Just as Sucanat is a brand name for a type of minimally processed sugar, Truvia is the name of the recent natural sweetener product from The Coca-Cola Company and Cargill. It is labeled “natural” because the sugar-like substances that compose it are derived from and naturally occur in plants.
Truvia is mostly known as a stevia-based sweetener because one of its major ingredients is rebiana. Again, this is just a trade name for the actual glycoside compound found in the stevia plant called rebaudioside A. This particular compound contains three glucose molecules and that explains why it’s the sweetest of all stevia’s sugar-like substances (at least 350 times more than ordinary sugar).
Another component in Truvia that adds to its sweetness is erythritol. This substance is known as a sugar alcohol which means that it has the chemical properties of both sugar and alcohol. Erythritol has around 60% of the sweetness of regular sugar and it naturally occurs in certain types of fruits.
These ingredients give Truvia an advantage over ordinary table sugar and other alternative sweeteners. However it is still recommended for moderate use in the Superhuman Food Pyramid because taking too much can cause negative side effects.
Keep reading to find out the pros and cons of Truvia so you can make a more informed decision on how to use it in your quest to Become Superhuman.
While it provides more sweetness, Truvia doesn’t come with the usual detrimental effects of ordinary table sugar. Here are its advantages:
Very low calories – Although the nutrition facts behind each packet of Truvia notes zero calories, there really is still caloric content in this sweetener. Erythritol has actually 0.2 kilocalories per gram. That’s low enough that it can be considered negligible. This sweetener can be a great help for those aiming for weight loss.
No tooth decay – Oral bacteria ferments the left-over food in the mouth and this produces acids that wear down the teeth. Such bacteria however have no use for the major sugar-like ingredients in Truvia. This means you can indulge your sweet tooth and not have to worry about tooth decay.
No bloating – Most of ingested erythritol is immediately absorbed in the small intestine. Since only a small amount reaches the large intestine, hardly any laxative effects will be felt. Also, bacteria in the colon don’t easily consume this sugar alcohol and thus very little gas is produced.
Small impact on blood sugar – It has not been established whether rebaudioside A has the same anti-hyperglycemic properties as stevioside (another glycoside found in stevia). What little research that has been done shows that this compound does not have any significant effect on blood sugar levels.
Some sugar alcohols like maltitol have been accepted as a viable alternative to ordinary sugar. Not everyone’s digestive system however is tolerant of this type of substance. One study shows that more than 50 grams of erythritol led to nausea and more than the usual stomach rumblings that sometimes happens after meals.
Another factor for consideration is that being a relatively new product (introduced only in 2008), there has not been enough testing or study done on Truvia or its components. Unlike stevioside which has been extensively researched and safely used in countries like Japan for the past 40 years, there is little research regarding its fellow steviol glycoside rebaudioside A.
Truvia Practical Uses:
Take note that Truvia is also referred to as a non-nutritive sweetener. You can use it to make some of the really bitter herbal tea remedies like gentian tea more palatable but it won’t have any therapeutic action on its own.
For cooking and baking Truvia can replace ordinary sugar. You just need to make a few adjustments in the proportion. One cup of sugar is equivalent to 1/3 cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons of Truvia. That amounts to using 24 packets of the sweetener. For accuracy and making the substitution easier, measuring spoons should probably be used.
When it comes to baked desserts or snacks, the recommendation is not to replace all the sugar. The reason is that other than sweetness, regular sugar also helps in things like browning and the overall texture and look of the final baked good. It is also suggested that with Truvia in the mix, the oven temperature should be lessened by around 25 degrees Fahrenheit and cooking time increased by about 5 minutes.
In the next post, I’ll tell you about the pros and cons of regular table salt and how it should be used in moderation in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the herbs, spices and sweeteners on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of Truvia, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the pros and cons of Truvia.