Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sugar: Crazy, Sexy, Cruel

After prowling the internet and talking to friends (online and in real life), I returned the Truvia that my sister bought for me the other day. Almost everything I read and heard about Truvia (except from the Truvia site) made me think of that crazy robot on the old TV show that would wave its arms and warn: "Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!"


I went back to the store where my sister bought the Truvia to exchange it (opened, missing two sachets, and with no receipt) and.... They were really cool about it. They let me get a box of Stevia in the Raw, which was actually a bit cheaper, so I got change. He-ey!

Ingredients: Dextrose, Stevia Leaf Extract
First off, I have to say that I really did like the taste of the Truvia. It was the most un-artificial-tasting artificial sweetener I've ever tried. Not that I go around trying lots of artificial sweeteners but, when I've been desperate, I've tried Splenda and Equal. Ick. I just cannot stand that metallic-sugary aftertaste. There was no nasty back taste with Truvia. Matter of fact, I liked it so much, I just knew something was going to be wrong with it!

When I was looking into the Truvia, I kept running across information that made Stevia sound as if it was the safer alternative to other no-cal/low-cal sweeteners. Once I got the Stevia home, I started seeing information that makes it sound like the little imp brother to the big brother demon that Truvia seems to be.

I'd look at one thing and cringe, then I'd see something else and relax a little. Here's how this went:

First, I read about the dextrose that's in the Stevia in the Raw (which is what I got), but then I realized that dextrose is in so many things that it must not be any more awful than the air we are forced to breathe. (And, to be honest, this Stevia only has the dextrose and none of the other 3 mentioned additives.) Matter of fact, the worst thing WebMD had to say about Stevia was the bitter taste.

Dextrose doesn't sound any more awful than a lot of things I expose myself to by walking out of the house everyday.

If dextrose is really awful for every single person who eats food, why is there such a reference as "Best Sources of Glucose (Dextrose)"? And why would honey (listed as one source of high dextrose) then not be considered dangerous?

So, right now, until I see my doctor, I'm not going to worry about the dextrose that is in this Stevia in the Raw that I went through the trouble of obtaining. (Okay, I am a little concerned that the dextrose in products is likely from GMO corn, but it's tough to avoid GMO products already. It's not like I'm snorting or mainlining this stuff. I don't even know what "mainlining" even means, by the way; it just made me sound all tough.)

And let's get back to the Stevia.

When I saw what LiveStrong had to say about one of the possible side effects of Stevia, I had to stop myself from running out and buying up every box I could find. Did you see that part about "decreased appetite"? Man... bring that one right on! Maybe next time I go shopping, I'll check the health food store for some straight, no additive Stevia. Skip all the GMO crap, right?

With the Truvia, I did feel good about leaving it alone. With the Stevia in the Raw, I kind of feel like most of the negatives I've read about are due to people's strong beliefs about any type of food. I know and respect vegans for their dietary restrictions, but I'm not giving up meat.

One last thing: the Truvia was in a way cuter package.