What I love about my favorite foods and products, writers, even actors and t.v. shows is their consistency. They always turn out a good product. Well-done. Well-presented. And, best of all, well-known. By me. Because I picked them.
Sometimes they change their formula and that’s okay.
Because they usually tell you what they are doing. Or what they’ve done. They don’t just slip in something new and act like nothing happened. But sometimes they, like everyone else, succumb to a new fad. And they’re off. All undoing themselves and adding in new stuff that doesn’t work. That’s when I get all bent out of shape. Especially when that new hidden ingredient has negative effects on me.
This is especially true regarding the latest health fads.
Like Stevia. Which has been around for years but is really hitting the market hard right now. That sugar-free plant-based sweetener is in everything nowadays. Everything. It’s the health food world’s high fructose syrup.
Is All That’s New and Shiny Bad?
No. Some of it’s good. The problem is: how do you know what’s good and what’s bad? Or what’s mostly good and partly bad or mostly bad and partly good? Cruise through the internet and you will find rave reviews of how people have lost weight using Stevia. Or kicked their sugar addiction. Lost weight. Or even helped reduce their need for diabetic medications. This innocent looking plant is popping up in foods all around the world. And could be dangerous to your health. For reals!!
But what you won’t find are tons of reports on the dangers of using this particular herb.
Unless you dig for them. Because talking about the drawbacks doesn’t sell the product. Unfortunately, even the health food freaks all for the newest food fads. Without doing any research on them. I know I do sometimes. Cuz the advertisers would never lie to us or omit important information, right? So wrong. Their job is to sell, not tell you why the new product might be dangerous to your health. Still, Stevia didn’t really concern me because I don’t use it and wasn’t planning to. I know what I like and I prefer raw sugar if I’m going to sweeten anything. Personal choice based on years of experimentation. Works for me. Might not work for others.
But They Slipped Me the Stevia Without Me Even Knowing It! Sneaky.
Yeah, they put it in my whey protein powder. Which I wasn’t expecting. Protein powder is the perfect addition to a morning fruit and vegetable smoothie. You know, the smoothies that are supposed to be healthy and happy and give you that early day boost that you really need. Without any kind of nasty side effect. And usually they did give me that boost without any sort of crash afterwards. But not for the few weeks that I was using my new brand of whey protein powder. And didn’t realize it had Stevia in it. All of a sudden, I started having problems with low blood sugar.
My childhood hypoglycemia seemed to have reared its ugly head.
For no apparent reason. I suffered from headaches. An inability to concentrate. Lightheadedness. Crabbiness. Fatigue. Everything that inhibits you from actually doing anything happy or productive with your day. All were symptoms I hadn’t had in years since my dietary and lifestyle changes solved any low blood sugar issues I used to have. So I started examining my diet and eliminating different things. And then putting them back in. And, lo and behold, Stevia was the problem.
Then Again, Nothing is All Good or All Bad Either
Only, when I went to talk to some health food freaks and health food stores about this, nobody had any information on the issue. It was all rah-rah, Stevia is the bomb. Best new stuff around. La. La. La. Even my favorite go-to sources of health information weren’t coughing up the informational goods this time.
Because Stevia is the THING. Or so they all seemed to be saying.
Dude, if anyone tells me that something is all good, all the time, my radar immediately picks that up. Nothing is all good or all bad. Nothing. Not even superheroes like Wonder Woman or Batman. Everything has a dark side. (Oh, wait, we already saw Batman’s dark side, but come one, Wonder Woman couldn’t have been all nice all the time. That’s just too much work. Even for a superhero!). However, sometimes that dark side is pretty well hidden, so you have to dig for it. So I did. Because nerdy research is a hobby of mine.
Here’s the lowdown on Stevia:
Stevia can cause blood sugar levels to drop to physically unsafe levels in people who have hypoglycemia or even Type 1 diabetes. Nice. It would have been good to know that beforehand. Still, hindsight can be equally useful. You know, for avoiding making the same mistake in the future. I also discovered that: Stevia can also cause blood pressure to go down: good for those with high blood pressure. Bad for those with low blood pressure. It can cause: other cardiovascular problems and kidney issues too. Just so ya know.
The Moral of the Story
Nothing is ever as good as it sounds. Beware the overhype. Even with the supposedly great-for-you, biggest-health-food-discovery-ever foods and products. The more they hype, the more you should question it. Prepare yourself for the unexpected changes. Your favorite food, phone brand, writer, movie director, cake, gym, or anything else, can suddenly add a secret new ingredient that just ruins the experience for you. Or makes you feel faint, but not in a good way. Most importantly, research everything. No matter what. Never take anything at face value. Go deep to get to the core issue. Not only do get to find out what you need to know, but doing research can also put you in touch with the kind of people you’d like to be hanging around or would like to get to know better. Cuz, if you opt for doing some live interviews or visiting some of their health food stores and alternative health clinics, you’ll get to spend more time with other likeminded, health-minded peeps. Just like you. And, if you’re armed with solid information, you’ll be able to make better health food buying choices. You may even be able to help others in your tribe make better choices too. So, stay healthy, eat well, exercise lots and research everything that comes your way. That’ll keep you healthy, happy and fad-free for sure!
Yours in rockin’ it every day in every way,
About the Author:
S. Alyxandria Rae is an educator of a different kind, an education rebel really cuz she knows that what we really need to know is something we will never find in formal education systems. So she offers an education alternative. Her online education business, Straight Up Talk, is your go-to spot for learning wicked effective life strategies of the kind that formal education systems eschew — the types of practical information and skills that you could really use in the real world, like how to live on almost nothing while working on building your dream. Or how to learn foreign languages well and boost your global appeal. Or how not to be intimidated by others. Or even just how to like yourself for who you are and not fall into the compete, compete mentality that pervades every aspect of modern life. To find out more about her online classes and individual training sessions, visit her site at Straight Up Talk – New Education for a New Era.
All photos have been used via a Creative Commons Free Use License
Chile peppers in dishes: time_anchor/Flickr
Wonder Woman: Filipão_28/Flickr
Stevia plant: onezzzart/Flickr