How to Choose Liquid Stevia

Now that I’m testing my blood glucose levels, it’s time to experiment with liquid stevia.

You’re probably wondering what’s taken me so long.

Periodically, I’ve gone to the store for some and walked out empty handed.

Wanting the highest quality stevia extract without random ingredients, I had not been able to figure out which to buy from just reading labels.

I turned to the research of the wellness professionals I typically follow and I finally got explicit instructions from Dr. Joseph Mercola.

He says to buy stevia extract made of  rebaudioside A, the sweetest part of the leaf but also the rarest.  Steviocides are more plentiful, and more likely to be found in less expensive products.  They also create a poorer quality  product, with more of an aftertaste.

I evaluate five types of liquid stevia for nutritional content: NOW Foods, NuNaturals, SweetLeaf, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods brands.

NOW Foods Better Stevia Organic Liquid Extract

NOWBetterStevia

Picture from NOWFoods.com

Ingredients: Deionized water, certified organic stevia extract (stivia rebaudiana) (Leaf), and 11% organic alcohol.

O.K. good, I recognize all those ingredients.

NuNaturals Pure Liquid Clear Stevia

NuNaturals

Picture from NuNaturals.com

Ingredients: Stevia Extract (Stevia rebaudiana) (Leaf) 200 mg.

Other ingredients: Water, 20% Pure Grain Alcohol (from various grains), 15% Vegetable Glycerine (Derived from Palm), and natural flavors.

Regarding the “natural flavors”, their website says they are a highly protected “trade secret”.

Since they can’t tell us, we’re supposed to just trust them:

“The natural flavors used in our Stevia products are natural plant extracts. These natural flavors do not contain any MSG (monosodium glutamate) or any other “natural flavors” that are known to cause allergic reactions in the body. None of the natural flavors we use are man-made chemicals.” – NuNaturals.com

SweetLeaf Sweet Drops, SteviaClear

SweetLeaf

Picture from SweetLeaf.com

Ingredients: Purified water, Organic Stevia Leaf Extract, Natural Flavors*.

Of course, I write the company to find out what kind of glycosides we’re dealing with and run into more highly protected “trade secrets”:

“The stevia extract is comprised of several glycosides, including
Rebaudioside A . Reb A tastes better in the context of certain other
glycosides. The amount of extract used is a trade secret.”-SweetLeaf

*I was unable to locate any information about the “natural flavors” used in SweetLeaf.  It’s probably a “trade secret”.

TraderJoe’s Organic Liquid Stevia

Trader Joe's

Ingredients: Deionized water, certified organic stevia extract (stivia rebaudiana) (Leaf), and 11% organic alcohol.

O.K. good, I recognize every ingredient.

And, interestingly enough, the ingredients are identical to the NOWFoods stevia, so I write to Trader Joe’s to ask if NOW is their stevia supplier.

Not surprisingly, they won’t tell me.

Whole Foods 365 Brand Stevia Extract Liquid

365

Ingredients: Stevia Leaf Extract (Stevia rebaudiana) (Min. 80% glucosylsteviosides [32mg]) Extract in a base of water and 11% alcohol.

My top picks for purity are NOW, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods 365 brands. I’ll avoid NuNatural and SweetLeaf since they are not transparent.


Now I want to hear from you. What’s your favorite liquid stevia extract?
What are some of the factors you consider when purchasing liquid stevia? Leave a comment to share your thoughts. 

 

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10 responses

  1. Hi Mayra, I just found you buy accident and glad I did. So far, you are a good read :). I have been using artificial (non traditional sugar) for a hundred years. I started because I didn’t like the sweetness of regular sugar in any of my drinks. My problem is I can’t drink tea or coffee with out it having some sweet in it. And I love diet soda and have figured out its the bubbles I like. I bought a soda stream for my daughter and am thinking I need to start using it. Now for my bigger problem. I am 70 pounds over weight and am pre-diabetic. I NEED to get this under control, which is REALLY hard. I need a sweetener with no calories, no chemicals and something that, someone like me, with all my medical issues, feels good about using. Your article really gave me insight, but I just need that final confirmation which is the best for what I need it for. Trader Joe’s is around the corner so I can get the TJ Stevia, but how much do I use? Is it really concentrated? And I do need to consider expense…. AND CUT BACK! Any help you or your readers can share with me is needed and greatly appreciated. And thanx for doing the hard work in research for your readers!

  2. I haven’t used liquid stevia yet. I still feel this is a processed sugar alternative even though it comes from a natural plant. I guess if I were to use it, I would need to find one that is alcohol free. And I, like you, don’t like the secrecy of the “natural flavors”.
    Thank you so much for doing this research for us, Mayra!

  3. Hey Marya, I use KAL Pure Stevia Extract, it’s a liquid that is Alcohol free & Kosher.IMO I feel it’s not too expensive, I think I paid about $7.99 + tax for a 2oz bottle(?) I am really enjoying your posts and I sure found it interesting , especially the mystery ” ingredients” I laughed when you said “I guess we are suppose to trust them” because these are their “trade secrets” Just a note I have tried Sweet Leaf and the flavors they make but they have at of alcohol for me and I know there is something else in them that always make me feel ill when I consume them… that’s been my experience, however I know several people that use “sweetleaf” products and enjoy them and do well with them but those folks do not suffer with comprimised immune,(?) I must tell you I too am a huge fan of Dr. Joseph Mercola myself, I feel he is brillient. The longer I read your Blog I think you really are my dear sister… just from another Mother;)HUGS~

  4. What a great post Marya! I won’t touch NuNaturals stevia or any that contain ‘natural flavors’. I always get symptoms like headaches and mood changes. I like the NOW brand the best. I use their powdered extract as well, which I like because it has no alcohol. I’m so impressed by your savvy observations here!

    • Aw, thanks. Seems like I’m on the right track with avoiding the “natural flavors”. I haven’t experimented with the powders yet but I have a feeling that’s in my future. =)

  5. Good thoughts on Stevia extract. I myself purchased SweetLeaf because it was one of the first ones I’ve ever tried. It is good and doesn’t have an aftertaste, which is why don’t like others. My husband is diabetic, so although some natural sweeteners are calorie free, they aren’t all carb free. Even 1 gram or carbs can alter his blood sugar. We have yet to try the other Stevia’s. Thanks for the info, we will keep this in mind when shopping around! :)

  6. I love stevia! I have gotten used to it in coffee and tea. My favorite is KAL Pure Stevia powder. It has no other ingredients besides stevia. I wanted a powder because I figured it would go further and I could avoid any additional ingredients.

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