What's the deal with stevia extract? Is it ok for me to use still?
I have read Mark's article before but I keep hearing that it is not primal and wanted to know other thoughts on it. Would this prevent me from losing or seeing results?
Well, it is one of the better sweeteners to use out there if you must. Whether it would hinder you from seeing results depends on two things: a) where you are now and what your goals are; and b) what it is that you're eating with the stevia. If you make gluten-free baked goods with stevia regularly and eat a serving a day, that is not optimal whether you're trying to lose weight or not. Once in a while a bit of stevia in tea or a primal treat will not derail most people, either physiologically or psychologically, but if you're serious about eliminating sugars and excess calories from unnecessary things like treats, then it's best to stay away.
I don't trust it. First, something about a natural no calorie sweetener doesn't fly with me. Second, there's a lot of hype about native people eating it for ages.. my guess is it's something like Asians and soy. They eat it in moderation, it doesn't cause problems for them, so we go nuts and eat it until we find out it's not all that great and possibly even harmful.
Real stevia in leaf form is not sweet like the powders and extracts. It has a sweetness to it, but it also has quite a bitter tea taste. It's not something that would taste good in baking or anything else, other than a cup of hot water(tea).
Remember that the powders and liquid extracts are heavily processed and NOT primal.
Have to pipe up here and counter all the hate. I think stevia is fine in moderation. The sticking point is defining moderation...
Stevia leaves are actually surprisingly high in the extract compounds; it's not like they're processing a hundred leaves to make one pack.
Given that, I feel no guilt in a pack or two a day (I use powder not liquid). Where you might hurt yourself is if you use it to justify various other "20%" items - namely baked goods, ice creams, etc... Some people also have carb cravings when they have anything sweet.
In general, I think the hate against artificial and non-nutritive sweetners is way overblown. Stevia seems harmless (it may even boost insulin sensitivity), and I suspect aspartame is pretty harmless too (blasphemy I know, but I challenge you to find me a convincing in depth study on it's negative effects). Splenda... Yeah not going to touch that one - it's the most suspicious of any of them.
Oh dear, degeneration into accusations of hate. How childish
Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.
Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine