This may be the only white powder you can enjoy without side effects…
Obviously, there were a lot of questions about sugar this week…
I thought I’d be done with them yesterday, but that wasn’t the case. I found a whole bunch of you that wanted me to cover stevia as well as the glycemic index reading of banana powder, so I’ll do that and more in today’s Q & A article.
Let’s get started…
“i have heard a couple of people say not to use white stevia, but i have never heard why not to use it. can you please explain why?”
Anita, when you think white stevia, think white sugar.
White stevia is not the same chemically, nor does it have any calories, but it is a chemically processed powder that has been removed from the stevia leaf – just like white sugar is just the very sweet sucrose removed from sugar cane or sugar beets.
The sweet chemical is a glycoside which is called stevioside and has about a 10% concentration in the stevia plant leaf. Most white powders contain an extract that is up to 80-90% steviocide.
While there has been little negative study about white powdered stevia, these products have the potential to do more harm than good because any extract has potential to be more potent than the original food or herb. (This doesn’t mean all extracts are bad.)
Also many of the white stevia powders use large amounts of maltodextrin to cut the strong sweet flavor of stevia extract.
Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide (or carbohydrate) that is used as an additive to soften the flavor of the steviocide (it’s also preferred because it doesn’t clump.) Maltodextrin is usually derived from GMO feed corn using chemicals, bleaching agents and other very-unnatural processes.
On top of all of this – and the biggest reason we don’t use it – is that the manufacturers of most white stevia are big industrial giants which as you probably can understand are not farmers or anyone that I’d want to trust with my food or support with my money. Cargill produces Truvia – their flagship stevia product.
So regardless of the assumed safety of a product like this, to me it makes no sense to use it if I can get a bag of perfectly natural green leaf powder – the entire plant intact with minerals, minus the water.
(Plus, you can support small, conscious businesses like ours or others when you get this pure form of the product! You can buy stevia in our store here.)
Next up, from Lori…
“As a type I diabetic I only use green leaf stevia and sweet leaf liquid stevia, nearly every day. Now I am wondering about the sweet leaf liquid stevia and liquid stevia flavors, are they not okay?”
Your Sweet Leaf products are extracted from the leaf, so this is considered an herbal tincture – just like many other tinctures that you’d find at the health food store. The SweetLeaf company also does not extract their product with alcohol, so you don’t have to worry about that as well.
So because of this, I don’t foresee any negative effects of using a few drops of this daily to sweeten foods or drinks.
My concern would be the flavorings. I’m sure they use “natural” flavorings to flavor the product, but I would love to know what the process entails. Not all natural extracts are equal. Since I’m writing this on a Saturday, there’s no one to call at their headquarters to get a straight answer about this.
They do have natural stevia flavor, so that would be my choice. I’ve used this product and liked it before.
Overall, I still think the best bet is to stick with the green leaf in powdered form. It’s basic, it sweetens whatever you like and it’s almost as natural as it comes – aside from growing and picking the leaves yourself.
Third question is from Veronica who’s addicted to stevia…
“I have to admit that I consume alot of stevia everyday, am finding it almost addicting, and seem to want to add more and more to my smoothies and tea. Can anyone help me out here, as to what to do, and how to quit drinking so much?”
This is interesting to hear Veronica. I’ve never heard of anyone having addictive behaviors like this to stevia.
What type of stevia are you using?
If you’re using white stevia or an alcohol (non-alcohol) extract, I wonder if something chemically is happening – that’s just a thought though…
There are a few ways to overcome addiction to sweets (or in this case stevia.) Addiction is somewhat complicated and at the same time sometimes not.
I’ve found the best success to overcoming addiction is re-identifying with your self and assessing your path to determine if you’re doing what you want or if you’ve wildly strayed from it. Those who are on their path, tend to have fewer cravings or bad habits – that they have trouble overcoming. I know it sounds weird, but it’s true.
Another technique to use is EFT or tapping to address emotional and physical attachments to food.
I put together an entire program that teaches you – in detail – how to do these techniques and many more to eliminate cravings and addictive behaviors. You can check this out here… click here for Cravings Free for Life.
On to banana powder, Darla asks…
“I am wondering if the banana powder is high in carbs or high glycemic? I would think that it is since bananas are high in sugar.”
Hey Darla, yes, banana sugar is high in carbohydrates. I don’t know its glycemic number, but I’m assuming it’s likely just as high as bananas.
This is not considered a low glycemic food and never was intended to be.
The reason I like banana powder – vs. other sugars – is that it is very simply dehydrated red bananas. It seems natural that if I wanted a powdered sugar, it would be as close to natural as possible. Banana sugar fits this qualification and then some, because it tastes so good – even on its own.
What I also like about it is that the red bananas are grown sustainably, picked ripe and are heirloom variety – meaning that they have a full nutrient profile and they are not hybridized in any modern factory farming method.
This is good news all around – at least from our perspective.
Also, keep in mind, the glycemic index is only one way of measuring sugar. There is also a fructose index. A food that is low glycemic could actually be high on the fuctose index which could give someone the impression that it’s super-healthy when it is not. Agave nectar is a perfect example of this. It is low glycemic, but high on the fructose index. High, processed fructose is a poison (as per Dr. Robert Lustig) and can cause metabolic issues, fatty liver and obesity.
Finally, HopandSkip wants to know about the sustainability of coconut sugar…
“Kevin, how does the banana sugar compare with coconut sugar and the glycemic index of both? Also, is there a sustainable issue with coconut sugar? I’m getting conflicting feedback.”
Hey HopandSkip, like I said above, I don’t know the exact glycemic index of banana sugar, but I assume it is in line with bananas. The two sugars we like best – when we use them – are coconut and banana, so I think they’re both great products.
As for the sustainability issue of coconut sugar, I think there eventually will be one. Coconut water is raging in the U.S. market now, so the demand has become great. Coconut Bliss recently has had trouble sourcing coconut products for their vegan ice cream – coconut based – due to lack of supply. Of course, lack of supply is much different than sustainability issues, but it will definitely lead to more coconut palm farms being cut out of the jungle in the areas that are supplying the raw materials for the products. Mono-agriculture is never really the best solution for our planet – as you may well know.
But, with that said, every thing we produce in quantity puts a certain strain on the environment. I just hope that we become smarter about how our farming is being done.
The farm we get our cinnamon from is a great example of how to grow multiple crops in harmony – using permaculture techniques.
I want to know your thoughts: Do you know anything about the flavorings of SweetLeaf stevia? Do you know about the sustainability of coconut sugar? Let me know!
Interested in Getting Green Leaf Stevia Powder or Banana Powder to Try?
Here’s where you can find stevia:
Here’s where you can get banana powder: