Due to the negative effects of regular white sugar, we’ve all been on the hunt to a better alternative. This search leads us to our today’s head to head matchup: Stevia vs. Truvia.
They’re names sound very similar to one another. But are they really that similar. Or, are they very different from one another.
In this article, we explain what each of them are, how they’re used, and what they’re made of. More importantly, we learn whether or not they’re worthy substitutes to refined white sugar.
Do they have the sweetness needed? And are they healthy and safe for you?
Truvia vs. Stevia
Nowadays there are many alternative sweeteners. The sheer number is a fact that causes consumer confusion.
Below we compare and take a closer look at the difference between Stevia and Truvia. These are two kinds of sweeteners that you’ll often see in the supermarket right beside or near where sugar is sold.
Overview of Truvia and Stevia
Let’s see what exactly is Stevia and Truvia.
Stevia’s exact botanical name is Stevia rebaudiana. It comes from a plant species from Brazil and Paraguay called the stevia plant. And it is this plant’s leaves that are used as the sweetener.
Stevia is a 100% natural and considered a safe sweetener.
On the other hand, Truvia is one of the newer products on the market. It considered to be an “all-natural” sweetener. Truvia has its origins from the Stevia plant.
But one thing to know about it is that it is a processed product. Truvia was developed by two companies, namely beverage giant Coca-Cola and Cargill, a large food, drink and tobacco manufacturer.
What is Stevia?
Stevia as a sweetener delivers zero calories and is ideal for people who want to reduce or maintain their weight. A lot of studies have shown that sweeteners with little or no calories can contribute to weight control.
Due its ability to help reduce or maintain our normal weight, it is considered to be a very important parameter for the control of diabetes and its complications.
Therefore, people with diabetes can consume stevia since this sweetener does not contain carbohydrates.
However, do note that the stevia you find in store shelves are already processed. As such you’re not exactly getting it in its natural form. Majority of these products come in either packet form like sugar or in extract bottle.
Often in the processing, other additives and sweeteners are included. That’s because stevia can have a bitter taste. And this can lower sales. So brands add other sweeteners to mask or overpower this, making the flavor more pleasant to consumers.
Also, for centuries, the Guarani tribe of Paraguay used stevia in medicinal teas to treat, as they believed, heartburn and other illnesses. Of course, it goes without saying that should not be considered medical advice.
Although Stevia is 100% natural, just like other sweeteners, we do not recommend it for nursing and pregnant women. Since research doesn’t always show all the effects of Stevia, and we keep uncovering new things as time passes, we still think that pregnant moms and women who breastfeeding should avoid using products containing stevia.
Do note however, that this is just our opinion. And that we’d rather be safe than sorry when it comes to you and your unborn baby. However, do know that the U.S. FDA deems stevia as safe for use during pregnancy.
Using Natural Stevia
For the most part, the stevia you’ll see on supermarket shelves come in packet or extract form. These products have gone through processing and most of them don’t only contain stevia but also other additives and in some cases artificial sweeteners as well.
The video below shows you how natural stevia is used. In its most basic form, stevia comes as leaves, from the stevia plant. All you need to do is clean the leaves and then grind them.
One grinded into powder form, you can use natural stevia in coffee, food or for baking. You can take a small amount and sprinkle it just as you would regular white sugar.
Here’s how to use stevia in tea.
What is Truvia?
Truvia is distributed on the market as a “100 % natural” sugar substitute.
But if we take a closer look at its ingredients, you are going to see that it contains Erythritol.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol found naturally in small amounts in various fruits like grapes and melons. Its presence is the result of the fermentation process.
This sugar alcohol is valuable because it causes little or no rise in blood glucose levels. But one of its main disadvantages is that it causes gastrointestinal side effects.
Erythritol is almost as sweet as sucrose and is almost non-caloric. Therefore it can be consumed by people that want to maintain their weight.
It’s also something that can be used in the place of sugar without the risk of increase blood glucose levels.
The chemical process in extracting stevia is much simpler compared to that of Truvia. Therefore, most likely Stevia contains more nutrients than Truvia.
These include nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, protein, zinc and phosphorous. This is a huge advantage of preferring Stevia instead of Truvia. Though the amounts can’t be that much unless you consume a lot of them regularly.
On the other hand, one study has shown that Stevia can actually be transformed into a mutagenic compound which can lead to cancer. However, more research is needed for further clarification.
Because Stevia has been in the market longer market than Truvia, there’s more data and information about it. It’s also been subjected to more research. So we know more about it.
There is also an abundance of Stevia products available all around the world. Some are extensions of the packet “sugar” form like foods that are fortified, with additional fiber, to aid digestion. That is not the same for Truvia. As a result, there are a more people consuming Stevia compared to Truvia.
Overall, they look to be similar. At least as far as the store bought versions go. Your choice in stevia vs. Truvia may after all be just a matter of taste or availability.