New Food Stuffs Tried at Whole Foods Market, # 99

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Regular sodas have high fructose corn syrup and diet sodas contain Aspartame– both are bad for you. Is there a sweet and healthy alternative to diet soda? Zevia, which is being sold at WFM, is a drink that is sweetened with an extract of Stevia, the Sweetleaf herb. More consumers are trusting Stevia because it is all natural, but just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s safe. Is this trend really better for your overall health? Diet? And how about the taste? Let’s get the ranking going 1 to 10 (10 being the best).

Zevia Natural Root Beer
Verdict: 5

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Appearance: smells exactly like root beer, same coloring as root beer
Flavor: Zevia comes in four flavors: orange, cola, lemon lime and root beer. The root beer is by far the best, but not nearly as good as other diet root beer brands. Zevia loses points because even though the soda is “all natural”, it has a too sweet, artificial aftertaste
Texture: same consistency as other diet and regular sodas–bubbly, fizzes at the top
Cost: $4.99 for a six pack at WFM
Health: calorie and caffeine-free; nothing artificial; one can of Zevia Soda has 158 mg of stevia extract which is about 300 times sweeter than sugar. While stevia does not have any of the harmful side effects of artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, some studies suggest that stevia poses other risks, such as male reproductive problems. On the positive side, stevia is believed to be much safer than artificial sweeteners and even help stabilize blood sugar levels, lower elevated blood pressure and improve digestion.
Recommendation: Treat it like a treat– stick to one can of Zevia Soda a day
Resolution Stats: 7 new food stuffs tried, 98 more to go
Final Verdict: In terms of taste, there is still room for improvement. Again, in terms of health, just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s safe. Time will tell. If you are looking to kick your consumption of artificial sweeteners and concerned about your sugar intake, Zevia soda in moderation seems like a good option.

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