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View Full Version : Truvia: it's just the leaf of the Stevia plant, right? Right?



Dennis Leahy
7th April 2013, 04:50
(a heads-up on Truvia)

A number of times in various discussions here at Avalon, "Stevia", the sweet plant, has been mentioned as an alternate to sugar. If you do a search here at Avalon for the word "Truvia", you'll see a couple of people use the words "Stevia" and "Truvia" interchangeably - as if they are the same thing.

Stevia is the leaf of a plant, and you can grow your own. (My first try failed, but I may try again.)

Commercial stevia is purportedly refined Stevia leaf. It is available in (an extremely refined pure white powder) that tastes nasty/metallic/artificial to me, and I'm told the liquid version is not as nasty (as long as you do NOT add one drop too much.)

But here is the real reason for my post:

I'll bet most of you think that Truvia = Stevia, right?

I did.

What is "Truvia", really? Well, it is a sweetener manufactured by food giant Cargill. They manufacture it and then they market it as natural (always watch out for that loaded word!)

Listen to the brief (only 33 seconds long) Truvia commercial in the quoted material below, and you will truly be convinced that they are truly telling the truth about Truvia, and that it is truly made from Stevia.

Of course, by now, you probably realize I would not be presenting this material this way unless...

we are being lied to!

The following quoted material is taken from someone's blog. I normaly would not include so much from a link, but... I don't want to supply the link to the blog, because my AVG anti-virus program found a "Javascript exploit" on the page. So, here, I copied all you need to know:


"There’s a new No. 2 zero-calorie sweetener in town (http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2011/05/04/cargills-truvia-now-no-2-sugar.html). According to AC Nielsen, a company that tracks sales of grocery products, Truvia grew retail sales last year by almost 80% and knocked Sweet ‘N Low from its artificially sweetened perch in the tabletop sugar substitute market. That’s a pretty amazing feat for the two-year old brand launched by processed food agri-giant Cargill and co-developed by beverage goliath Coca-Cola. And if the online ad below is any indication, Truvia has moved on and is targeting the segment leader, Splenda. http://www.brucebradley.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/79d967ba5f5fce3ff0bd9f642f77f8531.jpg
One of the reasons for Truvia’s meteoric growth is that it claims to be a completely natural, guilt-free, zero-calorie sweetener made from the leaf of the stevia plant. Take a moment and watch its quirky television campaign and see how Truvia comes to life:




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-QxDh8Y4-A



No wonder Truvia is growing like gangbusters. It’s Honestly Sweet. Yum! Where has this product been hiding all these years? But if all this marketing hype sounds too good to be true, you’re right. After digging to discover Truvia’s TRUE story, you may not be so excited to jump on its bandwagon.

http://www.brucebradley.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/stevia.jpg
stevia leaves



First things first, is Truvia made from a leaf? Well the answer is kinda, sorta. Truvia has three ingredients: erythritol, rebiana, and natural flavors. Rebiana is made from the stevia leaf by soaking it in water. Although Cargill whitewashes the process as similar to making tea, the truth is revealed in Coca-Cola’s patent (http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=8wOjAAAAEBAJ&dq=reb+A+coca+cola) where it outlines a 40+ step process that includes the use of acetone, methanol, ethanol, acetonitrile, and isopropanol. I don’t know about you, but when I make a cup of tea, I’ve never used any of those ingredients.
The second fallacy of Truvia’s “guilt-free” naturalness is it’s main ingredient, erythritol. Now while erythritol is a naturally-occurring sweetener found in many fruits, in nature it is present in such small amounts (less than .005% by weight) it’s impractical to use natural sources. So Cargill manufacturers Truvia’s erythritol by chemically converting genetically modified corn into a food grade starch which it ferments to create glucose and then processes further to create erythritol. Ah, the gentle hand of Mother Nature. Sorry for the sarcasm, but really Cargill? All Natural? Truvia sounds more like a GMO lab experiment than a sweetener straight from nature.


Finally, Cargill uses “natural flavors” to round out the taste of Truvia. On Truvia’s website it says “… Natural flavors are used to bring out the best of our natural sweetness, like pepper or salt would be used to heighten the taste of a meal.” The processed food industry’s dirty little secret about “natural flavors” is unlike regular table salt or pepper you and I use, food companies manufacture many “natural flavors” since the only legal requirement is that they are chemically equivalent to a natural flavor. So get back out the test tubes, beakers, and distilling equipment. Mother Nature’s not needed here either."Grow some Stevia if you want, but don't confuse this "Truvia" GMO chemical concoction as something either truly "natural" or really from Stevia.

Dennis

Ellisa
7th April 2013, 06:18
Great post Dennis! Can I point out that there is an excellent, completely natural product on the market, which is pleasantly sweet to taste and is easily converted from plant to crystals? It's called sugar. Now I know that some people regard sugar as the work of the devil, but as long as it is used carefully and we do not make pigs of ourselves, it is fine for most of us to use. Another excellent, totally natural sweetener is honey. It even has some antibiotic healing properties (quite naturally) so could be good for us.

Actually just taking 'natural' as a base-line for 'good for you' could be dangerous. Many natural products are downright dangerous, and much manufactured food is OK. Personally I am of the opinion that lack of food will kill you more quickly than any food on the market. But then I believe much of the carry-on about natural sweeteners is ridiculous.

Moderation in everything is, i suggest, the way to go-- and be healthy!

northstar
7th April 2013, 10:39
(a heads-up on Truvia)

A number of times in various discussions here at Avalon, "Stevia", the sweet plant, has been mentioned as an alternate to sugar. If you do a search here at Avalon for the word "Truvia", you'll see a couple of people use the words "Stevia" and "Truvia" interchangeably - as if they are the same thing.

Stevia is the leaf of a plant, and you can grow your own. (My first try failed, but I may try again.)

Commercial stevia is purportedly refined Stevia leaf. It is available in (an extremely refined pure white powder) that tastes nasty/metallic/artificial to me, and I'm told the liquid version is not as nasty (as long as you do NOT add one drop too much.)

But here is the real reason for my post:

I'll bet most of you think that Truvia = Stevia, right?

I did.

What is "Truvia", really? Well, it is a sweetener manufactured by food giant Cargill. They manufacture it and then they market it as natural (always watch out for that loaded word!)


Excellent post Dennis!

I grew some stevia in a large planter last summer from a small stevia plant I purchased at a nursery. I used organic soil. My stevia plant was about 3-5 feet tall two months later but it had many bug problems. This is probably because the plant I bought at the nursery was very sickly looking. (Last summer was my first ever try at gardening so I am totally new to growing stuff). I read that it is very hard to grow stevia from seeds by the way. I may grow stevia again this summer but I would make 100% sure that the starter plant is extremely healthy. I would also make sure I harvest the leaves earlier because I waited too long to harvest them last summer. By the way, you can eat the leaves right off the plant and they are SWEET, and pleasant tasting in my opinion.

Regarding the bitter taste that some people talk about, I don't notice it. I enjoy stevia, although I find when I talk about stevia many people say they have tried it and they don't like it.

Thanks for the informative post about "Truvia" - there is no way I would ever purchase that stuff

And very much thanks for the info on "natural flavors". Many folks who read labels are not aware that some terrible toxins can hide under cover of the term "natural flavors". Whenever I see that on a label I just assume there is something toxic and totally unnatural hidden in there and I do not purchase the product. Agribusiness can dump so called "natural flavors" into foods but I'm not buying it - literally!!

lisalu
7th April 2013, 11:55
Great post. Thank you. I was always a bit suspicious of Truvia. I grew a beautiful stevia plant in my herb garden last year. It was a great addition to all my herbs for teas that I grew. But I am still a fan of plain old organic sugar. I can't mess with my morning 2 cups of coffee, sugar and cream, always! That is the one vise I refuse to give up.

Erich
7th April 2013, 12:45
There are more than 200 species of stevia.

conk
8th April 2013, 19:18
Now brand stevia is quite tasty, even allowing a drop too many, but not two.....;)

Thanks Dennis, but we knew without asking, didn't we?

sheme
8th April 2013, 19:31
Truvia very expensive but absolutely disgusting to taste, bought some ages ago and can't stand it, nasty chemical taste. A doomed product.

It says on the lable under the name truvia "calorie-free sweetener from the Stevia Leaf"

onawah
8th April 2013, 20:48
I use raw local honey as a sweetener in most cases, but maple syrup works for me fairly well.
I just ordered a pound of powdered, dehydrated maple syrup, and will let you know how that works when I've had a chance to try it out.
I have problems with Candida overgrowth, so I've tried a lot of different sweeteners, though not the artificial ones.
White sugar is definitely not good for me, even the raw, non-GMO varieties and turbinado sugar and sucanat are not much better.
I can't deal with the aftertaste of stevia, unfortunately.
Having a sweet tooth and problems with Candida is no picnic!
It would be wonderful if someone could come up with a natural sweetener that doesn't have all the after effects.

Laurel
9th April 2013, 13:24
For the past year or so, I've been using Wholesome Organic Stevia
http://www.wholesomesweeteners.com/organicstevia.html

It tastes pretty good, although I don't know much about organic blue agave inulin.


Ingredients: Organic Agave Inulin, Organic Stevia Extract (Stevia rebaudiana), Silica.
Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International




Non-GMO Verified and Certified Kosher
Suitable for Vegetarians & Vegans
Gluten Free
Prebiotic, which is beneficial to digestive health
No bitter after-taste
Multi-purpose Sweetener: 1 packet sweetens like 2 teaspoonfuls of sugar
Low Glycemic


I buy it at the local co-op, but they have a store locator on their website.

Dennis Leahy
9th April 2013, 14:38
...Can I point out that there is an excellent, completely natural product on the market, which is pleasantly sweet to taste and is easily converted from plant to crystals? It's called sugar. ...
Yes, I have a jar of local, raw honey which I use very sparingly. It lasts forever, I think, and I want it available for sore throat and/or skin abrasion/cut salve - and on the rare occasion, a dollop in my oatmeal.

But the main sugar in my household now is the coconut sugar that Astrid alerted me to. I get an organic, fair-traded coconut sugar called Madhava (http://www.madhavasweeteners.com/) (there are other companies that offer this sugar as well.) Very low glycemic index, minimally processed, complex carbohydrate, tasty. I think there is no sugar than can simply be substituted for white sugar, in the quantity that the Western diet has accepted as normal, that is healthy. The main problem is the quantity consumed. So, I have cut way, way back on sugar consumption. Maybe I'm fooling myself for including any sugar beyond what is naturally present in food, but by eating as little as possible (difficult once you develop a "sweet tooth") and eating the most complex carbohydrate form and least processed sugars, my pancreas is breathing a sigh of relief.

For those trying even harder than I am to eliminate sugar, and who like to sweeten some foods, Stevia might be one answer - but I really thought it was important to alert people that Truvia is not Stevia.

Dennis

TargeT
9th April 2013, 15:37
I've been using stevia for a while now,, I prefer it in the liquid form (especially the kinds with other extracts mixed in...) it's great stuff and 1 2oz bottle will last you a LONG time,, I put about 6 drops in a large cup of coffee.

I put around 16 drops in a 32oz ice tea (and it's SWEET tea!)

I've used NuNaturals for a while and have been very happy with it.
http://www.amazon.com/NuNaturals-Liquid-Vanilla-Stevia-Ounces/dp/B001G7QWF8/ref=pd_sim_hpc_7

conk
9th April 2013, 18:06
....
It would be wonderful if someone could come up with a natural sweetener that doesn't have all the after effects.Onawah, have you tried Xylitol? Great taste, almost exactly like the deadly white stuff. Even has spectacular health benefits! Supported by Dr. Russell Blaylock, Neurosurgeon, and Dr. Jonathan Wright, alternative doctor extraordinaire. A little costly, but goes a long way. I think you'll like it. It's the only thing we use, well that and Stevia liquid.

Agave nectar is processed and the resulting product is way too similar to high fructose corn sugar. Avoid.

Maunagarjana
9th April 2013, 21:46
I've been using stevia for a while now,, I prefer it in the liquid form (especially the kinds with other extracts mixed in...) it's great stuff and 1 2oz bottle will last you a LONG time,, I put about 6 drops in a large cup of coffee.

I put around 16 drops in a 32oz ice tea (and it's SWEET tea!)

I've used NuNaturals for a while and have been very happy with it.
http://www.amazon.com/NuNaturals-Liquid-Vanilla-Stevia-Ounces/dp/B001G7QWF8/ref=pd_sim_hpc_7

I don't know how that stuff compares to 365 brand liquid stevia w/ vanilla, but that's what I got recently at Whole Foods. I haven't really looked at how they process it or anything. I like to make lemonade or limeade with it. Simple: one squeezed lemon/lime, glass full of water, and five or six drops of liquid stevia. Stir.

onawah
9th April 2013, 22:12
Yes, I did try Xylitol. Then I researched it and discovered that it was originally made from tree bark, but most of the Xylitol on the market is made from corn cobs from China, and even so, it's expensive and not that sweet.
I've tried coconut sugar and like it, thought again, it's expensive.
I was using agave for awhile and then found out it had been hyped as very healthy, but isn't actually that great.
So raw honey is still my preferred sweetener, but when making kefir water and coconut kefir, I can't use it, since honey kills the beneficial bacteria.
I got the dehydrated maple sugar yesterday and my body seems to be taking to it fairly well.
What I really need to do is get rid of this sweet tooth!


Corncobs are our preferred source for xylitol, it is much more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Corncobs are a renewable resource and are normally waste at the end of the season. Using corncobs that take 5 months to grow as a source for xylitol is much more sustainable than using trees that take 20 years to grow as a source for xylitol.

There are a number of xylitol production facilities around the world, but most of them are in China. In China most corn is harvested by hand and so at the harvest there are big piles of corncobs that need to be disposed of. To get rid of this they build xylitol production facilities. One would think that we would have an overabundance of corncobs here in America with all the corn we grow, but since we harvest with machinery the cobs are thrown back out into the field and not collected.

Dupont Chemical is the only company that makes xylitol from wood. If you are purchasing xylitol that claims to be made from hardwood you are buying xylitol from Dupont Chemical. They have production facilities in China, North America and Europe.
http://www.xylitol.org/about-xylitol



....
It would be wonderful if someone could come up with a natural sweetener that doesn't have all the after effects.Onawah, have you tried Xylitol? Great taste, almost exactly like the deadly white stuff. Even has spectacular health benefits! Supported by Dr. Russell Blaylock, Neurosurgeon, and Dr. Jonathan Wright, alternative doctor extraordinaire. A little costly, but goes a long way. I think you'll like it. It's the only thing we use, well that and Stevia liquid.

Agave nectar is processed and the resulting product is way too similar to high fructose corn sugar. Avoid.

Dennis Leahy
10th April 2013, 02:21
Very interesting about the Xylitol, thanks!

Comparing prices of the unprocessed, organic, fair trade sugar (kind of off-white/tan and crystalline) sold in bulk at my town's little health food store, (about $1.80/lb to $2.50/lb, fluctuating) and the price of the Madhava organic, fair trade coconut sugar (about $3.75/lb on sale to $4.75/lb when I buy a case through a health food buying club), the coconut sugar is definitely more expensive (probably at least 10x more expensive than the GMO white death at the regular grocery store.) But a case (6 one pound bags) is 6 month to a year's supply of sugar for my small family, depending on whether anyone decides to make baked goods.

Funny, I just stopped and thought about it, and this seems so trivial compared to what is going on in the world. When this big economic collapse hits, whatever sugar we have will likely not be replaced when it runs out - a silly luxury that will be too expensive, and with no health benefits it could not be justified. And, I will probably just laugh when I hear how many wheelbarrows of US dollar bills a pound of organic coconut sugar will cost. Something I may simply have to do without for the rest of my life. Maybe planting Stevia is a smart idea after all - sugar cane won't grow here.

Dennis

Sammy
10th April 2013, 02:44
I have used a stevia powder for 12 years exclusively. I get it from a place called the emperorsherbologist.com. The reason i am mentioning this specific one is that I have tried several dozen types (powder and liquid) and this one is in a league of its own and affordable if you buy bulk and I do.

I can promise anyone who gives this stevia a shot for one week... yes, just one week and you will never want anything else. I have three sons who when I was able to convince them to try this as I said... for one week, they would always want stevia instead of sugar. The oldest was only about 14 at that time. They all did and they all now only want the stevia.

It does take that short getting used to period, but once past that, you are home. I cannot ever take anything with sugar so this stevia was a godsend.

enfoldedblue
10th April 2013, 05:47
After trying many sugar alternatives, I have settled on on honey, maple syrup, and rapadura (evaporated cane juice) for my coffee.

Rapadura sugar is when the sugar cane is juiced and then dehydrated, there are no other processes that happen. Apparently even 'raw' sugars go through a number of processes including; heating and the adding of lye, canola oil and icing sugar.


While refined sugar is composed primarily of sucrose, rapadura sugar maintains a natural balance of sucrose, glucose and fructose. The body automatically converts carbohydrates into glucose to use as fuel. Since rapadura sugar already provides glucose, it is a readily available form of energy that is simpler to digest and metabolize in comparison to refined sugar. Furthermore, since rapadura sugar is less refined than granulated sugar, it will not elevate blood glucose levels as much, according to Grant Shevlin, M.D.
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/524501-rapadura-sugar-and-its-health-benefits/#ixzz2Q2Hf1FdJ



So basically we have taken an amazing balanced natural product, and decided to improve on it...but instead managed to turn it into a toxic poison that harms our bodies.

As usual mother nature does it best...

Ultima Thule
10th April 2013, 07:06
Just as an addition to the flavor of this thread:

a. when something natural is processed/refined, it is no longer a balanced product, and will more than likely produce undesired effects just as well as do the industrially produced sweeteners, aspartame, sucralose, asesulfame k & co.
b. unbalanced situation also evolves from the mindset that sweet must be consumed - which I am not saying anyone writing here is about - on a regular basis. When one source of sweet taste is replaced by another one, it is usually rationalized with a notion that it does not raise blood sugar. When studied, dare I say, with no exception an undesired effect will be made on ones equilibrium concerning the amount of insulin secreted contra how effectively it is utilized, thus adding insult to injury(if one desires to make a significant change in ones metabolism by just substituting one sweet taste for another). Much better results will ensue when downsizing the amount of sweet taste in ones nutrition alltogether, especially taking notion of the amount of refined starches and carbohydrate-containing beverages one consumes.

Sweet taste is great, but is not unlike alcohol - to be used wisely and sparingly.

UT

Dennis Leahy
10th April 2013, 13:48
Ultima Thule reminds me that I have never liked bitter foods, and avoided them. Of course, that is training. Train yourself for bland, or sweet, or salty, or hot and spicy... and everything else seems ... um, not as good. But now I know that bitter greens are some of the most nutrient-dense and healthiest foods. A good reminder not to just chase after sweet.

I know, I know, "all things in moderation", and I am sure I will still pursue sweet tastes (aren't we "designed" to be primarily fruitarian?), but Ultima just reminded me to cultivate a taste for (or at least a tolerance for) bitter - the sweet "tolerance" seems to come naturally. Kale in my lunch salad...

Dennis