Many of us are well aware we eat too much sugar, and yet, we still overdo it. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, we consume an average of 60g of sugar each day, which equals about 14 teaspoons. You may be asking yourself how is that possible, but added sugar can be found in even the most unexpected products, like marinara sauce and peanut butter.
Statistics show that more than 90% (about 12 teaspoons ) of our sugar intake comes from added sugar, such as the one added in pastries and coffee, and the other 10% is naturally occurring, usually found in milk and fruit. Of course, these numbers are much higher during the holiday season when we can’t help ourselves but try every piece of dessert there is on the table. At least I know I do that.
However, reducing the amount of sugar we consume isn’t always easy, especially when you have a sweet tooth. Fortunately, nowadays there are natural alternative sweeteners to sugar that can help you out on this mission, such as stevia. The Stevia sweetener (its most popular form being stevia tablets) is technically an extract from the stevia rebaudiana plant and it contains zero calories. And what’s more to ask from a food? Zero calories, plus, it adds a sweet flavor to your food without making you gain weight and regret eating it afterward.
Today, stevia comes in the forms of powder, liquid, and tablets. The tablets are the most commonly used form thanks to their great convenience. You can even put them in your purse and add them to your tea and coffee whenever you are out with your friends. Plus, stevia tablets are a great way to consume sweetened foods without the ’empty calories’ from sugar. But before you start using them, you should know that stevia can be up to 300 times sweeter than regular sugar, so be careful with the doses.
One stevia tablet equals 1tsp of sugar. For baking, I recommend using stevia packets or drops. 1/2 cup of sugar equals 1tsp of liquid stevia or 12 stevia packets, however, make sure to first read the label of the product you are using to get the right conversion. You can also use stevia in pancakes, muffins, cookies, pies, frozen desserts, sauces, and salad dressings. Nevertheless, do not overeat products made with stevia! Regardless of what you’re consuming, keep in mind that portion control is a vital part of any diet.