It’s no secret that excessive sugar consumption will be the downfall of modern civilization. Americans, especially, eat and drink WAAAAAAY too much processed sugar and now have crazy high rates of Type II Diabetes and other preventable health conditions. The issue is that high glycemic sweeteners (natural or artificial) taste amazing and are crammed into most delicious processed treats. It’s important to understand what the glycemic index is to understand which sweeteners are a good idea to consume and which to avoid.

The glycemic index (which ranks sweeteners on a scale of 0-110) is calculated based on three things: the amount of carbohydrate present, the type of carbohydrate present, and the presence of other substances (like soluble fiber) that slow the metabolism of the carbohydrates.

The higher the glycemic index, the harder the sweetener is on the body to process and the longer it sits in the body converting to fat and putting stress on the system. On the top of the list are Maltodextrin (110), Maltose (105), Dextrose (100), Glucose (100) and Splenda (80) which are, unfortunately, the most prevalent sweeteners in prepared foods and bottled drinks. The lower the glycemic index, however, the easier the sweetener is on the body.  Click HERE see the full glycemic index.

Whether you are Diabetic or healthy, there are plenty of options that have a glycemic index of zero. While several are artificial and should be ardently avoided (aspartame, saccharin and sucralose especially), there are a few natural sweeteners like stevia that have a zero glycemic index. That’s right – stevia is a completely natural sweetener with a ZERO GLYCEMIC INDEX and ZERO CALORIES.

Pure-Via-LogoStevia is a small South American plant that is easy to grow in a home garden. To be completely natural, you can simply tear leaves off of the plant to blend into smoothies or steep with tea. But for those that want stevia on the go or have a black thumb, Pure Via makes a portable bottle of liquid stevia sweetener derived naturally from the stevia plant to easily squirt portions into beverages and baked goods.

If you haven’t tasted stevia before, be prepared for a taste different from typical table sugar. It has what I like to call a “high pitched” sweetness that lacks the full bodied taste we’re accustomed to cane sugar. What this means is that it immediately tastes sweeter than sugar and a little goes a VERY long way in sweetening foods and drinks.   It should also be blended with other earthier tasting sweeteners when used in baking to balance the taste. For those that can afford to consume low-glycemic sweeteners, it’s recommended to mix stevia with yacon syrup (1) or agave syrup (15) to round out the flavor to more closely match the taste of table sugar. The Pure Via website offers a bunch of yummy recipes using stevia, as well as a handy conversion table to help you get the ratios right.

When it comes to sweetening drinks, however, the Pure Via stevia drops are awesome straight out of the bottle. I LOVE Georgia sweet iced tea but know it’s super unhealthy because of high granulated sugar content. With low expectations, I brewed 3 cups of fruit-infused herbal tea, poured it over ice and added a quick squirt of the Pure Via stevia (roughly ½ teaspoon) to sweeten it up. Lo, and behold! The iced tea tasted pretty darn close to Georgia sweet tea! With no sugar! I also tinkered with a zero calorie lemonade recipe using the Pure Via stevia. Check it out below.


While I wouldn’t recommend squirting this stuff into coffee (I did and it was a little too sweet compared to the bitter coffee), this stevia liquid is perfect for lightly sweetening teas, lemonades and smoothies. The bottle looks small, but it actually contains 48 servings.  Pure Via stevia doesn’t need to be refrigerated, so is easy to throw in a purse for sweetening on the go, though refrigerating wouldn’t hurt it.  Pure Via stevia is non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher and (appears to be, though is not stated on the packaging or website) vegan.


All Natural Zero Calorie Lemonade

All Natural Zero Calorie Lemonade

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes

While traditional lemonade is yummy, it's loaded with sugar or artificial sweetener. Using Pure Via liquid stevia sweetener, this recipe is not only refreshing but guilt-free with no sugar and no calories!


  • 1 quart mason jar filled with ice cubes 2 1/2 cups cold fresh water 3 TBS pure lemon juice (more to taste) 1 tsp Pure Via liquid stevia sweetener (more to taste)


Mix all ingredients until chilled, adding more lemon juice or stevia to taste. Enjoy this all natural and calorie free lemonade completely guilt-free!


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  • Pure Via Liquid Sweetener
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  • Pure Via Turbinado & Raw Cane Sugar
  • Pure Via Granulated
  • Pure Via Tumblers
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Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this review. All views and opinions are my own.