Sunday, May 18, 2014

Is Truvia a Good or Bad Thing?

I'm trying to kick another habit of mine: sugar.

This is going to be tougher than giving up smoking. Bear in mind that I said I was giving up sugar - not sweetness. Since my biggest sugar consumption is via my oh-so-very-necessary coffee habit, I am giving up the brown sugar I use. So... I have to find a substitute.

First up to try: Truvia. Actually, I'm now trying out the Truvia that my sister got for me. I put it in my coffee this morning and it was so good that I wondered why. Usually, I can't stand any kind of artificial sweetener. I hate the "bite" of the after-taste. Of course, I had to then look up some info.

Apparently the Truvia that my sister got me (because she thought it was the Stevia she's heard about) is not as good for humans as the marketing claims. I say "apparently" because I'm still scanning the online information that seems very anti-Truvia:

  • This says that Truvia is less than 1/2 percent of "something made from Stevia".
  • Of course, the Truvia site says this: "The best sweetness comes from nature. TruvĂ­a® sweetener is natural, great-tasting sweetness born from the leaves of the stevia plant." They make a claim of "from field to table" that I want to be leery of. This is a product associated, after all, with CocaCola.
  • WebMD wasn't much help; its article is from 2008 - when Truvia was making its debut.  The article wasn't exactly encouraging. I wish there was an update.
  • I'm a little bit worried about the "sugar alcohol" and the "natural flavors" in the Truvia ingredients. (One article noted that the FDA doesn't regulate the term "natural flavors".) I'm interested in the comments in this discussion. Apparently sugar alcohols are not really calorie free.
I'm going to finish the box of Truvia, then I'm going to try Stevia. Might as well get right to the source. For now, I am kind of enjoying the Truvia but, since it does come from CocaCola, I have a little bit of doubt that it's all that good for me. (Frankly, the more I read about Truvia, the more I'm considering returning it for some Stevia!)

I've got to do some more research. If I can't find a sugar-substitute that I like, I'm going to be a cranky girl. I can't imagine my coffee without cream and sug sweetener, and I cannot imagine giving up my coffee.

It's going to be a looooong couple of weeks!