- Stevia and truvia are healthier alternatives to sugar.
- Stevia is a more natural option whereas truvia combines three different ingredients together.
- Stevia has a range of health benefits and is often added to supplements to improve taste and enjoyment.
What Is Truvia?
Truvia has become a remarkably popular sugar alternative. In fact in the US, it’s the favorite choice.
It’s actually the combination of three separate ingredients joined together.
In truvia you can find natural flavorings, a part of the stevia plant which brings a sweet taste, and thirdly a sugar alcohol known as erythritol.
In terms of the quantity of each of these – the sugar alcohol makes up the bulk of the product. You’d be forgiven for thinking you are getting a form of stevia when you consume Truvia.
But it actually contains zero stevia leaf and instead has small parts of the stevia plant known as Rebaudioside. The actually beneficial parts of stevia are known as stevioside – and derive from the leaf.
Is Truvia Good Or Bad For You?
By choosing truvia instead of sugar you are replacing it with erythritol. This means you are choosing a more metabolism-friendly option.
Pros Of Truvia
Erythritol is not digested by the gut – meaning the calories don’t count in the way that those from sugar do. You end up with an essentially calorie-free option that avoids the blood glucose-raising disadvantages of regular sugar.
Erythritol is safe and studies show it doesn’t pose a risk to human health, making it a better option than aspartame for example.
Cons Of Truvia
There are a few dubious marketing claims which may raise a few questions about Truvia. For example, it lists natural flavorings as an ingredient yet does not reveal what exactly these are.
It is also a little naughty by making people think it might contain the health benefits of stevia despite containing none of the relevant parts.
However, the bottom line is, if you are choosing Truvia instead of sugar – you are likely doing the right thing, as you won’t be adding in unnecessary calories, and nor will you be risking blood sugar spikes and insulin overload.
What Is Stevia?
Stevia is an entirely natural sweetener. It comes from a type of plant that belongs to the sunflower family.
Within stevia lives a special compound called glycoside which is thought to be up to 300 times sweeter than sugar itself!
If you happen to live in central or southern America, you might find the stevia plant growing naturally, in which case you can simply pick some leaves and add them to a cup of tea.
But usually, when you consume stevia it will be in the powdered form, which you can then add to hot drinks, or baking, just like you would with regular sugar.
Impressively, stevia is calorie-free and is ideal for diabetes who need to avoid sugars.
Is Stevia Good Or Bad For You?
With stevia, you can enjoy a sweet taste without worrying about blood sugar rises, insulin resistance, or excess calorie intake.
But stevia also seems to have health benefits in its own right.
Pros Of Stevia
Research shows that stevia can offer you more than just a low-calorie alternative to sugar.
- Reduced risk of cavities (Source)
- Positive effect on mental health (Source)
- Antiviral protection against rotavirus (Source)
- Reduced risk of hypertension
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
Stevia is generally safe for most people and minimal side effects can be expected. The usual daily upper limit is around 4 mg/per kg of body weight.
Cons Of Stevia
Unfortunately, many stevia products tend to combine it with other sweeteners. This means you can end up consuming products that may raise your blood sugar and provide you with excess calories.
So it’s always a good idea to check the ingredients list and make sure it doesn’t also contain things like maltodextrin or sucrose.
Stevia which is pure and doesn’t contain cheaper, unhealthier sweeteners tends to be more costly which is also why they are often “watered down”.
And, for some people, stevia can cause bloating and gut-based issues if consumed in excess.
Truvia may actually be more palatable to some because stevia tends to have a slightly bitter aftertaste which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – although it’s actually the healthier and less processed alternative.
And finally – whether you consume Stevia or Truvia, the key thing is moderation.
Because overconsumption of even calorie-free sweeteners can make you desire very sweet-tasting foods which is likely to derail your healthy eating intentions.
By consuming products that are many times sweeter than sugar itself, you are setting yourself up for an extremely sweet tooth – so it’s probably a good idea to avoid excessive consumption.
What Are The Differences Between Truvia vs Stevia?
Whilst both stevia and truvia are healthier alternatives to sugar, which neither raise your blood sugar or lead you to consume empty calories.
And yes, their names are deceptively similar.
But they do have some real differences. Truvia is a more processed “manufactured” sweetener involving three different ingredients. Whereas stevia (in its true form) is just the powdered down remains of the stevia leaf.
Stevia appears to have its own unique health benefits due to the special compounds it contains, whereas Truvia lacks these additional benefits as it does not contain stevioside.
What Other Natural Sweeteners Are There?
Most sugar alternatives are actually just a different form of sugar. For example, maple syrup and agave are often used in “health food” recipes but actually raise your blood sugar and promote insulin production.
They also contain calories and can contribute to weight gain and other metabolic issues if consumed in excess.
There are a couple of other natural sweetener options. These include xylitol and monk fruit. Xylitol actually derives from birch trees and doesn’t have a detrimental effect on blood sugar.
It also appears to have some dental health benefits which is why it’s often used in chewing gum.
But overconsumption can cause indigestion, bloating and in some cases can act as a laxative.
Monk fruit is another natural sweetener. It’s a Chinese plant that is considerably sweeter than sucrose. Some supergreen powders contain this instead of stevia.
It has no calories and may also have unique antioxidant benefits. But, it’s hard to find, it is often combined with less healthy sweeteners and some people are allergic.
Why Do Supplements Use Sweeteners?
For any supplement to make a difference, consistency is key. Which is why it must be appealing to taste, or at least not unpleasant.
For most supplements which you simply swallow the taste is less important, but for superfood powders or blends, where you are likely adding them to juices or yogurts and therefore it’s more relevant that they taste good.
Plus greens powder tends to include quite bitter flavors, such as spinach and spirulina, so a little sweetener can really help to counteract this.
So, that’s why you’ll often see sweeteners listed as part of a super green supplement – although the type and amount used will vary.
In Supergreen Tonik you can find stevia – which means you are gaining not only from a sweet taste but also the additional health benefits that stevia brings.
You also aren’t consuming empty calories, or risking a blood sugar rise.
So if you fancy super greens but with some added, natural sweetness, why not give Supergreen Tonik a try?
Julia is a health content editor and nutritionist from Norwich, UK. She has worked as a health coach in private practice and for the national health service. She undertook an MSc in nutritional medicine to deepen her knowledge.
She enjoys producing evidence-based content which inspires people to become healthier and happier.