Truvia and Splenda, along with other artificial sweeteners, are used in a lot of "light" and "low-fat" products because they're no-calorie sweeteners. Deciding between Truvia vs Splenda can be a tough decision. Many people use artificial sweeteners like Truvia and Splenda for many reasons.

These artificial sweeteners have zero calories, so people may use them to help in weight loss. Others may use them if they have diabetes because they don't raise blood sugar thanks to their low glycemic index (GI). They claim to be healthy, but they may have adverse health effects. So, what's the difference between these two sweeteners?

What are they made of?

candy
Katie Walsh

Splenda's original products are made of sucralose. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that was discovered in the 1970s at a British college. This sweetener can't be broken down by the body, which is why it has no calories. Scientifically speaking, researchers took sucrose (table sugar), replaced three hydrogen oxygen groups with three chlorine atoms, and made sucralose. 

Splenda was introduced in the late '90s, about 10 years before Truvia hit the market. But Truvia really seems to be getting a following lately because of the claim that it's "natural." However, don't be fooled because the FDA does not have a definition for using the term "natural" on food labels. Therefore, anything can be "natural."

Truvia is made form the stevia leaf. The stevia leaf comes from the plant named "stevia rebaudiana," otherwise known as the "candy leaf" or "sweet leaf." Truvia also contains erythritol, which is found naturally in some food plants. 

What do they taste like?

Kayla Hawthorne

Huffington Post taste testers said that Splenda is very bland. Some even said that it had a paper or cardboard flavor to it. Truvia claims that their sweetener tastes great every time, unlike other stevia products on the market. Truvia taste testers said coffee and fruit tasted a little more bitter with Truvia than with sugar, while most other uses of Truvia left a lingering sweetness.

How do they affect your health?

dairy product, chocolate, cappuccino, sweet, espresso, cream, milk, coffee
Christine Chang

Artificial sweeteners are intended to have a low glycemic index to be suitable for those with diabetes. But there are other health effects with artificial sweeteners.

Splenda can lead to skin rashes, bloating, migraines, or acne. The FDA said Splenda and sucralose are safe but studies show it may affect your brain by not curbing your sweet tooth. The way sucralose (aka Splenda) stimulates and engages with your brain is different than how sucose (aka table sugar) engages with your brain. Essentially, they're playing with your brain and may effect your intake of sweet foods because artificial sweeteners aren't satisfying to your brain the way sugar is.

Since Truvia contains erythritol, a sugar alcohol, it can't be completely absorbed in the digestive system. This could cause some distress on the bowels or gastrointestinal system. No long-term studies have been done on Truvia or stevia, but the FDA labels them as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe).

There are many uses for artificial sweeteners, but they won't always compare with the real thing. It's really a personal decision when choosing between Truvia vs Splenda, but it's important to consider their side effects in addition to how they taste.