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Stevia in the Raw is just one brand name of the non-nutritive sweetener derived from the stevia plant, which is native to South America. While some products with stevia also contain sugar alcohols, this particular product gets its sweet taste only from stevia leaf extract, also called Rebaudioside A or Reb-A. Like other brands, Stevia in the Raw is touted for its extraordinary sweetness without any calories, all without raising blood sugar. According to the In The Raw website's nutrition facts, the only nutrient in the product is less than 1 gram of carbohydrate per packet. Despite all of these promising features, there are still some considerations to make before using this product.
Little Evidence for Risks
In spite of the intense marketing for the вЂњnaturalвЂќ aspect of stevia, concerns over the possible risks and side effects are not new. In fact, the sweetener came under scrutiny during the 1980s as a supplement form, when animal studies showed the possibility of adverse reproductive and fertility effects. However, the supplements are not the same form of stevia as Rebaudioside A. The sweetener version of stevia was approved in 2008, according to вЂњEating WellвЂќ magazine. While questions still remain, there is no direct evidence suggesting that stevia poses dangers to your health. Moderate consumption is the safest approach to stevia and all other artificial sweeteners.
Balanced Diet and Moderation
Proponents of artificial sweeteners like Stevia in the Raw may use the product in place of sugar to save calories and carbs. Bear in mind, however, that replacing sugar alone won't create a balanced diet. Using sweeteners will do little good if they are solely used for sugar replacements in baked goods and other high-fat, high-calorie foods. Stevia in the Raw is best used in moderation.