As soon as I finished reading the PCOS diet book and gearing up to begin the diet, I started seeing commercials about Truvia, a supposedly natural sweetener made from the Stevia plant. I know, according to your book, Stevia is allowed on the diet in moderation, but is this new Truvia also allowed? Is it basically the same thing?
Editor's answer: No, it is NOT the same thing. It is clever marketing.
Stevia is only one ingredient in the Truvia product. The primary ingredient is erythritol, which is a sugar alcohol or "polyol". Polyols are manufactured sweeteners that are used in many foods.
Erythritol is a white crystalline powder that is odorless, with a clean sweet taste that is similar to sucrose (table sugar). It is approximately 70% as sweet as sucrose. Like other polyols, erythritol does not promote tooth decay and is safe for people with diabetes. However, erythritol’s caloric value of 0.2 calories per gram and high digestive tolerance distinguishes it from some other polyols. It has approximately 7 to 13% the calories of other polyols and 5% the calories of sucrose. Because erythritol is rapidly absorbed in the small intestine and rapidly eliminated by the body within 24 hours, laxative side effects sometimes associated with excessive polyol consumption are unlikely when consuming erythritol containing foods.
We have no strong objection to the other polyols, although maltitol would be our favorite. "Ideally", you would not use them at all, but they are definitely better than artificial sweeteners or table sugar.