Ask the RD: Is Stevia safe?

Q. I live with type 2 diabetes and I have been using Stevia as a sweetener.  Is it completely safe?
A. Thanks for your question!
Sweeteners are a popular topic and there’s a lot of information in the media about them.  What’s important to know if a sweetener is in our food supply, it means Health Canada has approved it to be safe.

Health Canada also sets an ADI for each sweetener – an Acceptable Daily Intake – which is the amount that can be consumed safely on a daily basis throughout the lifetime without any negative health risks.

Stevia is the newest option for sweeteners, and because it is plant-based, many people prefer to try it over an artificial sweetener.  Stevia can have a slightly bitter aftertaste, and as far as we know, doesn’t always work as a sweetener in baked goods.

Here is a chart you may find helpful from our guide to sugars & sweeteners (click HERE to read it):

sweeteners

Remember that sweeteners are an option available to people who are looking to enjoy a sweet taste without any calories or carbohydrates. This does not mean that you have to use them – it all comes down to personal choice and preference. Some people feel uncomfortable with using artificial sweeteners and would prefer to avoid them, and that is okay. If you choose not to use artificial sweeteners, just remember that regular sugar will raise blood sugar levels and should be limited in our diets.

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