Stevia is a plant that is typically grown in South America, and while its extract is 200 times sweeter than sugar, it does not raise blood insulin levels. That’s what makes it so popular. It has been used for medicinal purposes for many centuries. The plant has also been bred for its strong, sweet flavor and used as a sweetener. However, the refined stevia sweeteners used today often don’t resemble the whole stevia plant at all. You can buy whole or crushed stevia leaves, but most often you are getting an extract (either liquid or powder), or a refined version of the plant’s isolated sweet compounds. The two major sweet compounds that are isolated from the stevia leaves are called Stevioside and Rebaudioside A. These two compounds are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar.
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