Companies are lining up to introduce new low glycemic sweeteners into the marketplace, recognizing the huge need and market potential. The glycemic index is a scientific ranking of a food's impact on blood sugar. Wisdom Natural Brands recently launched a "natural" low GI SweetLeaf Stevia sweetener. Sweeteners currently on the market, such as Equal, NutraSweet and Splenda, are made from chemicals. Nutra-Sweet and Equal have glycemic indexes higher than sugar, making them less healthy products according to Jim May, CEO of the company. Wisdom's Stevia-based sweetener has no calories or carbohydrates and a zero glycemic index. The company has sold Stevia-based teas and dietary supplements since 1982. Minnesota-based Cargill, in collaboration with Coca-Cola, developed a low glycemic sweetener called Rebiana.
Thirteen countries have already approved Stevia for use as a sweetener. In addition to Stevia's super sweetner capability, its leaves have more than 100 nutrients including glycosides. Multiple processes exist to extract the compounds, called steviosides, from the leaves. For its new sweetener, Wisdom developed a new process involving the use of water and filters to extract the compounds from South American leaves, which according to the company are the highest-quality leaves known at this time. The company says it is working with farmers and scientists in South America to grow the leaves and produce the product. Wisdom will sell the sweetener in powder, tablet and liquid forms. Widsom's products are sold at natural foods stores, Bashas' and some Fry's supermarkets in the US. Their tea and dietary supplements are also sold online.
Low Glycemic Index (GI) and Low Glycemic Load (GL) foods have been proven in studies to be beneficial: dieting; weight loss; obesity; diabetes; balancing blood sugar; sustained energy; sport nutrition; mental performance; acne; eye health; macular degeneration; heart disease and forms of cancer. See also Low GI Diet, Low GI Recipes, Low GI Food, Low GI Eating.
Copyright 2008, Saul Katz