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Stevia poses no health risks

When you have Lyme, you can't do sugar. Some people can't tolerate honey, either. So how do you sweeten your tea? What do you put in your oatmeal? Stay away from Splenda. It's a bad alternative to sugar and may even cause a relapse of your symptoms (see the post on Jean Reist, RN for an example of Splenda's negative effects on Lyme patients).

The answer is stevia, a plant-based sweetener that has been popular in Japan and other countries since the 1970s. Stevia has been available in the US, however, it hasn't been promoted as a sweetener. Its status has recently changed. Watch for products made by Coca-cola and Pepsi to containstevia, which recently been vindicated by the Food and Drug Administration and found to pose no health risks.

"The [FDA] agency has granted the all-natural sweetener status as "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) after Cargill and Merisant Company achieved a process called "Self-Determination of GRAS Status".

Valentine's day is closing in, and you can't get far from the heart-shaped boxes of sugar candies that are popping up in every store. If you've got a sweet tooth, be strong and ignore that chocolate urge. Be good to yourself while you're healing. Go get somestevia and try a couple of drops in your morning tea or steel cut oats. If you've never used it before, be forewarned: the stuff is strong! Go light. Couple of drops will do.
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