Diet Tip of the Week

So you think you’re doing a good thing by swapping out sugar for artificial sweeteners such as splenda (sucralose), Sugar Twin (aspartame) and the like, right?

But, at the same time, I’m sure you’ve also read all about the potential long-term effects of these unnatural sugar substitutes and sort of feel like you’re ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ when it comes to sweetening up that morning cup of java.

But, have no fear, the latest approved sweetener to hit the market, Stevia, is here. Stevia consists of 240 species of plants native to South America, Central America, and Mexico, meaning it’s naturally found in the environment and not manufactured in some lab.

And sure, maybe five or ten years down the road, it’ll turn out Stevia causes some form of disease like everything else we are exposed to in our daily lives, but for now the majority of the press is good, so enjoy it while it lasts!

I recommend this product, Better Stevia Balance, in particular, because it contains chromium picolinate in each packet. There is some evidence that the picolinate form of chromium supplementation aids in reducing insulin resistance, i.e. better manage blood sugar levels (which are usually out of control in the average North American).

Add to the fact aspartame containing diet drinks and sweeteners have been shown to reduce blood levels of chromium, so if you drink diet soda frequently, this product can help balance that shortfall (recommended dose of chromium is 200mcg a day, i.e. 4 packets of Stevia Balance).  

*Watch for sweeteners that claim to be stevia, but include fillers like dextrose and sugar alcohols (anything with ‘TOL’ at the end of the word is a no-no) on the ingredient list.


Mitch Calvert is a Winnipeg-based fitness coach for men and women like his former self. Heavyset in his 20s, he lost 60 pounds and now helps clients find their spark and lose the weight for life.