Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Best Sweetener

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You have probably seen all of the new stevia-based sweeteners on the market lately. What is the difference between all of them? How do they taste? You will have to try them for yourself, but I can tell you from my experience which one I like the best. But first, a little history.

Stevia is a plant that is naturally sweet and has been used for hundreds of years on South America and more recently in Japan and other countries around the world. It has been sold as a dietary supplement (not a food) in the US since the mid-1990's. That all changed when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US granted GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status to use it in food products back in December of 2008.

What is confusing to many people is the different forms that stevia sweeteners can take and that is why each one tastes so different. Stevia refers to the plant and all parts of the plant. There is one part of the plant that is the best tasting part and it is called rebiana. Rebiana is extracted and purified to give a good, consistent product.

My favorite by far of all of the stevia-based sweeteners is Truvia. It uses a highly purified form of rebiana and has a nice granular consistency. It gives a nice clean, sweet taste and not the licorice taste that previous stevia sweeteners have. Cargill (they make Truvia) partnered with the Coca Cola Company to conduct a wide range of safety tests on rebiana to make sure it was safe and also usable in food products. These studies can be found in the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology in July 2008.

Today you can get Truvia in tabletop form in packets. It is right next to the other sweeteners in the grocery aisle. Truvia is also found in a variety of other products on shelves including:

The BIG difference is that Truvia is natural and most other zero calorie sweeteners are artificial. I hope there will be many more products using Truvia. I love the fact that this is ZERO calories but is as sweet as 2 tsp of sugar in each packet.

You can also cook and bake with Truvia. I have tried several recipes and they are all fabulous! Check out recipes on www.truvia.com
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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