How Do Stevia Sweeteners Compare?

By Ted

2747-stevia-brands.jpgOver the last 5 years stevia has been gaining a lot of steam in the sugar alternative market.

The fact that stevia is “all natural” and coupled with the marketing power of two multinational companies, stevia based sweeteners are quickly gaining market share.

But, are all stevia based sweeteners created equal?The FDA still hasn’t officially approved stevia, but they have loosened their tough stance regarding the sweetener that they originally embraced. This has allowed many stevia products to be mass marketed to the huge population of sugar alternative users.

Popular Stevia Brands

Truvia®
This stevia based sweetener is marketed by the Cargill Company, but the giant Coca Cola is behind Truvia®. This version is powdered and isn’t pure stevia extract, but blended with erythritol (a sugar alcohol) and natural flavors which aren’t disclosed. 40 packets will cost about $4.

Pure Via™
The Pepsi Company is behind this sweetener. This version is also powdered and not pure stevia. It’s blended with dextrose (a form of glucose), cellulose (fiber), and natural flavors. 40 packs of Pure Via™ will cost about $4.

Sweet Leaf®
Made by Wisdom Natural Brands and available in both liquid and powdered form. This product is made with stevia extract and inulin (fiber), but the liquid version would be pure stevia extract. 50 packets will run you about $7.

Steviva™
This stevia product is made by the Steviva Company, but could be distributed also under the names Tree of Life, Kehe, UNFI, and Nature’s Best. They have several blends, but can include erythritol, fructose, and FOS (a type of sugar made with fructose). 50 packets will cost about $4.

Conclusions

There are many other store brands available as well, so just be conscience of what additives the brand is cutting into the product. Pure stevia will cost more than other products that cut in cheaper additives.

I think stevia can be a good alternative to sugar or artificial sugar, but I recommend choosing a pure stevia variety. However, in the long run it would be far better to retrain your taste buds away from needing foods sweet. Have a sweet food or drink just a couple times a week as a treat, but not as a daily ritual.

21 Comments

  1. Milemom

    I use Truvia or Sweetleaf in my protein/fruit smoothies or oatmeal… it does not, however, taste good on just berries, for example. Since real stevia is not artificial and is actually good for you, there is no reason to avoid it.
    p.s.
    I buy my truvia in a jar and use 1/4-1/2 tsp as needed.

    Reply
  2. Terry

    Personally I can’t stand the taste of Stevia…things taste better with no added sweeteners.

    Reply
  3. Moshe Kaye

    I tried Truvia in my tea but unfortunately found that the closer i got to the bottom of the cup the more the “weird” flavor bothered me.

    Reply
  4. Pater Rolf Hermann Lingen

    I used an online dictionary.
    Anyway, Dan cleared the issue.
    While I do not know the advertisement for Lay’s chips, I know lots of advertisement for other very sweet / salty products. An often delivered message is that you simple cannot stop eating the advertised product.
    However, I’m not up to date concerning advertisements. I suppose today it’s normal to advertise with lean persons. So you can eat chips and chocolate and stay slim. According to the advertisements of today, even world class athletes consume chips and chocolate on a daily basis.
    I remember an old advertisement where a very fat guy sits in front of sweets, looking at those with greed / craving. And that was not a warning, but an advertisement for sweets!
    Back then, it was considered as positive to be heavily overweight because of sweets.

    Reply
  5. Yonka

    Many who have only heard about sweet leaf, should come to your post and get all what they want. A very informative post and very good to know about it.

    Reply
  6. postal

    I started buying Sweet Leaf about a year ago. I don’t use a lot of sweetener in my foods generally, with the exception of my coffee :). I recently purchased the liquid version, including the hazelnut flavor. It doesn’t take much, just a few drops.

    Reply
  7. Dan

    I don’t think Rolf meant anything about character at all. I think by ‘greed’ he meant ‘craving.’ Clearly many persons have a problem limiting the amount of sweet and/or salty foods they consume. These mask the true tastes of food. I remember way back Lay’s potato chips advertised that persons couldn’t eat just one of their chips. It reflects more on the character of the food manufacturers that they engineer food to be difficult to limit.

    Reply
  8. anonymous

    Stevia itself will not raise blood sugar. It has a glycemic index of 0. In fact, pure stevia concentrate has been used to treat type 2 diabetes because it can regulate blood sugar and nourish the pancreas. However, if a “stevia product” contains maltodextrin or dextrose, which are sugars with, I understand, high glycemic indexes, then it can raise blood sugar.

    I work for Wisdm Natural Brands, the makers of SweetLeaf Stevia.

    Reply
  9. O.

    Why did you use the word “greed”? You wouldn’t be making the mistake of making character judgements based on what a person eats instead of what kind of person they are, would you?

    I didn’t think so…

    Reply
  10. O.

    Really???? I didn’t know. My Wal Mart doesn’t have a full grocery store and the frozen food section is awful so I go to Target.

    Is that the only store that has a generic stevia sweetner?

    Reply
  11. Rachel

    This is great information. Thanks for posting!

    Reply
  12. Spectra

    Walmart has the generic version of Truvia now–it’s $2.50 for a 40 packet box, which is better than Truvia.

    Reply
  13. Pater Rolf Hermann Lingen

    “It would be far better to retrain your taste buds away from needing foods sweet.”
    I totally agree.
    Let’s face it: You loose your taste if you always eat food that is too sweet. A similar menace comes from salty food. You can eat salty chips and sweet chocolate virtually without ending, and many people do so. Okay, you save a few calories if you use stevia instead of sugar, and stevia might even be healthy in comparison to sugar, but the greed for sweets may remains.
    It is sad that many people cannot appreciate the original taste of food anymore.

    Reply
  14. WeightLossDiet411

    I’ve only tried Sweet Leaf, but I honestly didn’t care for stevia. It is a great alternative and I may try some of the other brands soon to see if I like them better. I will have to stay away from the one(s) with milk as I’m lactose and gluten intolerant.

    Thanks for the great info on this. It reminded me that I do need to give it another shot. I’ve had something (I can’t remember what) that was sweetened with stevia that I found ok, not great, but better than things sweetened with artificial stuff, so I think I ought to give it another shot.

    Reply
  15. O.

    I tried Truvia and was really pleased with the taste. I was not pleased with the high price for just a 40 packet box(if I remember correctly).

    I use a lot of sweetner. I’m not sure 40 pack boxes of Truvia would be practical even if I could afford it.

    Right now the best choice for my lifestyle seems to be the 200 packet box of store brand aspertame. I can’t even afford Equal brand.

    Reply
  16. Jeni

    Thanks for posting this – I never realized Stevia had other ingredients – the Trader Joe’s Stevia has Lactose (Milk) – which to be fair to them is in large print; but I never looked past the Stevia on front.

    Reply
    • Kathi

      Actually TJs has a pure stevia too. It’s about 2x the price. I prefer KAL brand. I just tasted it for the first time about a month ago and don’t taste the after taste that I did with TJ’s which I used for about 9 months prior. I don’t use it for a lot of things just sweetening my jamaica tea. (prounced humika). It’s a sour drink if not sweetened so it needs a sweetener. With KAL I only need one of the tiny scoops that it comes with, probably 1/18 tsp, to sweeten a 16 oz glass.

      Reply
  17. Spectra

    I buy Truvia-the only other one of those you listed that I’ve even heard of is Sweet Leaf, but I use Truvia because it’s cheaper. I have tried pure stevia extract in the past, but I think it tastes like licorice.

    Reply
  18. Aaron

    Don’t artificial sweeteners spike your blood sugar?

    Reply
    • Kathi

      Aaron, Stevia isn’t artificial. It’s straight from a plant that if you put the leaf in your mouth you’d taste the sweetness immediately. It’s natural and is actually helpful for diabetics. It helps the pancrease to work properly, making the body less resistant to the insulin produced there.

      Reply
  19. julie

    I nibbled on a stevia leaf at a garden party, found it quite bitter. I’ve met a few others who find it distasteful, most don’t taste this bitterness, just taste sweet. I’ll stick with regular sugar, thanks.

    Reply