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The FDA FINALLY Approves Stevia

In the middle of December, the FDA FINALLY approved Rebiana, the best part of the stevia plant, as a safe and natural sweetener.  HOORAY.  As most of you know, I’m a HUGE fan of stevia, as it is a natural herb that provides a potent sweet taste without any calories or any chemical crap that you will find in artificial sweeteners.  That said, Stevia tends to be extremely potent, has a bit of an aftertaste and has a consistency that is a bit like confection sugar, making it difficult to use.  Truvia and PureVia, two new sweetners that have recently come to the market, are formulated to be more like sugar.

Truvia and PureVia are made with rebiana, the most tasty part of the stevia leaf, and Erythritol, a sugar alcohol, naturally found in some fruits that is 60-70% as sweet as table sugar yet it is almost non-caloric, does not affect blood sugar, does not cause tooth decay, and is absorbed by the body, which means that it is unlikely to cause gastric side effects.  PureVia also has isomaltulose, which is a natural part of honey and sugar cane and has a very natural sweet taste, with a very low glycemic index.  So what is my verdict on the products?  Great!

Here are my reasons:

  1. It is hard to overdo the serving size. Truvia and PureVia are sold in serving size packets, making it easier to use.
  2. It has a better taste. Because of the way they are formulated, they don’t have the same aftertaste that pure stevia has.
  3. Better consistency. It doesn’t seem as powdery, but instead is more granulated, like sugar.

All of this said, I do think it is sad that the FDA would not approve stevia as a sweetener because of its loyalty to sugar manufacturers and other major food companies.  It took Cargill, Truvia’s manufacturer, and Merisant, PureVia’s manufacturer to finally get rebiana and stevia noticed as being a healthful option to sugar.  Now, Pepsi and Coca-Cola are chomping at the bit to include these natural sweetener in their beverages, because they know it is a better, healthier and more natural product.  The FDA has many hidden agendas when it comes to our foods and supplements, so just be aware that not everything the FDA tells us is always the most accurate.

Have you tried Truvia?  Have you tried PureVia?  What are your thoughts?

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Nutrition Tagged with: , , , ,