Truvia® calorie-free sweetener

I am super excited to be offering up Truvia® – a calorie free sweetener to members of the product review club this month.

Truvia® is one of the brand names of stevia that is currently on the market right now. Other brands include PureVia, Krisda and Sweet Leaf. Stevia comes from a stevia rebaudiana plant where the leaves have components which, when extracted and purified, are 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Because stevia is extremely sweet in small amounts, it’s considered to be a calorie-free sweetener.

Stevia has actually been around for awhile. It’s been available in health food stores for at least 10 years. However, Health Canada recently approved it as one of the sugar substitutes that are approved for use in Canada. As a result, it is now widely available in most grocery stores and in packaged goods.

I did a previous taste test that compared sugar substitutes such as sucralose (i.e. Splenda) and aspartame (i.e. Equal) to sugar before stevia was widely available on the market. But now that stevia is around, I am curious to find out what it tastes like. I can see how stevia would appeal to certain consumers who might choose it over artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and Equal since it comes from a “natural” source (i.e. the stevia plant).

Have you used Truvia® ? Would you use it as a sweetener instead of other sugar substitutes?

21 thoughts on “Truvia® calorie-free sweetener

  1. I used both the packets of Truvia for the first time today in a baked good recipe. It did not alter the flavour at all, which I was very pleased with! In the past I have tried other brands of stevia including PureVia, Krisda and Natural Traditions. Natural Traditions brand is the only one that I have tried and seen that only contains Stevia, without any added sugar alcohols or natural flavours. Unfortunately, because of this, there is a very strong metallic aftertaste.

    For those consumers who may favour Stevia over other artificial sweeteners such as sucralose because it is more “natural” should be informed that stevia brands that include sugar alcohols (ie. erthyritol) technically isn’t “naturally-sourced.” Due to the high industrial demands for erthyritol, it is manufactured through a fermentation process which begins with corn as the substrate, and not actually extracted from naturally occurring sources of erthyritol such as that found in fruits like melons.

    Bottom-line, I would recommend using sugar and/or sugar substitutes in moderation and take the time to savour and enjoy the natural sweetness from mother nature’s fruit 🙂

  2. I was going to add Truvia to baking, but I was not sure how much I should substitute for sugar. So I used one in a cup of coffee. (I usually drink coffee and tea black, but I wanted to try Truvia somehow.) And I used the other for a mug cake I was making with microwave.
    The time I used for a mug cake, I could tell a difference from sugar, but it wasn’t too bad. However, in a coffee, it was quite obvious. The bitter after taste was something I cannot enjoy.
    Compared to other artificial sweetener, I might choose Truvia if I had to choose one. But because nobody in my household is diabetic, I prefer to use regular sweetener such as maple syrup, honey, sugar etc.

  3. I used the Truvia in my morning coffee. I’m not a big fan of sweetners to begin with because I find they leave an unpleasant after taste. I didn’t think Truvia was too bad but it still didn’t taste the way real sugar does. I try to use less sugar to be healthy but I haven’t yet found a sweetner that tastes like real sugar. Truvia is better than a couple of other sweetners I’ve tried but I’m not sure I would buy it.

  4. I used Truvia calorie-free sweetener to sweeten my coffee and tea. As expected, it was significantly sweeter than table sugar. It doesn’t have as strong of an after taste as some other artificial sweeteners.

    When it comes to choosing between different artificial sweeteners, I think it’s important to read the nutrition label and ingredient list, understand how it’s made and if there are any side effects. The primary ingredient in Truvia is erythritol, a sugar alcohol. A common way to make sugar alcohol is to add hydrogen molecules to sugars. The added hydrogen makes it harder for the sugar to be absorbed in the digestive tract. Therefore, there will be fewer calories than regular sugar; however, if consumed in excess, it can cause GI distress. Generally, stevia leaf extracts will not affect blood sugar or insulin levels, so it might be a better choice for some. However, like all other artificial sweeteners, Truvia is still a highly refined extract.

    Overall, I would be cautious about choosing any artificial sweetener and would use it in moderation. Luckily, they’re all so intensely sweet that we usually only use a minuscule amount to sweeten food.

  5. I used the sample of Truvia in tea – I found the sweetness to be very intense, even though I used just a small amount. I can certainly see how the product would be attractive for those looking for a more “natural” alternative to artificial sweeteners – however, they may not realize that erythritol (sugar alcohol) is the main ingredient – as RD’s it is great to be familiar with these products so that we can better inform patients.

    I think I’ll stick to using honey & maple syrup sparingly to satisfy my sweet tooth!

  6. I tried Truvia in both a cup of coffee and a cup of tea.

    I usually have coffee in the morning with milk and sugar. I honestly can say it doesn’t make much difference to me. Truvia blended well, a packet was fine for sweetness equivalent to 1 package of sugar and yes I would be comfortable to try it again! There was no aftertaste in my opinion and it was equally good in both hot beverages.

    I feel comfortable recommending stevia as well. I was surprised to see that erthyritol was the first ingredient in the packet – seeing as stevia is the promoted “sweetener” source.

    I would be happy to try this in a recipe but didn’t have enough to experiment. It would have been helpful for the manufacturer to include how one package compares in sweetness to one package of sugar or support in using such in a recipe where there is usually sugar.

    I would recommend the use of a small amount of a sweetener like Truvia for someone to help them reduce added sugar calories. I also support the idea of helping people tailor their tastes so that less is used regardless of the source and that they have less desire for so much sweetness. This helps in the long run decrease their desire for sweets no matter the source.

  7. I tried Truvia in my tea and I was surprised at how much it tasted like sugar. I use other types of artificial sweeteners and Truvia was much nicer by far.

    The price is quite high though, and this might be because it’s still new or that it comes in individual packets. I usually buy a large container of sweetener and not the packets.

    I also found that there was quite a bit of sweetener in the packet. I could probably use about half as much at one time for my hot beverages.

    I would not use artificial sweeteners for baked goods. I figure it will make too much of a difference and I’d rather have a small amount rather than more simply because it has sweetener in it.

    I have had GI problems with too much sweetener and so I try to limit it to just hot beverages and the occasional diet pop!

    Thanks for the opportunity to try it! Overall, I would purchase Truvia for it’s “natural” sugar taste and use it sparingly since it’s a bit costly.

  8. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to use Truvia (stevia) sweetener.
    I have used this product in both regular black coffee, flavoured-latte and plain yogourt. I found that in plain black coffee, the sweetness was much more intense than from regular sugar even when used in very small quantity. I found Truvia worked quite well in flavoured-latte (vanilla) since those drinks are meant to be ++ sweet; it replaced the sugar pump very efficiently. I was ok pleased with the taste in plain yogurt although I would recommend still adding a real source of sugar (maple syrup, honey) in smaller quantities and adding a little bit of truvia to achieve the same sweetness while reducing the energy density of the sweetening agent. Overall I think it’s a solid product comparable to sucralose and as for anything, moderation is the key word. I am looking forward for future long-term studies about the benefit/risk of stevia and other sweeteners.

  9. Thank you for the opportunity to try Truvia! I decided to add it to my coffee, which I normally drink with just milk added. I found the Truvia to be too sweet to my taste, so I think I would add less next time. It is definitely more sweet than sugar. I don’t think I would use it in coffee again, but maybe in another product!

    I think the product would be good for anyone looking for a sugar substitute if they enjoy the taste, but I would be careful with using too much as the main ingredient is a sugar alcohol (which could cause GI upset).

    Overall, I would recommend Truvia for someone looking to reduce sugar intake, but I would use it in very small amounts.

  10. Thank you to Confessions of a Dietitian for sending me two packets of Truvia no calorie sweetener to sample. I used the product in two different ways. 1. In a sweet and sour vinaigrette salad dressing recipe … the purpose was to balance out the tart acidic taste of the balsamic vinegar. I found that it didn’t really take out the tartness out of the vinegar. I had to add a few tsp’s of honey to balance the flavour in the dressing 2. To sweeten a berry smoothie – I didn’t even notice that it was added. I found the sweetness was quite mild. As mentioned, it didn’t really add any sweetness to the recipes that I tried it in. Personally I am trying to unsweeten my diet, and I am trying to not to use any forms of added sugar or sweetener, so probably would not use the product again, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the product, just personal preference.

    If I was to use the product again, I would use it over some other artificial sweeteners. I like that it didn’t have an after taste, and that it wasn’t an over powering sweetness. However, I am not too sure about the GI side-effects that the erythritol may have. I didn’t notice any symptoms while trialing the products, but I typically avoid sugar alcohols. I was surprised to see that Truvia used erythritol in its product as they use the “natural” approach in their marketing. *Note: Sugar alcohol ingestion may result in gastrointestinal symptoms including flatulence, cramping, bloating and diarrhea (PEN). I give Truvia 4 out 5, mostly because I liked that it looked like real sugar, wasn’t overly sweet (good if you are trying to reduce your sweet tooth), and there was no awful after taste.

    For my full review with pictures see my blog: http://www.alittlenutrition.com/blog/?p=1622

    Susan Watson, RD
    Twitter: @LittleNutrition
    Instagram: Winnipeg_dietitian

  11. I tried adding Truvia to my yogurt and was surprised at the sweetness – it was very powerful! But, I did find that it had an unpleasant aftertaste to me, one similar to aspartame. I typically used agave as my sweetener, so I’m used to that taste.

    I feel people who want to explore a sweet substitute would enjoy this product, but personally I was not a fan.

    2/5 for me, 4/5 for people who enjoy the taste of aspartame/artificial sweeteners.

  12. I had tried the PurVia brand of Stevia previously during a taste test of baked goods. I wasn’t particularly found of the after taste that it brought to the cookies. I found it to have a metallic taste that to me was off putting. Additionally I found that it also altered the appearance of cookie and how it baked up in the oven (more spread and a deeper caramel colour in comparison to the cookie using regular sugar)

    For the Truvia product I tasted it on it’s own and also found a similar aftertaste to the other Stevia based sweeteners. I also tried it as a sweetner in my tea with a similar result. However it is important to note that in general I typically do not enjoy the taste of artificial sweeteners.

    Working as a dietitian in a grocery store, I find that consumers are very interested in the Stevia based sweeteners and products as it is viewed as more “natural” artificial sweetner. Im also noticing that there is a greater availability of products that use stevia as their sweetening agent, as opposed to sugar or some of the other artificial sweeteners.

    I don’t know if I would choose this sweetener over the others. However I think it is great to have another alternative available for individuals looking to use sugar substitutes. I think I would personally continue to use maple syrup or honey or sugar over Stevia/Truvia.

    For me personally I would rate the product a 2/5 due to the aftertaste. For consumers who enjoy artificial sweeteners I would rate the product 3.5 out of 5 stars.

  13. Thank you for the opportunity to try truvia. I have to admit, I don’t use calorie-free sweeteners. I have been using unbleached organic sugar (sugar cane) for years. This is the first time that I have tried a sweetener like truvia. I opened the first packet and put some on my tongue. The first thing that came to mind, was that it tasted like those fun dip sugar packets that I used to eat when I was young. I couldn’t tell if it tasted like the white stick that we used to dip into the chemically laden crystallized flavoured sugar, or the flavoured sugar itself.

    I traditionally make a hot drink with grated ginger, lemon and Manuka honey. I decided to used the rest of the packet in this drink instead of using the honey. I found that it gave it a powdered lemonade taste with a metallic aftertaste. The spiciness of the ginger masked the metallic taste a little bit, but it was still there for me.

    A few days later, I opened up the second pack. I couldn’t bake with it, as there was only a little sample packet and my baking calls for more sugar than that! I decided to try it again on my tongue. The same memory came back of the white stick with the powdered sugar!

    I have never been a fan of a sugar substitute. To me it is like using margarine instead of butter (which I have never done and will never do)!

    As you can see this product is not ‘my thing’, but if clients ask me about it, I will definitely tell them to try it themselves and see if they like the taste!

  14. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to try this product. I first heard about stevia years ago when I was working in a diabetes centre and a client asked me about it. Back then it was still fairly new. Truvia looks very similar to sugar (it’s granulated) which is quite different than other sugar substitutes that tend to be more powdery. It tastes very sweet compared to sugar.

    It does, however, have a bit of an aftertaste (which is common among sugar substitutes). Erythritol (also a sugar substitute) is also mixed in which might be where the after taste is coming from. I used it in my morning coffee thinking that the strong taste of coffee would help to mask the aftertaste somewhat. It did to a certain degree. I wouldn’t be opposed to using it but I think there are other sugar substitutes that have less of an aftertaste.

    I think it might appeal to individuals who would prefer a sugar substitute that comes from a ‘natural source’, however it is still refined and does have an aftertaste compared to other sugar substitutes.

  15. I am not one to use artificial sweeteners as I cannot tolerate the aftertaste that they typically have. I was sad to find out that stevia is no exception to the rule. I had been told by some of my patients and friends that stevia’s aftertaste was minimal compared to sucralose or aspartame but I think it’s just as bitter and unpleasant in my opinion. I added stevia to my morning coffee (normally I don’t add any type of sugar or sweetener) and I didn’t enjoy it. I thought I should give it a fair chance in a food that I do sometimes add maple syrup or honey so I mixed it into some plain yogurt. I still couldn’t tolerate the aftertaste.

    I am not opposed to the idea of using artificial sweeteners, I’m just not a fan myself. Will I recommend Truvia to a patient? I always discuss different types of sugars/artificial sweeteners with my patients and review the pros/cons of all of them. So yes, stevia will be included in that discussion but I will share my honest personal experience that I don’t use any artificial sweeteners myself due to taste.

  16. Stevia is definitely the hot non-caloric sweetener these days, so I was glad to take the opportunity to try out some Truvia. I was a little disappointed to see the first ingredient on the product was erythritol (a sugar alcohol) and not actually stevia. I understand that the stevia is probably quite sweet straight up, and expensive, but this makes me wonder how different this is from other artificial sweeteners, when the first ingredient is not the “natural” product many people are looking for.

    I tried a package in a mug of tea. Now, I rarely sweeten tea when I drink it, but I wasn’t sure what else I would use a small package of sweetener in – definitely not enough to try in a full recipe of cookies or something. I did not like the bitter aftertaste it imparted on my tea, and it was much too sweet for my own tastes. I passed the other package off to my partner, as he is diabetic, and he doesn’t mind it as a sweetener for coffee or tea, but I imagine this is because he has become used to the aftertastes of artificial sweeteners for his whole life. I did take a small taste of it straight up, and it has a very sugar alcohol taste too it – that sort of cooling taste you get with many minty chewing gums.

    Would I buy it again? Not for me, but maybe for my partner if he enjoys it better than other non-caloric sweeteners. I would rather look for a product that included more stevia and less artificial stuff personally. And I think it’s impractical to use something in small single use packages for baking or cooking where you need a large quantity. It’s an awful lot of excess packaging! I would rather just work towards using smaller amounts of sugar, honey, or maple syrup to sweeten foods instead. But I feel that I can at least help clients make more informed decisions when they are at the grocery store. Thanks for the sampling opportunity!

  17. Thank you for the opportunity to try this product.

    I have been drinking a lot of green smoothies and some times depending on the recipe I use the smoothie could use a bit of sweetness but I will never add sugar to my smoothie because it is not good for you.

    I tried Truvia in my smoothie but found that my smoothie was too sweet and it tasted artificial to me. It wasn’t as bad as other sweetners I have used. This could be because I no longer use any sugar or sweetners in my diet.

    I don’t think that I would use this product again but I would recommend it to others that are looking for a sugar substitute and let them decide for themselves if it is right for them.

  18. I had some time today to experiment with the two Truvia packet samples. My curiosity peaked upon doing some reading on whether or not there were any health issues with this product. Turns out I couldn’t find any adverse information at this date.

    It looks sort of like sugar. Not as coarse. I made some unseasonal fudgesicles from some left over tofu, skim milk, pinto beans, Nativia cocoa powder, some dark Toblerone pieces, and then the two trivia packets. Similar recipe is found on my site http://www.thespicelady.ca. I followed the table on they Truvia site for the ratios. Truvia is apparently sweeter than sugar. As it turns out not as sweet. I typically use honey, maple syrup, molasses, or organic cane syrup sugar to sweeten healthful treats. In this case, I ended up adding some organic honey to bring it to the desired sweetness. The honey added flavour of which the Truvia packets sadly do not.

    I would for sure suggest this product as a natural alternative for those who need to use an artificial sweetener substitute. I personally prefer to use honey or maple syrup to sweeten my coffee or tea, albeit in moderation. Try it, you’ll enjoy it.

    To use Truvia for baking would most likely require a try and taste test to determine the amount required. Not sure the effort is worth it for it’s minimal benefit. How much sweetener does one need anyway? I’d go with the honey for now as it offers healthful benefits as well as yummy flavour when consumed.

  19. Thank you for sending me the two packets of Truvia to sample. I overall found the taste similar to other Stevia prodcuts that I have used. I tested the packets in 2 ways. I used one in a Starbucks tall blonde instead of my regular sugar packet and found it much sweeter but no strange after taste. Next time I would only use half the package in my coffee. I sampled the second packet in a green smoothie with no fruit. It was just almond milk, avocado, matcha and spinach. I felt the stevia was very good at making the smoothie taste more palatable. When i tried it without the stevia I would have needed to add a banana but the Truvia was a great way to avoid adding extra calories and improve the overall taste.
    Ultimately, I would recommend truvia to others with the disclaimer that it is an expensive product.

  20. Thanks for sending me samples of Truvia.
    At first I wasn’t sure how to use Truvia because I typically don’t use sweeteners for coffee and tea. I often add freshly squeezed lemon to carbonated water from my soda stream so I decided to add one package of Truvia to a one litre bottle to see how it would taste with some sweetness. I found it to be sweeter than I expected but not unpleasant at first – but then, there was that tell tale aftertaste and I remembered why I don’t like stevia products. I find the aftertaste to be intolerable.
    I don’t think I would use the product again simply because of the aftertaste. I prefer to stick to honey and maple syrup to add sweetness.

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