A relatively small company called PureCircle hit the business headlines over the weekend because they have managed to corner approximately 80% of the global stevia market.

For those who don’t know, stevia is an obscure plant-derived additive that’s being hailed as the miracle of all artificial sweeteners…and is the key ingredient in the latest version of Coca Cola…Coca Cola Life which has about a third less sugar and calories than regular Coke.

Stevia is a plant native to South America that until a few years ago was mainly used in soy sauce. It’s now in everything, from Heinz tomato ketchup to Wrigley’s chewing gum and Tesco own-label yoghurt.

The substance is popular with food manufacturers because it’s up to five times more efficient than sugar, meaning it’s kinder on the environment to supply and can be used in much smaller quantities. All good news for the industry that’s under huge pressure to reduce the overall sweetness of their products. Analysts reckon the demand for sweeteners could make this a £6.5 billion market in five years time.

That sounds good for the manufacturers and retailers but where does it leave the consumer?

If you’re one of those people who has a lot of fizzy drinks, swapping out your regular favourite with one containing a third less calories is really not going to make much dent in your overall food and drink intake…not to mention the fact you’ll still be drinking a load of artificial ingredients. Hailing stevia as a “miracle” cure for weight-related issues and problems is surely like reducing the amount of nicotine in a cigarette and saying “that’s alright then”.

The truth is, whilst we have all become used (some may say addicted) to a vast array of food and drink that’s actually not that good for us, our bodies don’t need unnecessary, high calorie drinks and foods. Drinking water instead of a Coke is infinitely better for you and, as long as you take it from the tap, considerably cheaper!

And, before we get shot down with such a “boring” suggestion, we’ll be the first to say that a “healthy” eating and drinking regime is NOT about denying yourself any particular type of food or food group…it’s about moderating how much, what and when you eat.

Get that right and you won’t have to worry about which Coke you have, you can just get on and enjoy it!

Good luck!

New in 90 team

New In 90 is a three month plan devised by experts to alter your eating and activity habits and routines simply and easily. If you want to lose some weight and get a bit more active for the long term, then check it out here and read some of the testimonials.


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