Stevia and the Importance of Reading Labels

After a client call this weekend, I realized how many of you may still be in the dark about the food you’re bringing into the house. There are a multitude of products out there masquerading as healthy alternatives, misleading the public intentionally and hiding dastardly chemicals, including sugars, in the list of ingredients. 

If you didn’t get a chance to read the blog on my website back in July, I exposed store-bought olive oils for the frauds they are. But olive oil isn’t the only thing pretending to be something it isn’t. Your stevia may be your undoing, as well.

Sugar in Stevia?

Some of you have already had first-hand experience with buying something you think should be “safe” for the keto life, but then found out the hard way that it had some sneaky ingredient keeping you from getting into ketosis. Stevia can be one of those things.

Most of us grew up with our parents buying Sugar In The Raw as a better alternative than white sugar. I remember very clearly being upset with the brown granules... they looked nothing like my old friend, sugar. But, eventually, I grew to like it even more than the white stuff.

With the familiar name and brand, it would seem only logical to buy Stevia In The Raw, but you’d be wrong. This brand has dextrose listed as the first ingredient. In case you didn’t know, dextrose is the name of a simple sugar identical to glucose, made from corn. It’s known to increase blood sugar. It’s also used in many processed foods.

Scary thing is that this isn’t the only impostor in the stevia world. There are many other brands out there pretending to be something other than what they are. This is why I stick with Sweet Leaf brand. I have it in bottles, both flavored and plain, and I always have packets of it in my purse for convenience. I just never know when I may be in need of an emergency coffee break... and I’m not drinking it without a sweetener.

Read Your Labels!

I wanted to call attention to this because it highlights the importance of label reading. As nice as it would be to have some truth in advertising, it’s just not there. It’s up to each of us to pick up the packages, flip them over, and look at the ingredients.

Are there things listed that maybe you’ve heard of but aren’t really sure what they are? Google them! Don’t assume they are safe or even desired in your food

You may even want to go into your pantry or fridge and take a look at the food you have now. Do you know what’s in the food you’re eating? If not, you should.

I had a moment just last week when I returned from the store with a box of gluten-free Snickerdoodle Bunnies - Annie’s brand. I bought them as a treat for the boys and assumed they were a fairly safe alternative to the traditional cookie. Boy, was I wrong.

The Bunnies were indeed gluten-free, so yay for that, but holy crap! The list of ingredients had me cringing. There were at least 20 things in that list I couldn’t pronounce and another 10 or so ingredients I wouldn’t let my dogs eat.  I told the boys that this would be the last box of crap Bunnies I was bringing into the house. Ever.

Shame on me for not looking at the ingredients while I was in the store. That’s not happening again. 

Knowledge is power.