a good indication that the manufacturer is taking full advantage of the legal loophole, and omitting certain chemicals or ingredients. Here’s the loophole: By law, any item under 0.5 grams per serving is not required to be disclosed. So there’s no way you can know for sure what’s really in there. If your Stevia is any of the popular products below, I’ve done some of your homework for you, by reading the labels. However what’s undisclosed we’ll never know.

Popular Stevia Products and their Surprising Ingredients!

1.          Better Stevia liquid     This is a NOW Foods blend of refined Stevioside with Vegetable Glycerin, a non-glycemic fermented sweetener. 1 tsp liquid = 1 cup sugar sweetness. See Stevia Glycerite.

2.          Better Stevia packets  NOW Foods makes this product of powdered refined stevioside blended with Non-GMO Rice Maltodextrin.

3.          Generic Stevioside Drops       See Stevioside Liquid Extract. Generic refined stevioside drops are sold in every grocery chain under their private label, such as Trader Joe’s, Kroger’s, Safeway, Albertson’s, and many other store labels.

3.          Generic Stevioside Powder     See Stevioside Powder, refined. Refined stevioside powders are sold in grocery chains under their private label, such as Trader Joe’s, Kroger’s, Safeway, Albertson’s, and many other store labels.

4.         Generic Stevioside, IndustrialSee Stevioside Powder, refined. This is a generic powder made of refined stevioside, that is sold on the industrial level as a food additive for the food industry. It is used in a wide variety of food products, such as Good Earth Teas, Celestial Seasonings Tea, Energy Drinks, Sodas, Chocolates, Ice Creams, and Energy Bars. It often contains toxic chemicals, however the amounts are usually under the 0.5 grams per serving, therefore disclosure is not required.

5.          Green Leaf Stevia        This is a proprietary blend by Swanson made of refined Stevioside powder and high-glycemic non-GMO rice Maltodextrin.

6.          Green Stevia Powder  This is the pure stuff, and the only healthy stevia. Pure dried stevia leaf is available in a fine green powder that is 30 – 40 times sweeter than sugar. It is raw, and has a peculiar aftertaste. I buy it here.

7…          NuNaturals MoreFiber Stevia Baking Blend   This is a sugar substitute blend of high glycemic GMO Corn Maltodextrin with refined stevioside. Prepare for a spike in your blood sugar.

8          NuStevia          This sugar substitute blends high glycemic GMO Corn Maltodextrin with refined stevioside. Another blood-sugar spike here.

9          PureVia™         Made by Cargill, this sweetener blends genetically modified corn Erythritol with refined Stevioside or Rebaudioside. The Stevia is extracted by proprietary methods we can’t know. There’s nothing natural here.

10.        Pyure Organic Stevia  A sweetener made from refined stevioside sold in sachets or liquid. It contains agave inulin, refined Stevioside extract, and other unknown ingredients.

11.        Rebiana           Rebiana is a zero-calorie sweetener produced by proprietary methods by extracting sweetness from the stevia leaf with chemicals and heat, and refining into a high intensity powder that is 200 – 300 times as sweet as sugar. See Stevioside.

12.        Rebaudioside  Refined Rebaudioside is made from the stevia leaf, where its sweetness is isolated and concentrated using heat and chemicals into a powder about 300X sweeter than table sugar, with somewhat reduced aftertaste. It can be purchased as a white powder or liquid drops. China is the world’s primary producer of rebaudioside. Nothing natural here.

13.        Slimstevia        A Chinese sweetener similar to Truvia made from genetically modified corn Erythritol with refined Stevioside and/or Rebaudioside. Not natural.

14.        Slimtevia         This high-intensity sweetener is 3 times sweeter than sugar. It is said to contain high-sugar Fructose, Inulin fiber, FOS (Fructo-oligosaccharides), stevia, and Magnesium Carbonate. This won’t help anyone end the sugar habit.

15.        Stevia by Xymogen     A sweeter blend of high-glycemic Maltodextrin and refined Stevioside Extract (Rebiana). Prepare for a blood sugar jolt.

16.        Stevia dried leaf          This is the pure stuff. Unrefined, dried leaves of the South American plant Stevia Rebaudiana are 30–45 times as sweet as table sugar. You can keep this as a potted plant, in bulk dried leaves, or as a green powder. This is a 100% safe sweetener, truly natural (and Paleo). However many people find it has a strong aftertaste. Find it as leaf particles or green powder in food coops and online.

17.        Stevia in the raw™      This is a high-glycemic combination of GMO corn Maltodextrin or Dextrose plus refined stevioside. It’s an attractive name, but neither natural nor healthy. Prepare for blood sugar blues.

18.        Stevia FOS Blend         This is a brand of refined stevioside powder blended with Inulin Fructo-oligosaccharides. It is a zero-calorie, zero carb, sweetener.

19.        Stevia Glycerate          Proprietary liquid drops produced by NOW Foods, made from refined stevioside and non-glycemic Vegetable Glycerin, a fermented liquid sweetener from oils. 1 tsp Stevia Glycerate = 1 cup sugar sweetness.

20.        Steviacane™    This is a blend of refined stevioside with high-glycemic cane sugar by Imperial Sugar Company. Expect a blood sugar jolt here.

21.        SteviaClear Drops       This is refined stevioside powder in a liquid alcohol solution. The drops are 250 – 300 times as sweet as sugar. Nothing natural here. I suggest first having it tested for methanol and other toxins.

22.        Stevioside Liquid Extract        These stevioside drops are made from stevia leaves that are refined using methanol and then dissolved in a liquid alcohol solution. There are many sources for stevioside drops, and countless private labels. Most refined Stevioside drops are mixed with other ingredients. The pure stevioside drops are 250 – 300 times as sweet as sugar.

23.        Stevioside Powder, refined    Refined Stevioside and Rebaudioside are made from the stevia leaf. Its sweetness is isolated and concentrated using heat and chemicals into a powder c. 300 times sweeter than sugar, with reduced aftertaste. China is the world’s primary producer of stevioside. Refined Stevioside and Rebaudioside are often sold in proprietary blends with cane sugar, artificial sweeteners, or other chemicals and rebranded under the generic name of ”Stevia”.

24.        Stevita Spoonables     A blend of Erythritol and refined Stevioside. Don’t know if it is GMO or NON-GMO corn Erythritol.

25.        Steviva Blend  A blend of high quality Non-GMO Erythritol with refined Stevioside powder. Steviva Blend is twice as sweet as sugar. There’s nothing natural here.

26.        Sun Crystals®  A blend of cane sugar mixed with refined stevioside. Prepare for sugar shock.

27.        Sweet Serum   A low-carb, low-glycemic liquid sweetener that contains organic raw agave inulin, Yacon root and Stevioside. Sweet Serum has a concentrated sweet honey taste. 1 teaspoon Sweet Serum is equal in sweetness to about 5 teaspoons sugar. Nothing natural here.

28.        Sweet Simplicity®       A Sugar Substitute made from genetically modified corn Erythritol, Fructose sugars and Natural Flavors by Whole Earth Sweetener Company, the makers of PureVia. Prepare for insulin shock.

29.        Sweet’nVit stevia        A high intensity sweetener developed by the European firm Vitiva containing refined Stevioside, genetically modified Corn Erythritol and Maltitol, a fermented sweetener.

30.        SweetLeaf Stevia Shaker         A blend of refined stevioside powder and inulin. Nothing natural here.

31.        Truvia™           A toxic blend of GMO corn Erythritol, refined Rebaudioside, and other ingredients by food giant Cargill.

32.        ZSweet®          A sweetener that can be used cup for cup like sugar, made from Non-GMO Erythritol and highly refined Stevioside or Rebaudioside.

Conclusion:

Stevia was once a simple plant used by the Guarani Indians in South America for healing. But our world-wide craving for sweetness, along with modern food processing methods have changed all that. Now stevia is refined with toxic chemicals in private proprietary procedures deeply linked to the largest international corporations and the sugar industry. Most of our stevia is produced in China, and then marketed as our most beloved natural sweetener. If you still believe your stevia to be healthy, check out the links below for a journey of deception and international intrigue that will make your hair stand up on end.

Resources:

Patent – Manufacturing method of pure natural high-purity stevioside – CN 102199177 (Translated from Chinese) http://www.google.com/patents/CN102199177A?cl=en

Patent – High-purity rebaudioside A and method of extracting same https://www.google.com/patents/US7923541

Patent – Process For Extraction And Debitterizing Sweet Compounds From Stevia Plants http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2016/0015066.html

Patent – Process for production of steviosides from stevia rebaudiana bertoni – US 20060142555 A1 http://www.google.com.ar/patents/US20060142555

Method for extracting active ingredient of natural product (stevia) and uses thereof CN 101138686 (Translated from Chinese) A http://www.google.com/patents/CN101138686A?cl=en

The Aspartame / NutraSweet Fiasco http://www.stevia.net/aspartame.htm

How the Feds Set Frankenstein Free on the Farm, by Dr. Al Sears, M.D. http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_geneticfood140.htm

Is Stevia Paleo? https://www.primalorganicmiami.com/is-stevia-paleo/

Cargill to Settle Deceptive Marketing Lawsuit alleging Truvia, Stevia Based Sweetener is Not Natural. http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Regulation/Cargill-to-settle-deceptive-marketing-lawsuit-alleging-Truvia-stevia-based-sweetener-is-not-natural

Don’t confuse consumers with stevia messages, by Russ Bianchi
http://russbianchi.com/wordpress/?p=6311

A Tale of Two Sweeteners – Stevia and Aspartame
http://aspartamesafety.com/web/articles/a-tale-of-two-sweeteners-stevia-and-aspartame

Stevia Leaf – Too Good To Be Legal?
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/faqs/medi-2-6-stevia.html

Stevia – A Natural Choice, by Dr. Betty Martini
http://www.dorway.com/martini.html

58 Replies to "AVOID! The Toxic Truth About Stevia"

  • comment-avatar
    Marci June 26, 2022 (9:10 pm)

    I just watched a documentary about sugar and the consequences it plays on our health. When I first started watching, I thought to myself “I’m good cause I use Pyure.” By the end of the documentary I wasn’t so sure. Thankfully I found your article and it answered A LOT of questions I had. Thank you so much for your time and research that you have done!

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy August 31, 2022 (9:19 pm)

      Hi Marci, thank you for your message. Yes! It’s a wild, wild world we live in. Shocking, however we continue to carry on! Many people are waking up to the truth. Best wishes for your continued delicious health! Jane

  • comment-avatar
    Jane Barthelemy May 28, 2022 (4:57 am)

    Hello RJ,
    Thanks for your comment. I wrote an article about Maple Syrup. Here’s a link. Unfortunately Maple Syrup has a very high glycemic, fructemic index, much like table sugar. It’s terrible for cholesterol in the liver and creates blood sugar spikes. It’s no better than sugar. Best wishes for your delicious health! https://janeshealthykitchen.com/maple-syrup-paleo/
    Jane

  • comment-avatar
    James Hamilton May 15, 2022 (8:13 am)

    How about Signature Select STEVIA made with Stevia extract ? BAD or Good?

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy May 28, 2022 (4:45 am)

      Hi James, thanks for you comment. Only God can answer your question. You can always make some phone calls and find our where their stevia is sourced. Or you can have it lab tested for arsenic, toxins, and heavy metals. That will give you a clear answer. Best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

  • comment-avatar
    Susan April 29, 2022 (5:34 pm)

    Boo hoo! I just found your website and due to your thorough investigation of my favorite non-sugar sweetener, I am at a loss as to how to drink my morning coffee! I’ve been using a liquid organic stevia that my local health food store distributes as their own product & the ingredients are listed as: certified organic stevia leaf extract (stevia rebaudiana) 250 mg/ml; other ingredients: certified organic vegetable glycerin, deionized water. The label does not say where the stevia is sourced from. I only use 5 drops per day in my one mug of coffee, so do you think I should stop using it? I’ve tried drinking coffee without sweetener, but I just can’t stomach it.
    I will sign up for your newsletter immediately!

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy May 28, 2022 (5:05 am)

      Hi Susan, thanks for your kind comment. Any kind of stevia is simply “at your own risk” Look at my website for other approved sweeteners. There are some good ones, if you must have sweetener in your morning coffee. Like PureLo by Swanson, Swerve, and Lakanto. https://janeshealthykitchen.com/5-top-paleo-sweeteners/
      Best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

  • comment-avatar
    KIMBERLY A BAKER December 19, 2021 (7:04 am)

    Thank you, Jane, for your knowledgeable articles. You are a God send, just like Dr. Mercola. I grow my own stevia and use a non-gmo glycerine. We also have grown our own yacon for several years and I make my syrup. A long, long day in the kitchen but worth it.

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy December 22, 2021 (5:16 am)

      Hi Kimberly, Thanks for your comment. Wow! I’m impressed! Good for you! I’m completely off sweeteners these days and enjoying it just fine. I have a terrible sweet tooth, so if I eat desserts, I like to go all the way with healthy sweeteners. Here in Bali alternative sweeteners are not available. However, there are many other delightful healthy foods. Best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

  • comment-avatar
    Barry December 3, 2021 (11:49 am)

    The FDA does not always act in the public’s best interest. Just like when Donald Rumsfeld got Saccharin approved. Sometimes unfortunately money drives their decisions.

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy December 4, 2021 (1:45 am)

      Thanks for your comment, Barry. The understatement of the year! Be well and best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

    • comment-avatar
      Trisha January 10, 2022 (4:10 am)

      True. But I think the FDA never acts in our best interest! Everything the US government allows is for our detriment to keep us life long sick ridden customers of their owners, Big Pharma. It’s truly sad.

      • comment-avatar
        Jane Barthelemy January 26, 2022 (12:25 am)

        Hi Trish. Money talks. When that changes, the world will be a truly wonderful place to live! Ha Ha! In the meantime, keep up the good rebellion! Warmest regards! Jane

        • comment-avatar
          Diana M March 5, 2022 (1:24 pm)

          Jane:
          I totally agree with your article except on one point – “ The best solution is to use small doses of sugar-free sweeteners, to slowly detox your system from regular sugars.”
          Being that artificial sweeteners are more sweet than sugar and aren’t handled the same by gut flora, my recommendation is lowering the amount of real sugar, but sticking to honey, maple syrup, fruits (while glycemic index can be high, the other beneficial nutrients outweigh) and if necessary, then molasses and sugar in the raw as last resort.

          • comment-avatar
            Jane Barthelemy April 11, 2022 (6:06 am)

            Hello Diana M. Thank you for your comment. WOW! I agree with you and I have deleted the sentence you disagreed with. But my reasons are somewhat different. I respect your point and you are entirely free to choose. My reasoning is that honey, maple syrup, molasses, “sugar in the raw” (pure turbinado sugar), are all toxic to the body due to the glycemic-fructemic effect. For that reason they cause elevated glucose and are “metabolic scramblers” in the body. Their wee bit of nutrients they may contain are unlikely to outweigh the elephant-in-the-room-problem of high blood sugar, which is a major culprit in most disease, especially chronic disease. My solution is based on listening to my own body – and every person is different in this regard. My personal rule of thumb is to avoid all glucose and fructose sweeteners at all costs. I’m grateful to have my health and ZERO chronic disease. Thank you again for your comment. Best wishes for your delicious health.

  • comment-avatar
    Mary H Anderson November 22, 2021 (10:31 am)

    Thank you, Jane, for your informative article. I only tried stevia once, used 1/4 of a packet, tasted my coffee, and spit it out. I am now trying to convince a dear friend to stop using stevia which she’s used for many years–3 packs a day with artificial creamer with each cup of coffee and she drinks at least 5 cups per day!! She has many health problems, including mental health issues which require a myriad of prescription anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, etc. Since she requested I bring her some Stevia when I visited her at a rehab center 2 weeks ago where she is slowly recovering from hip surgery, I reluctantly did so. I brought her 2 boxes of the original Stevia brand which contained 100 packets each, figuring she wouldn’t complain anymore about running out. Well, I just found out she has already used all of them!!! I now think many of her health problems are related to this excessive use of this “poison” I will be sending her your article to convince her it’s not just my opinion. What advice would you offer as a substitute sweetener? –she also has recently needed blood transfusions.

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy November 23, 2021 (4:46 am)

      Hi Mary, Thanks for your message. Oh dear! A serious “SWEET TOOTH!” The addictions that are killing us are all controlled by our mind. The real issues are: Do we want to be healthy or not? And are we willing to take responsibility for our own body health? It may be time for your friend to give some careful thought to these questions. Once we make a real commitment to our health, then the little things we have to give up are easy. I am willing to give up all unhealthy foods. Really we don’t NEED sweeteners. It’s all about controlling your MIND. Check out the many alternative sweeteners on my website top navigation under “SWEETENERS”. Best wishes for your delicious health!

      • comment-avatar
        Trisha January 10, 2022 (4:22 am)

        TY Jane! Wow! You gave so much great info and I must say, I am a ZING “stevia” sweetener user everyday, but not anymore after I read this article! I just happened to see your website when I was actually looking for Zing sweetener and so this was a God intervention my being led to your website. I always wondered why I would open a packet of Zing and it was sooo powdery& fine that it go up in the air & then into my nostrils inhaling it and I will literally start coughing a little! Now I know why!!! I can’t tell you how many “natural health’ people claim the Stevia sold in stores is extremely healthy. I took their word for it. Anyway, ty so much & God bless, store bought stevia is gone out of my house, no more!

        • comment-avatar
          Jane Barthelemy January 26, 2022 (12:23 am)

          Hi Trisha, thanks for your kind words. Sounds like you’re on the right track. You listened to your body and it told you to avoid something toxic. There’s so much we can’t see. Best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

  • comment-avatar
    Amber Starr November 4, 2021 (5:31 pm)

    Hi Jane, I am a retired wholistic nutritionist. Your research is excellent. I wanted to share my research re:Stevia. In 1990, I was a distributor of Sunrider International (Sunrider.com). At that time Dr. Chen and wife had just started an amazing line of herbs. Stevia liquid was not even authorized by FDA as a sweetner, so we used it as a skincare item. The only ingredients were whole leaf Stevia and Chrysanthemum, however we were not allowed to say sweetner even though we did. It tasted amazing and even had fantastic use as a skin healer. When I moved from the L.A. area to No. Cal., I discovered Planetary Herbals whole leaf Stevia Concentrate, a dark brown color with only water as an extractive (same as Sunrider sans the Chrysanthemum, I used if for about 10 years then it suddenly disappeared. Then about 4 years ago another similar product from Wisdom whole leaf extract with only water and dark brown tasted the same as Plan. Herbs. I was buying it from Swanson Vitamins and now it has disappeared also. Now, I see that The Wisdom line contains over 20 stevia (clear) products with all sorts of artificial flavors. Yuk! it’s hard to believe that this is what 21st century people really want. Your idea of growing it makes more sense. Do you know where I can buy the leaves? Anyway, Sunrider still sells the same product under the name of Sun Nectar (Stevia and Chrysanthemum) in a 1 oz. container for about $20 , but it is worth it when you taste it and the high quality of their products. I appreciate your research. Onward

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy November 17, 2021 (12:55 am)

      Hi Amber, thank you for sharing your experience. The big question for Stevia is of course – how is it cultivated, and how is it processed? Since most of our global stevia is controlled by Cargill and sourced in China, that’s a bit of a black hole to find clear answers. And like you say, the products keep changing. We are left with the “taste test” and testing products for toxins in a laboratory. Both are great ways. Swanson Vitamins website appears to be fine, and their LoHan sweetener is one of the best. Yes, I will carry on. I appreciate your guidance and suggestions for topics and details to help us get to the roots of improving our health in this wild world. Love and thank you! Jane

  • comment-avatar
    JonK October 16, 2021 (1:13 am)

    Jane, yes, a very eye opening article and research indeed. “…stevia sold in grocery stores is highly processed with methyl alcohol ” good grief! And “99% of the world Stevia comes from China.” That did it for me. I’m done with this sweetener (and have been all others for that matter). Thank you so much for your effort.

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      Jane Barthelemy November 17, 2021 (3:15 am)

      Hi JonK, Thank you for your comment. There is so much more we don’t know. And the world can change so fast. Like you, I am also off all sugar, all sweeteners, and my health keeps getting better and better. Best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

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    Louise Warner September 12, 2021 (3:09 am)

    Is one of the side affects leg muscle weakness?

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy September 12, 2021 (7:33 am)

      Hi Louise, Sorry I’m not following your question. Please clarify.
      Jane

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    Rose Raber September 7, 2021 (10:00 pm)

    Thank you for Your information! What do you say about E.N.D STEVIA??

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      Jane Barthelemy September 12, 2021 (7:32 am)

      Hi Rose. Thanks for this great question. It looks like a part of this product is really stevia, and not processed in China. HOORAY! If so, that’s truly wonderful! However I cannot support END because it will STILL give you DIABETES. According to their website it is high in Fructose, which is a component of table sugar. Fructose is 100% sugar, digested primarily in the liver, therefore it gives you no discernible “Glycemic rush”. We know about glycemic index, which measures glucose. However no “Fructemic” index exists. Why not? Fructose is in high fructose corn syrup, called “corn sugar”, notoriously unhealthy. It is instrumental in our epidemics of high cholesterol and Type 2 Diabetes. Read any article on my website about Fructose sweeteners like Coconut Sugar, Agave, Maple, Etc. Look carefully at the nutrition label, and if it is honest, it will show a high “sugar” content.

      My answer is therefore: You have to make your choices. What are your priorities? THIS website here is all about eliminating sugar addiction and the many diseases it causes. Since 30% of END is Fructose, which is pure “sugar”, I would not use it. You are totally free to choose.
      Thanks again for a great question. Best wishes for your delicious health!!
      Here’s a clip from the END website:
      Ingredients: 70% Stevia 30% Fructose*
      *The natural fructose is derived from organic fruit causing zero calories per serving. The entire 80gr container which has 800 servings has the same amount of fructose as one pear.
      Warmest regards, Jane

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    debbie woodley September 3, 2021 (8:36 am)

    where can you buy stevia seeds in U.K. ?

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      Jane Barthelemy September 12, 2021 (7:44 am)

      Hi Debbie, good question. I’ve heard you can buy baby starter plants. Not sure where to buy seeds. My guess is they don’t want you to know this. Try an alternate search engine and use creative search terms like “home-grown”, “heritage”, “authentic” “original” or “seedlings”. Gotta be creative these days. Best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

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    Jane September 2, 2021 (3:34 pm)

    JUST found your Website… an IMPORTANT KEEPER!!!!!
    WHAT do YOU recommend for a sweetener????

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      Jane Barthelemy September 12, 2021 (7:47 am)

      Hi Jane, Welcome to my website. So glad you found us. Check out the top navigation section on “SWEETENERS”. There are lots of suggested sweeteners there, like Lakanto, PureLo, Norbu, and Swerve. However, I don’t use ANY sweeteners personally. After Just Like Sugar discontinued production, I go 100% sugarless. And my health just keeps improving. Best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

      • comment-avatar
        Maggie February 10, 2022 (8:13 pm)

        Check out your local Pike store for stevia plants, ask about them.

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    Sandra CUNNINGHAM August 21, 2021 (8:58 am)

    So glad I read your article. I started using Stevia several years ago and noticed the sugar alcohols in the ingredients and other things I did not want. I thought I’d done my research and was buying something pure, but now I see that’s nearly impossible with fraudulent, deceptive labeling–as with many “natural” items hiding behind wording! Thanks.

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      Jane Barthelemy August 21, 2021 (4:18 pm)

      Thanks Sandra, Yes, finding the truth is pretty tricky these days. We may survive as a race by living out of our gardens and caring for each other. Best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

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    Jane July 30, 2021 (3:13 pm)

    What an amazing resource! Thank you for digging so much into stevia – my family and I have cut out sugar completely for couple years now but wanted to make a birthday cake for my son. Will need to look at other alternatives, so glad to have come across your website! From one Jane to another.

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      Jane Barthelemy July 30, 2021 (4:25 pm)

      Hey Jane, thanks for your comment. Yes, we Janes have to stick together! Since Just Like Sugar is in hiatus now, check out Swerve, Lakanto for zero-glucose, zero-fructose baking. Best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

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    David Matt July 29, 2021 (3:58 pm)

    New public traded stock, soft-drink making, marketing, sales company “Zevia” uses stevia plant sweetener. Why wouldn’t Coke and Pepsi entered first, ahead of this new start-up with only $100 Million sales of so-called zero-zero no calories no sugar.

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      Jane Barthelemy July 29, 2021 (6:07 pm)

      An excellent question, David!

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    Amy Vinchattle July 26, 2021 (8:54 pm)

    Super helpful article, even if it’s a bummer to find out. I’m curious, if so many of the stevia products out there are not safe how can a person know that say, chicory root and monk fruit products are safe? I hope that question makes sense 🙂 Do you recommend any chicory root and monk fruit in liquid form? Thank you!!

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      Jane Barthelemy July 29, 2021 (6:11 pm)

      Hello Amy, thanks. Yes, a bummer. Maybe we need to redefine “sweet” in our minds so we’re not addicted any more. Ha Ha!
      Very sorry. I do not know of any liquid Monkfruit or chicory root sweeteners that I consider safe.

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    Diane Wyld July 25, 2021 (1:50 pm)

    If was a danger to humans, the FDA would send out a waring.

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    James Small July 18, 2021 (7:23 am)

    I’ve been a Life Extension “Buyer and Believer” in their Science based developed and manufactured products. What is your understanding, evidence, data on their Liquid Stevia?
    Your Research was well documented and presented. Excellent narrative and conclusion.

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy July 18, 2021 (6:58 pm)

      Hi James, thanks for your comment. I also am an admirer of the Life Extension products. I can’t comment on their Liquid Stevia as I haven’t had it tested in a lab. Since 99% of the world Stevia comes from China, and it is laced with toxins, the Life Extension folks will have to work very hard to make it healthy. My policy is always to go back to the original plant. Then you at least have it directly from Nature, untouched by human trickery or profit motive. My suggestion is for you to take it to a lab yourself. Test for benzene, arsenic, and heavy metals for starters. Until then use the dry leaf and accept the aftertaste. But then, I’m a purist and maybe that’s too severe for most people. Best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

  • comment-avatar
    Can't Believe I Read Some of This... July 12, 2021 (7:27 pm)

    Or, you could just try READING THE INGREDIENTS

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    Tina Cano Lee June 29, 2021 (1:01 pm)

    Please add me to your email list. This in-depth article about Stevia was so eye-opening for me. It’s just amazing how they can get away with so much false advertising. Thank you for your passion. It is not going on appreciated.

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy July 3, 2021 (10:05 pm)

      Hi Tina, Thank you. Yes, very eye-opening things going on in the world right now. Must be attentive.
      To sign in, just go to this subscribe link. https://janeshealthykitchen.com/subscribe/
      Best wishes for your delicious health!
      Jane

  • comment-avatar
    Scott June 28, 2021 (5:27 pm)

    Sorry, I just left a reply and failed to finish – Based on what is on their website (Pyure), would they still possibly using chemicals in their processing? I could not figure out how to edit my reply – I do not intend for it to be necessarily posted, just wondering if you have further insight on that particular product.

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy July 3, 2021 (10:13 pm)

      Hi Scott, thanks for your comment. No problem for everyone to see this. I cannot comment or recommend Pyure because I’ve had no experience with it. This particular stevia sweetener does not share their proprietary system publicly. You could go visit their factory in China and test everything for toxins. Or you couLd send Pyure to a reliable food lab and test for arsenic, ethanol, benzine etc. These are the best ways to know for sure. If it’s sold in the grocery store, “buyer beware” is the best rule. And like I’ve said a hundred times, avoid all stevia and stevioside. If you do send it to a lab, kindly share the information with us. We’ll be very interested! Thanks again, Jane

  • comment-avatar
    Scott June 28, 2021 (5:13 pm)

    I do not believe you mention this, but Pyure’s Organic Stevia Extract is 100% stevia, and according to their website, their product is extracted using water.

    • comment-avatar
      J November 4, 2021 (1:11 pm)

      On the Pyure packet, it has erythritol as the first listed ingredient on their ingredients list so apparently, their product is not 100% stevia. Per their 1g packet:

      Ingredients: Organic Erythritol, organic stevia leaf extract (reb A), natural flavor

      That doesn’t sound like 100% stevia to me and also has the reb-A stevia that Jane mentioned above in the article.

  • comment-avatar
    Jessica June 27, 2021 (4:33 am)

    Thank you so much for all of the hard work you did creating this informative article. I’ve been drinking SweetLeaf stevia drops in my morning cocoa for almost a year now thinking I’m doing my body a good deed. Much to my dismay I have not been. I will be looking into trying out the green powdered stevia leaf and see if I can adjust to the strong aftertaste you recommended.
    THANK YOU!!! I feel like I just dodged a bullet reading your article and I look forward to reading more.

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy July 3, 2021 (10:17 pm)

      Hi Jessica, thanks for your kind words. that is my objective, to help you dodge bullets. It’s a good way to live a long healthy life! Check the many other sweetener recommendations here on my website. Jane

  • comment-avatar
    linda June 26, 2021 (8:32 pm)

    What would you recommend as a healthy alternative to stevia

  • comment-avatar
    Ellie June 21, 2021 (11:04 pm)

    Dear Jane,

    Thank you for this very eye-opening information about Stevia. I was buying organic stevia extract. No other ingredients listed. Thought it was safe because it was “organic”. Lesson learned. Thanks again! Ellie

  • comment-avatar
    bill chase June 11, 2021 (12:33 am)

    thank you for your well written well researched article! I deeply appreciate the calm and even handed presentation . . . letting the facts speak for themselves.

    it is tragic that multinational players like cargill, coca cola, and pepsi wield so much control over both the food production/distribution systems and the information systems we all must contend with.

    voices like yours are a rare and valuable treat!

  • comment-avatar
    Kevin May 23, 2021 (5:00 pm)

    I am trying to suscribe to your weekly email but I am not receiving your confirmation email.
    I am entering my correct email so maybe you can send me the confirmation email manually?
    Thank you!
    Kevin W

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy June 22, 2021 (11:32 pm)

      Hi Kevin, I have added your email manually to the list. Sorry for the delay. You should receive the weekly newsletter starting now 6/23. Jane

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