I see a lot of friends and health bloggers put Truvia in their recipes, adding it as a “healthier” alternative to sugar. Trust me, it’s not. I’m not 100% sure what article I read (or maybe I just read the ingredients on the back of a Truvia packet), but it is NOT natural. The first major hint: one ingredient (sugar) should not consist of three ingredients.
Yes, yes. The ingredients in Truvia. According to their website, Truvia (which, ps, was developed by Coca-Cola–another huge red flag) consists of erythritol, stevia leaf extract and natural flavors. Why, what are these magically modified ingredients? Glad you asked.
This is the primary ingredient in stevia. While Truvia’s website claims it’s a “sugar alcohol found naturally in various fruits such as grapes and melons,” it’s actually a sugar alcohol made by processing genetically modified corn. Yeah, fun.
Stevia Leaf Extract
Even I was fooled by this ingredient. Apparently half of one percent of Truvia contains Rebiania–a sugar substitute developed by Japanese scientists in 1971 and derived from the Stevia plant–which is the only reason Truvia can claim that is contains “stevia leaf extract.” Quite the extract indeed (ha, puns).
Since the wording “natural” is not regulated by the FDA, companies can concoct whatever “natural flavor” they want, as long as it’s “generally regarded as safe.” That means it can even legally contain MSG, since it’s a naturally occurring bi-product of “glutamate.” My thought about natural flavor? If it was so natural, why do you have to add a “natural flavor.” Nature already has a flavor. It shouldn’t need to be enhanced or altered.
In case that didn’t persuade you to switch to a better sweetener, this list of Truvia side-effects just might.
Now I have a major bone to pick with Truvia because they throw a ton of ish into their sweetener. But don’t be fooled by “Raw” or “Organic” stevia products either. Your best bet? Always check the ingredients–when it’s more than one ingredient (stevia leaf) or something you can’t pronounce that usually ends in “-extrose,” throw it back on the shelf and walk away.
And if you’re not having any luck finding an HONESTLY pure stevia extract (it’s difficult, I’m still on the lookout and will let you know if I find anything!), then use a healthier, natural alternative like honey or maple syrup.