Ask Nicole, Your RD – Comparing Sugar SubstitutesDecember 23, 2013
With the recent FDA approval of stevia what can you tell me about Truvia & how it compares to Splenda? ~ @AngEngland
Stevia is an herb used widely in South and Central America as a natural sweetener that, until recently, was not FDA approved. However, stevia and stevia extracts have been widely available in the US as an herbal supplement.
While the stevia leaf and other stevia extracts are still only available as herbal supplements, the purified stevia extract Rebaudioside A (Reb A) has been given a generally regarded as safe (GRAS) rating by the FDA. Reb A is the compound stevia-based sweeteners like Truvia and PureVia contain.
Splenda, on the other hand is a sucralose-based sugar substitute. Sucralose has been approved by the FDA since 1998 and is about 600 times sweeter than sugar. To offset this difference in sweetness, Splenda is sold in a variety of forms, including a baking blend and a bulked up form that alters the sweetness and allows you to replace sugar with Splenda cup-for-cup.
Stevia-based sweeteners like Truvia and PureVia don’t come in bulked-up forms and can be more than 200 times sweeter than sugar. Like most artificial sweeteners, adding stevia-based sweeteners to your food will take adjustment, although websites for each of the major brands offer suggestions for cooking and baking with them.
So there you have it; the basics of stevia and sucralose. The choice to replace sugar with either a sucralose- or stevia-based sweetener is a personal one. They’re both FDA-approved and neither increases blood sugar levels. And if you’re looking to reduce your calorie intake, using a sugar substitute may be an effective way to do it.This entry was posted in Ask the Dietitian, Diabetes, General, Nutrition. Bookmark the permalink. ← Smart Strategies for Dining Out Perfect Pita Pizzas →