There is a severe health crisis underway in this modern day and age. Obesity rates have never been higher than they are today. Data collected from a National Health and Nutrition Examination study revealed some startling facts — 39.8% of adults and 18.5% of youth are considered obese.https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db288.htm
Along with the rise of obesity, the prevalence of individuals with type 2 diabetes has shot through the roof as well. In 1980, it was estimated that there was around 108 million people living with diabetes. As of 2014, that number has risen to an astounding 422 million! Statistics from WHO http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/
The one silver lining in all of this is that there has never been more public awareness of the health risks associated with obesity and diabetes. Along with that awareness comes increasing interest in healthier lifestyle habits.
Quick Post Guide
- 1 Truvia Vs Splenda
Sugar & Your Health
Sugar is widely recognized to be one of the main contributing factors of the obesity epidemic. This is due in large part to the excessive consumption of sugar by-products like high fructose corn syrup, a common additive in soft drinks. It provides a large number of calories with little to no nutritional value.
A report published by the WHO and SACN recommends a reduction in sugar intake to around 5% of your total energy intake. http://www.actiononsugar.org/Sugar%20and%20Health/Sugar%20and%20obesity%20/151903.html
So how can you go about doing that?
Especially if you’re accustomed to using sugar in everything from your morning cup of coffee to your baking recipes?
That’s where artificial sweeteners enter the picture.
Truvia Vs Splenda
Truvia and Splenda are two of the most popular artificial sweeteners currently available on the market.
And at first glance, they both appear to be pretty much identical to one another. Both products are marketed as being great tasting, zero calorie artificial sweeteners.
It can be hard for consumers to know which brand they should choose when trying to find healthier alternatives to refined sugars.
That’s exactly why we’ve put together this comparison guide — to point out some of the differences between Truvia and Splenda in order to help you make a more informed purchasing decision.
Let’s get right into it.
What Are They Made Out Of?
We will start our comparison by taking a close look at exactly what ingredients go into making these artificial sweeteners.
The three ingredients of Truvia are erythritol, stevia leaf extract, and natural flavors. Truvia actually first made a name for itself by being the first artificial sweetener to include stevia leaf extract. Stevia itself is an extremely sweet sugar substitute that is extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana. The active compounds found in stevia are 150 times sweeter than sugar while also possessing a slight hint of licorice flavoring. https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/stevia/
Splenda is made with sucralose, which is made via an involved process in which sugar is converted into a no-calorie, no-carb sweetener that is 100 times sweeter than sugar. This is accomplished by replacing three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar molecule with chlorine atoms. As a result of this process, sucralose is able to pass directly through your body, without being broken down for energy and potentially stored in fat cells. https://sucralose.org/faqs/ Recently, Splenda have also started to manufacture their own products that contain stevia leaf extract as well.
What Are the Health Benefits Of Using Truvia & Splenda?
Next, we’ll take a look at some of the reported health benefits associated with switching to Truvia or Splenda over refined sugar. Both products have been approved by the FDA as safe to consume, so let’s take a look and see what differences there might be.
Truvia Health Benefits
Truvia contains erythritol as one of its ingredients, which is a unique molecule that is almost like a blend between a carbohydrate and alcohol. It’s unique chemical structure makes it so that your body is unable to break it down for digestion. It passes through your system unchanged and exits via your urine, with nearly zero calories and none of the negative metabolic side effects typically associated with excessive sugar consumption. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/human-gut-microbiota-does-not-ferment-erythritol/87A2797F505A71C1E5EA3ADDD2E2A166
An added benefit of the erythritol content is that Truvia has no effect whatsoever on your blood sugar or insulin, nor on triglycerides, cholesterol, or other common biomarkers. This is in stark contrast to refined sugars which are known to cause drastic insulin spikes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8039489
Additionally, as all Truvia products contain stevia leaf extract, they are generally more of a ‘natural’ product compared with Splenda.
Splenda Health Benefits
Splenda is rather similar to Truvia, in that sucralose functions much like erythritol in that your body doesn’t recognize it as a sugar nor a carbohydrate. It has no effect on glucose utilization, insulin secretion, carbohydrate metabolism, or the absorption of glucose or fructose. Therefore, it’s another ideal sweetener option individuals with either type 1 or 2 diabetes. https://sucralose.org/sucralose-benefits/
Splenda can also be enjoyed as a sweetener without needing to be concerned about your oral health. Studies have been conducted that demonstrate that sucralose is not used as a food source by the types of oral bacteria that cause tooth decay. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11887514
It’s important to note as well that if you do a lot of baking, that sucralose is exceptionally heat stable. It’s an ideal choice if you plan on doing baking, canning, pasteurization, or any other type of manufacturing process.
Are There Any Side Effects Associated With Truvia & Splenda?
With the potential health benefits of both products out of the way, it’s time we turned our attention to any negative side effects that may be associated with Truvia and Splenda. Each of them have a variety of side effects that have been reported.
As with many foods or supplements though, quite often certain side effects are limited to individual people. No two people will react the same to different substances; natural sweeteners may cause stomach discomfort in some people while others find they actually help improve their digestion, for example.
Truvia Side Effects
The two most commonly reported side effects of Truvia consumption are gastrointestinal upset and increased appetite.
There have been numerous reports of Truvia causing nausea and stomach discomfort, mostly due to the fact that it acts a laxative. It can also cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea. It’s important to note that in most cases where these side effects are experienced, it’s due to an individual consuming quite large amounts of Truvia. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/truvia-side-effects#side-effects
Truvia also causes an increased appetite in some people. While it’s intended as a zero calorie sweetener alternative, it’s important to remember that the foods that you sweeten with Truvia still contain calories.
Other reported side effects include headaches, dizziness, weakness, and fatigue, although these reports are exceptionally rare. In addition, some people may experience an allergic reaction when taking Truvia.
Splenda Side Effects
Much like Truvia, the most commonly reported side effects associated with Splenda consumption are typically of a gastrointestinal nature. Sucralose can have a negative effect on your digestive system, causing diarrhea, gas, and bloating. It may also disrupt your intestinal flora. https://healthyfocus.org/7-sucralose-side-effects/
The rest of the side effects remain similar with Truvia as well, including:
- Allergic reactions
- Anxiety & panic attacks
It should also be noted that in 2016 an experiment was carried out in which male lab mice were fed high doses of sucralose. These mice experienced an increased incidence in blood cell tumors. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27078173 Before writing off sucralose completely however, it’s important to note that the FDA identified many scientific shortcomings concerning the study results. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/artificial-sweeteners-fact-sheet#r5
The Final Verdict
If you’ve read through this entire article, you probably noticed that both Truvia and Splenda are remarkably similar.
They are both zero calorie sweeteners that are able to pass through your body without being absorbed for digestion. They are both far sweeter than sugar, requiring smaller amounts to sweeten your food, coffee, or tea. They both won’t cause insulin spikes, making them an excellent choice for people with type 2 diabetes or anyone who is concerned about their weight.
So with that being said, the final verdict is that there is in fact no clear cut winner here. Both of these artificial sweeteners are equally valid replacements for sugar. And while it’s true that they each have their own respective side effects linked to them, it’s important to remain aware that the side effects of refined sugars remain much worse for your health.
So with that being said, the choice between Truvia and Splenda is mostly going to come down to personal choice — with one small caveat.
Truvia may be the better option for people who would prefer the most ‘natural’ product of the two, though as mentioned, Splenda also produces a product that contains stevia leaf extract now as well. If on the other hand you are regularly in your kitchen baking up a storm, then Splenda may be a better option for you since it’s exceptionally heat stable.
Beyond that, it really does come down to a matter of personal preference.
And that’s a wrap for this comparison between Truvia and Splenda.
What are your thoughts folks?
Do you have a preference between the two options? Or maybe you prefer a different artificial sweetener?
How about natural sweetening options like honey or maple syrup?
Let us know in the comments below!
And as always, please share this article with your friends and family, especially if you feel they might find it helpful!
Last update on 2018-12-17 / Affiliate links / Images & Stars from Amazon Product Advertising API
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