You may have seen it as an ingredient in your gum or guilt-free ice cream, but what is erythritol sweetener? This scientifically named substance is sugar alcohol used as an additive in food.
What is erythritol sweetener used for?
Erythritol occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables, but food manufacturers add it to products like chewing gum, fruit spreads and protein bars. Erythritol is also available in granulated form so you can incorporate it into your coffee or donut recipe.
Pros of erythritol:
- Using a sugar-free additive can reduce your likelihood of tooth decay.
- Erythritol only has .24 calories per gram, compared to sugar, which has 4 calories per gram.
- It may reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Erythritol doesn’t cause blood sugar levels to change, making it an ideal alternative for diabetics.
- Erythritol acts as an antioxidant.
Cons of erythritol:
- People sensitive to sugar alcohols may experience symptoms such as cramping, nausea and headaches.
- Sugar alcohols like erythritol pass through your body mostly undigested. Because of this, your appetite may not be as satisfied as it would with regular sugar.
Erythritol vs. Xylitol: Which is sweetest for your smile?
Though both sugar alcohol sweeteners are healthy substitutes for traditional sugar, erythritol is considered better at reducing dental carries and preventing tooth decay.
Erythritol is also more digestible than xylitol, thus limiting digestive issues. While xylitol may help stabilize blood sugar levels, erythritol doesn’t have any effect on blood sugar, making it safer for routine use.
So the next time you’re shopping for sweetener, give erythritol a try.
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