Stevia rebaudiana—commonly known as stevia, sweetleaf, sugarleaf, the sweet herb of Paraguay—has remarkably sweet leaves. At a time when alternative sweeteners are in strong demand, stevia appears on stage as a big player. This sugar substitute is natural (nonsynthetic) and has zero calories.

In addition, water extracts of stevia are up to 300 times sweeter than sucrose, and the taste lasts longer than sucrose. The sweet taste is a result of two similar glycosides (stevioside and rebaudioside A) that are found in the plant’s leaves.
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