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Stevia, Splenda, and other sugar replacements laid out on a table.

Stevia vs Splenda: What’s The Difference?

Healthier, heart friendly food and drinks continue to be top of mind for a lot of consumers these days. When it comes to making the right choices, a common topic is the battle of sugar substitutes.

Let’s face it, sugar tastes good! We all like a little sweetness on our taste buds every once in a while. Some of us more than others, maybe. And by now most of us know large amounts of processed sugar can be harmful to us in the long run.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans has recommendations on sugar intake. It says less than 10 percent of our daily calories should come from added sugar. This is an important distinction to make. There is a difference between natural sugar and added sugar.

Natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables are good for us. Sugars and syrups added to products when made are the ones we want to avoid.

Anywhere from 30-50 grams per day of added sugar is OK for the average person. Popular 12-ounce sodas have nearly 40 grams of added sugar! But think about this for a second. People who drink sugary beverages every day are also likely to eat a diet of more processed and high calorie foods. These foods contain even more added sugar. So you can see how this adds up fast.

The good news is if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to sugar, you have plenty of options to choose from. Two of the most well known these days are Stevia and Splenda.

All natural stevia next to the plant it is made from.

What is Stevia?

Stevia is a sweetener that comes from the stevia rebaudiana plant. The stevia plant is native to Brazil and Paraguay. Sweet compounds are extracted from the plant to create an alternative sweetener. It’s actually so sweet that it can be up to 300 times sweeter than table sugar.

Stevia is a zero calorie sweetener and has some possible health benefits. It can be a good alternative for people with diabetes who need to manage blood glucose levels and is helpful for weight loss. It also contains an antioxidant that is linked to reducing the risk of pancreatic cancer.

A diner-caddy of sugar packets, incuding Splenda packets.

What is Splenda?

Splenda is the brand name for a sucralose-based artificial sweetener. It’s one of many sweetener options that contain sucralose, but it may be the most popular one.Splenda also contains very little calories. It also meets the Food and Drug Administration’s requirements for a calorie-free product.Splenda can be nearly 600 times sweeter than table sugar. At high temperatures, the chemicals in Splenda can break down to toxic byproducts. It’s best to avoid using Splenda in baking or cooking recipes because of this.

Splenda is a good alternative for weight loss and diabetes. It can help manage blood sugar by replacing table sugar with a calorie free option. However, Splenda also contains maltodextrin. This is a carbohydrate that’s been shown to cause spikes in blood glucose for some people.

Which one is better?

Both products can have health benefits for consumers. Both are zero-calorie sweetener alternatives. However, stevia is a sourced sweetener and Splenda is an artificially created product.

Among the biggest considerations to make would be its ability to withstand heat and its potential toxicity. Stevia is more stable at higher temperatures. This makes it a better sweetener choice for baking and cooking at temperatures above 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some research also says sucralose sweeteners can have a negative impact on gut health. Potential health impacts like this are also a reason many people choose certain products. There is more of a trend toward organic foods. If you’re looking for something closer, stevia would be the best option.

Obesity is directly linked to excessive calorie and sugar intake. Obesity also causes many other diseases in adults and children, including diabetes. Decreasing calories from added sugar in a child’s diet plays a critical role in their health as they grow.

How does True Lemon help combat sugar?

Keeping your kids hydrated is super important to their daily nutrition and functioning. True Lemon Kids Drink Mixes are sweetened with stevia and only two grams of sugar. They contain 92 percent less sugar than many other popular kids’ beverages. As a bonus, they also pack a punch of vitamins A, C and E. The kids think it tastes great. And you can feel good about giving them something that’s beneficial to their growing bodies.

Are you looking for something to sweeten up your own water? Try True Lemon Hydration Helpers. These delicious fruit enhancers are sweetened with stevia and have only 10 calories per serving. Made with simple ingredients, they’ll help you drink more water and fight dehydration.

Amy Cimo Avatar

Written by

Amy Cimo is a Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach and Wellness Enthusiast based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After going through her own health journey, she found her passion in helping others find balance between nutrition, physical activity and mindset to live healthy and be truly happy. Amy attended Louisiana State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).