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Beverages and Health 4

Beverage Basics

Still have the craving for sweet tea? No problem. You can have your sweets and eat them, too. Here’s how. Two sweeteners that are ok are stevia and xylitol. Stevia is the Latin name of a small, leafy plant that has incredibly sweet leaves. Just a small amount of stevia can sweeten a whole batch of tea. And, it doesn’t raise blood sugar (meaning it doesn’t cause weight gain). Some people find stevia to have an aftertaste. These people usually don’t like artificially-sweetened diet beverages either, while other people tolerate diet sodas as well as stevia. Xylitol is a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol that has 1/3 of the calories of sugar. That means it causes only 1/3 of the weight gain that sugar causes, and it doesn’t cause tooth decay. In fact, xylitol is used to prevent cavities and sinus infections (when used in a nasal spray).

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