Truvia, low calorie, NOT low carb

SkipT
By SkipT Latest Reply 2013-08-13 17:53:53 -0500
Started 2009-01-02 17:14:43 -0600

I saw the advertisements for Truvia on television and did a little research. It is made from stevia a very good sugar substitute. But unlike stevia it has three grams of carbs per packet, whereas stevia has none.
So, if you are following a low carb diet, using this product could throw you off your program.


16 replies

Anonymous
Anonymous 2013-08-13 17:53:53 -0500 Report

You are incorrect..Truvia has 3 carbs. but the carbs come from erythritol, which is not metabolized by the body so actually Truvia has 0 carbs and does not affect blood sugar..Stevia in the Raw does raise blood sugar so make sure you check out which Stevia you use.

angel1999
angel1999 2012-12-09 22:11:19 -0600 Report

There's 0 net carbs in 1 packet of Truvia. Continue doin' that research. Seems to be working out for you all so well. lol.

kdroberts
kdroberts 2009-01-02 22:16:50 -0600 Report

Splenda is also not carb free and isn't that much lower than Truvia, except that Truvia has a larger serving size and sugar alcohol rather than dextrose and maltodextrin.

2009-01-02 22:16:15 -0600 Report

Did a little research of my own on Sugar Alcohols and this is what I found and it's pretty current from Nov 2008. *Judy

Sugar Alcohols Fact Sheet

November 2008

BACKGROUND

Sugar alcohols or polyols, as they are also called, are sugar replacers and have a long history of use in a wide variety of foods. Recent technical advances have added to the range of sugar alcohols available for food use and expanded the applications of these sugar replacers in diet and health-oriented foods. They have been found useful in sugar-free and reduced-sugar products, in foods intended for individuals with diabetes, and most recently in new products developed for carbohydrate controlled eating plans.

Sugar alcohols are neither sugars nor alcohols. They are carbohydrates with a chemical structure that partially resembles sugar and partially resembles alcohol, but they don’t contain ethanol as alcoholic beverages do. They are incompletely absorbed and metabolized by the body, and consequently contribute fewer calories than most sugars. The commonly used sugar alcohols include sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, maltitol syrup, lactitol, erythritol, isomalt and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates. Their calorie content ranges from zero to three calories per gram compared to four calories per gram for sucrose or other sugars. Most sugar alcohols are less sweet than sucrose; maltitol and xylitol are about as sweet as sucrose.

Sugar alcohols occur naturally in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, but are commercially produced from other carbohydrates such as sucrose, glucose, and starch. Along with adding a sweet taste, polyols (sugar alcohols) perform a variety of functions such as adding bulk and texture, providing a cooling effect or taste, inhibiting the browning that occurs during heating and retaining moisture in foods. Polyols neither prevent nor cause browning.

FORMS OF SUGAR ALCOHOLS

The table below shows commonly used sugar alcohols along with some of their food applications. The relative sweetness value fluctuates due to the fact that sweetness will vary depending on the product in which the polyol is used. Manufacturers frequently use sugar alcohols in combination with other polyols and with nutritive (caloric) sweeteners to attain the desired taste and sweetness level.

Polyols can be classified by chemical structure as monosaccharide-derived (e.g., sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, erythritol), disaccharide-derived (e.g., isomalt, lactitol, maltitol), or polysaccharide-derived mixtures (e.g., maltitol syrup, hydrogenated starch hydrolysates [HSH]). The polyols shown in the Table are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as either GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) or approved food additives.1

SUGAR ALCOHOLS AND HEALTH

Metabolism
Sugar alcohols are slowly and incompletely absorbed from the small intestine into the blood. Once absorbed they are converted to energy by processes that require little or no insulin. Some of the sugar alcohol is not absorbed into the blood. These pass through the small intestine and are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine. Thus, overconsumption may produce abdominal gas and discomfort in some individuals.2 Total daily consumption should be considered since it is the total intake that may primarily drive GI disturbance or laxative effects. As a result, foods that contain certain sugar alcohols and that are likely to be eaten in amounts that could produce such an effect must bear the statement “Excess consumption may have a laxative effect.” The American Dietetic Association advises that greater than 50g/day of sorbitol or greater than 20g/day of mannitol “may cause diarrhea.”1

Given the increasing availability of polyolsweetened foods due to the expanded number of lowcarbohydrate foods, the total daily intake needs to be considered since it is the total intake that may primarily drive laxative effects. Other important factors to consider include the time of day consumed, the amount eaten in one sitting, type of food, individual response, and adaptation over time. Finally, if you eat a product containing large amounts of polyols for breakfast on an empty stomach, you will probably experience a different effect than consuming the same product later in the day with a fuller stomach.

Diabetic Diets
The primary goal for nutritional management of diabetes is to maintain near-normal blood glucose levels. Due to their incomplete absorption, the polyol sweeteners may be useful in diabetic diets. The American Diabetes Association notes that “the total amount of carbohydrate in meals or snack is more important than the source or type.”3 People with diabetes should consult their physician, dietitian or other health professional about incorporating sugar alcohols into their daily meal plans.

An American Dietetic Association publication recommends that persons with diabetes managing their blood sugars using the carbohydrate counting method “count half of the grams of sugar alcohol as carbohydrates since half of the sugar alcohol on average is digested.”4

Reduced Calorie and Low Carbohydrate Diets
Because of their lower energy density (calories per gram) the replacement of other carbohydrates with sugar alcohols can reduce the energy density of food products and could play a useful role in weight management. Polyols also may have a role in reducing the overall glycemic challenge of the diet. Presently, researchers have no conclusive evidence that glycemic index is related to weight control.5

Health experts advise that excessive energy intake in any form leads to weight gain. Consumers should consider the total calorie content of the diet and should avoid over consumption of all foods including those containing sugar alcohols.

Tooth Decay
Sugar alcohols are not acted upon by bacteria in the mouth, and therefore do not cause tooth decay.2 Xylitol has been found to inhibit oral bacteria, and is often used in sugarless mints and chewing gums for this reason. The Food and Drug Administration authorizes the use of a health claim in food labeling that sugar alcohols do not promote tooth decay.

LABELING

Consumers interested in the polyol content of foods can find relevant information in several places on the food label.

Ingredient List:
The ingredient list will show the individual name of each polyol the product contains.

Nutrition Facts Panel:
The Nutrition Facts panel shows the total carbohydrate content of a food that includes the amount of any sugar alcohols in the product. The manufacturer may also declare voluntarily the number of grams of polyols in a serving of the product. If the product label uses the terms “sugar free” or “no added sugar,” the polyol content must be declared separately under carbohydrates in the Nutrition Facts panel. If the product contains more than one polyol, the Nutrition Facts panel must use the term “sugar alcohol.”

Principal Display Panel:
Consumers may see relatively new phrases such as “net carb,” “low carb,” or “impact carb” on the principal display panel of some products. These terms are not defined by the Food and Drug Administration. Generally, food manufacturers calculate “net carbohydrates” by subtracting the grams of fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carbohydrates.

Much like dietary fiber, even though sugar alcohols are technically carbohydrates, they have a lower energy density (calories per gram), because of their incomplete absorption and therefore, shouldn’t be counted as part of total carbohydrates.6 This rationale is being debated in the scientific community.

The Bottom Line
An increasing variety of polyol-containing foods is appearing on supermarket shelves. Appropriately used, these products may have a role in weight management and in eating plans for people with diabetes. Long-term benefits have not been established for sugar alcohols and further research is needed to document their health effects. Sugar alcohols and foods containing them should be consumed as part of an overall healthy eating plan, such as that outlined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The Sugar Alcohols

Calories per gram Approximate Sweetness
(sucrose =100%) Typical Food Applications
Sorbitol 2.6 50 - 70% Sugar-free candies, chewing gums, frozen desserts and baked goods
Xylitol 2.4 100% Chewing gum, gum drops and hard candy, pharmaceuticals and oral health products, such as throat lozenges, cough syrups, children’s chewable multivitamins, toothpastes and mouthwashes; used in foods for special dietary purposes
Maltitol 2.1 75% Hard candies, chewing gum, chocolates, baked goods and ice cream
Isomalt 2.0 45 - 65% Candies, toffee, lollipops, fudge, wafers, cough drops, throat lozenges
Lactitol 2.0 30 - 40% Chocolate, some baked goods (cookies and cakes), hard and soft candy and frozen dairy desserts
Mannitol 1.6 50 - 70% Dusting powder for chewing gum, ingredient in chocolate-flavored coating agents for ice cream and confections
Erythritol 0 - 0.2* 60 - 80% Bulk sweetener in low calorie foods
Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysates (HSH) 3 25 - 50% Bulk sweetener in low calorie foods, provide sweetness, texture and bulk to a variety of sugarless products

* FDA accepts 0.2 kcal/g, but some other countries, such as Japan and the European Union, accept 0 kcal/g.

References:
1 Position of the American Dietetic Association: Nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2004; 104:256.
2 Wolever, T.M.S., et. al. Sugar alcohols and diabetes; a review. Canadian Journal of Diabetes 2002; 26:356.
3 American Diabetes Association. Nutrition principles and recommendations in diabetes-Position Statement. Diabetes Care, Jan.2004.
4 Powers M. American Dietetic Association Guide to Eating Right When You Have Diabetes. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons; 2003:130,139
5 American Dietetic Association. The glycemic index: what is it? March 19, 2004, http://www.eatright.org/Public/NutritionInfor... 9161.cfm.
6 Marcason, W. What do “net carb,” “low carb,” and “impact carb” really mean on food labels? Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Jan, 2004.

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2009-01-02 22:20:21 -0600 Report

Great information. I have learned alot more in reading this. I may actually put a stop to using any type of artificial sweetner. For as much as I would use sugar I might as well use a tsp of regugar sugar now and then…
..Debe

Avera
Avera 2009-01-02 20:52:18 -0600 Report

Skip,

This is very interesting information. Where online did you find the carb count for Truvia? Please list the link. I would like to go to the site. I have only read that Truvia could not list nutritional information on its packets because it is listed as a supplement and not a food. I'd like to see where you were able to find the good research please. Thanks!! Good Post!

Avera

SkipT
SkipT 2009-01-02 20:56:22 -0600 Report

Actually I have to correct my post. It is 3 grams of carbs per packet.

http://truvia.com/ingredients.html

Avera
Avera 2009-01-02 21:04:15 -0700 Report

Skip,

I had already been to that site and went again with your link. The page would not load then or now. I figured they took it off because as I mentioned earlier, how can you list them if it is not a recognized food? Do you think they might have been wrong? I searched for an hour and never did find a place online that the carb count or any other nutritional info was listed.

Avera

2009-01-02 21:18:41 -0700 Report

I went to the link and was able to see the box and the nutrition label from Truvia.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2009-01-02 20:33:56 -0600 Report

Yep, you are right. It is created differently and there is a sugar alcahol in it that is not in stevia. Also there is no fiber in it like stevia so where Stevia helps control sugar, I am not so sure that Truvia does. I do like the texture of it, and my step daughter likes it better than stevia. It is also less expensive. BUT, now that I have tried both, and I do like both....I am going back to my stevia Sweet Leaf. I prefer the 0, 0, and fiber.

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2009-01-02 17:36:54 -0600 Report

This is great to know. Being I am starting carb counting for the pump. I was just going to ask the clinic if I was able to use this but, I don't want to now. Thanks for the input…Debe

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