Stevia is a great sugar substitute for people who really need to avoid sugar, such as diabetics. In addition, Stevia has an added benefit for type 2 diabetics: It seems to have an effect opposite to that of sugar on their bodies; it causes blood sugar to go down. Research has also discovered two more Stevia health benefits. First, it can kill certain bacteria and viruses. In a study published in 2001, Stevia was found to have antiviral effects against the rotavirus. This virus can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration, especially in infants. Secondly, Stevia shows a strong ability to kill a wide range of food-born bacteria.
Another, healthy natural substitute for sugar is also available. It's made from Luo Han Guo, the round green fruit of the Chinese plant Siraita grosvenori. Luo Han Guo has been used in China as a medicine since the thirteenth century, but it didn’t become popular as a remedy for coughs, sore throats, and upper respiratory-tract infections until the twentieth century. In southern China Luo Han Guo is also used to enhance longevity. Like Stevia, Luo Han Guo is about 300 times sweeter than sugar and is processed into a fine, white crystalline powder. Wisdom Natural Brands makes a sugar substitute using a blend of Luo Han Guo and fructose called Sweet and Slender. It can be purchased at most health food stores or on the Internet.