If you are trying to reduce your sugar intake, sugar substitutes may be a good way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Although stevia and Truvia sound similar, they are not the same thing.
Learn about the differences between the two and whether Truvia is a healthy sugar alternative.
What is stevia vs. Truvia?
Stevia is a natural sugar alternative approved by the FDA and the European Food Safety Authority. It is made from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. The active chemical compounds of stevia are steviol glycosides, which are mainly made up of stevioside and rebaudioside.
Stevia cannot be broken down by the body and therefore does not contribute to your calorie count. Stevia has no glycemic index and does not cause blood sugar spikes. Your body also does not need insulin to metabolize it.
Truvia is the second most popular sugar substitute in the U.S. and is a branded stevia-based sweetener, containing less than 1% of stevia. Other ingredients in the sweetener include erythritol and natural flavors:
What are the differences between stevia and Truvia?
|Chemical components||Made from Stevia rebaudiana plant (native to South America), stevioside, and rebaudioside with other nutrients, such as ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and zinc||Primarily contains erythritol and a part of rebaudioside A|
|Level of sweetness||Liquid stevia is 15-30 times sweeter than sugar||Sweeter than stevia|
|Controls blood pressure||Yes||No|
|Causes blood sugar spikes||No||No|
|Natural or processed||Natural||Processed|
|Health benefits||Low in calories||Low in calories|
|Helps with weight loss||Yes||Yes|
|Aftertaste||Slightly bitter or licorice-like||No aftertaste|
What are the pros and cons of Truvia?
- Low in calories: Truvia contains only 0.24 calories per gram, making it a decent option for those looking to lose weight while still enjoying something sweet now and then.
- Does not affect blood sugar: Erythritol, the sugar alcohol in Truvia, has a unique chemical structure that allows it to stimulate taste receptors without being broken down by the body. It passes through the system without any of the adverse metabolic effects of sugar. Because cells are unable to metabolize erythritol, it does not have any effects on blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol, triglycerides, or any other health markers.
- Not entirely natural: Truvia mostly contains processed sugar alcohols and hardly any stevia plant extract (which has been linked to health benefits). Moreover, the manufacturer has not clarified what exactly is added as natural flavors.
- Has no stevioside: Of the active stevia compounds, only concentrated amounts of stevioside have been linked to benefits, such as decreased blood sugar and cholesterol, which is lacking in Truvia.
- Contains (GMO) corn: The manufacturer uses corn to make erythritol, but they explicitly state that they do not segregate GMO and non-GMO corn during the process.
- May cause upset stomach and diarrhea: Truvia contains erythritol, a sugar alcohol that can cause digestive problems for some people, especially on an empty stomach.
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Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
The 5 Best (and worst) Sweeteners You Can Eat. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-best-and-worst-sweeteners-your-dietitians-picks/
Difference Between Truvia and Stevia. http://www.differencebetween.net/object/comparisons-of-food-items/processed-foods/difference-between-truvia-and-stevia/
Difference Between Stevia and Truvia. https://euresisjournal.org/difference-between-stevia-and-truvia
The Truth About Stevia—The So-called "Healthy" Alternative Sweetener. https://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/1644/the-truth-about-stevia-the-so-called-healthy-alternative-sweetener/
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