- Tell me, Truvia vs Stevia… are they the same?
- Is Truvia just another brand name for the same product?
- Do they come from the same source?
This review will take a look at the differences between Truvia and Stevia, if any. Let’s begin with Stevia:
Stevia is a plant that originated in South America, but since then it’s travelled globally and made quite a name for itself as it contains zero calories. This makes it suitable for use with diabetics and those wishing to lose weight. It’s also good for anyone wanting to cut down on their sugar intake.
There are various ways to purchase Stevia.
- As a green powder
- As a white powder
- As a liquid
- As a plant
Let’s take a look at each one:
Basically, the green powder is just dried and ground up stevia leaf. As such, this green powder contains whatever is in the leaf and not everyone is happy with the taste. It kinda tastes “green”! If there is any of the stem present in the powder it will make it have a slightly bitter aftertaste.
If you are just starting off, maybe this is not the best way to go, especially using it in your tea or coffee. I would recommend using the white powder for that, and and save the green stevia for baking.
Stevia can also be bought as a tablet or powder. Both these forms are white. Obviously the unprocessed version is green… as it comes straight from the plant. But this is like a very fine white sugar. So how did it go from green to white?
Well the truth is that its had to undergo some refining to come out like that. Although it’s a “natural product”, it’s moved through some processes to finally turn into a fine white powder. In a quick nutshell – first placed in hot water; pass through a resin material which is then washed with alcohol to allow it to come out of the resin. Finally it has to be re-crystallized.
As with everything you purchase, you need to check the ingredients on the label. Many “natural” stevia’s have lactose, or dextrose (glucose) added to them, so they are not the pure stevia you are tricked into believing you are buying, with their green packaging and the “100% natural” terminology. Buyer beware!
The liquid is made by mixing the white powder into a little water. The ready made versions available for sale include many different flavours. I’m most partial to vanilla. But really, it’s easy to make your own liquid stevia… and so much cheaper than buying it ready made.
Also, the amount of liquid you use is almost negliable – 1 drop in your hot drink, for example, means it goes such a long way.
In the last place we lived, I grew a Stevia plant in my own garden. This plant are very, very sweet. When I was working out in my garden, sometimes I’d pick off a leaf to chew. It was so sweet and easy to take. Quite yum really.
Eventually I had to move states, so the Stevia plant was left behind… so sad. What I did was pick as many leaves off as I could and let them dry. Once dried, I pulverised them into a fine powder… a fine green powder! I took it with me and used it up in baking.
Of-course, you can always go out and buy a plant for your garden… that’s even better again. I had no trouble with the plant and didn’t have to do anything special for its survival. It received whatever I was feeding the rest of the garden which was usually soluble seaweed. Just slip a leaf in and it will sweeten your drink.
From my research I do not believe using a little stevia would greatly affect your health one way or another. Obviously God has provided the plant for our use. Just like I don’t have any problem with the sweet taste in fruit as they have been created that way. To me, the main thing to remember is to eat/use in moderation. Too much of anything is detrimental.
The name sounds a lot like Stevia so is it the same thing just with a different brand name? No it’s not. Truvia is produced by Coco-Cola which allows them to market their products with zero calories.
Truvia is made from:
- an extract of Stevia
- natural flavours
Once again I’ll go through them one at a time:
A sugar alcohol, erythritol has been approved for use as a food additive in the United States and in many other countries. Not everyone approves of its use, such as Dr Mercola because it can cause stomachaches, headaches and diarrhea. This represents the highest ingredient in Truvia, like 199 out of 200%
Extract of Stevia
OK, so Truvia is not pure, natural Stevia. In fact, it comes nowhere near even close. They extract a molecule out of stevia called Rebaudioside A, and that’s all they use. This represents 1 out of 200% of the ingredients within Truvia.
Unfortunately, who knows what the natural flavours are? With the incredibly loose meaning of the word “natural”, it’s a bit of a worry.
So what do I make of all this? I would run a mile away from the use of this product. My advice would be to steer clear of Truvia because it’s obvious it does not have our health in the forefront of its mind.
During my research, I find that it’s virtually impossible to have all the health professionals come up with the same answer regarding sugar. It would be enormously helpful if they could. I find, in the end, I have to make up my own mind what I’ll do, and it’s the same for you. From what I’ve learned though, I would still recommend natural sweeteners such as raw unprocessed unheated honey, or maple syrup, but be careful with the amount you use. Just because something is considered healthy doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want of it.
I will use a little coconut sugar on occasions and I don’t hesitate to use a little Stevia if I need to.
The best thing we can do is to gradually cut down on the amount of sweeteners we need. If you go “cold turkey” you can come to a place where you don’t long for sweeteners at all. I haven’t done this as I’ve not been convinced that I should at this stage, but I keep putting less and less sweetener in my cooking etc. I certainly don’t need anywhere near the amount I used to consume. In fact, I’ve found that when cooking fruit (which I don’t do very often), I can leave off putting any sweetener in at all. The natural sweet contained within the fruit is all I need.
Work at these things one step at a time… little by little work towards using less sweetener. You don’t even notice it and eventually you will find all kinds of foods and drinks you’ll no longer require the extra sweet taste. Get to enjoy what things are supposed to taste like.
Those that advocate you use no sweeteners at all will say that by continuing to use a product such as stevia, you are keeping your body in a state of demanding the sweet taste. I believe this also to be true and I can fully understand what they are saying. It’s up to you whether you want a “little sweet” sometimes, or no sweet at all.
In this review on Truvia vs Stevia, we have looked at the question of “Is Truvia the same as Stevia“. We’ve ascertained that although the names suggest they are very similar products, that’s not actually the case. In this review, we’ve also taken a short look on exactly how natural stevia is, but I do believe the product still maintains most of it’s health benefits even when the green is removed. What is your experience with using these sweeteners, or any other? Please leave a comment and share with us… so we can all learn.
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