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Ask the Expert Archive

To cut back on my sugar intake, I use natural stevia products like Truvia and Sun crystals. There is not a lot of research out there on these products, but I don’t want to use artificial sweeteners. What is your take on stevia? Also, if I become pregnant, should I stop using stevia? Thanks!

First of all, here is some quick information about stevia products:
The Stevia products are produced from a plant known as the stevia plant. The sweetness of these products comes from an ingredient in the leaves known as rebiana. The ingredients in Truvia include rebiana, erythritol (natural bulk sweetener that has zero sugar, zero calories, and zero after taste), and natural flavors. The FDA has not approved all of the Stevia products.
The American Pregnancy Association does not make direct recommendations to not consume artificial sweeteners if you are or thinking of becoming pregnant.
My best advice is to stick to whole foods (such as fruits and vegetables) whenever possible. If you are trying to watch your sugar intake I understand that need for using these artificial sweeteners. Since there is not sufficient research on the Stevia products, you might want to try using a sweetener that has been well research such as aspartame or sucralose. Just remember, that adding fruits to your foods is a healthy, natural way to sweeten your foods as well. Try doing this in place of some of your artificial sweeteners.
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