What Is Erythritol Made of and Is It a Healthy Sweetener?

What is erythritol? If you haven’t heard of this sweetener, learn more about its advantages and disadvantages for your health in this article and take better health steps today.

What Is Erythritol

What is erythritol? Have you ever heard of it? Less popular than Stevia, erythritol is a food additive made of sugar alcohol. It was recently discovered in the early 1800s by a Scottish chemist but was not well-known. By 1950, it was rediscovered in blackstrap molasses that was yeast fermented. Later in Japan in the 1990s, erythritol spread in the country as a sugar alcohol product, making things much sweeter to eat or drink. This sweetener is manufactured through the fermentation of corn’s natural sugars. 

Erythritol contains up to 80% sweetness than normal sugars do. Moreover, it does not spike your insulin levels or blood sugar. Comparing it to Stevia, erythritol contains just 0.21 calories per gram, while sugar has four calories per gram. Other commercial sweeteners include sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol, and mannitol, which are usually 2 – 3 calories for every gram. Moreover, erythritol is the quickest to be digested, as over 90% of this sugar alcohol is absorbed in your small intestine. It does not have to go to the colon, where it risks diarrhea. It also functions as a non-carcinogenic and antioxidant simultaneously, able to combat free radicals. But is erythritol ultimately good for you as hyped as it is? Read on, and let’s find out.

What is Erythritol: Learning More About The Sweetener 

Studies reveal that erythritol is non-carcinogenic, antioxidant, and non-caloric at the same time. It contains zero calories while maintaining the ability not to elevate your blood sugar or level of insulin. But if we are really to scrutinize this sugar alcohol, does it have any real health benefits? Unfortunately, while it carries excellent properties if you will not be receiving and health benefits by replacing this sugar alcohol with regular table sugar. Find out its risks on your health below. 

Digestion

Although this zero calorie sugar replacement has its ups, the digestive problem is a risk with erythritol intake. When used more regularly, it can lead to digestion problems ranging from bloating, diarrhea to cramps. The reason behind this is that erythritol is hard to break down when mixed in water. That results in poor digestion of sugar alcohol. If you are a sweet tooth, ingesting more amounts of erythritol may lead to these health concerns listed.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic ailment that affects one’s colon. With this condition, symptoms include gas, bloating, cramping, constipation, or abdominal pain. Erythritol worsens the risk of acquiring this chronic condition, which is quite uncomfortable for a few days, especially if you are sensitive or allergic to certain ingredients in food. If you love to sweeten your coffee and other drinks, it would better off to use smaller amounts of sugar instead. 

Weight Gain

The good thing about erythritol is that it does not contribute to a rise in glucose levels or insulin, however, your peptides do not increase when taking it. These hormones alert your brain as soon as you have eaten enough. Sugar does this because it contains PYY and GLP-1 peptides. Because erythritol does not have these hormones, it will be more challenging to control your hunger.

No Nutritional Content

What is erythritol if it contains zero nutrition? Erythritol is found in gum, candy, and soda. It is a sweetener that poses a challenge to controlling your hunger better while providing no nutritional value. Soda pop, sugary drinks, candy, and gum are just some of the food and drink products to contain erythritol, which children love to consume regularly. But if it carries no nutritional content, it is not the best choice for both adults and children.

Allergies + Other Conditions

An article that was released in early 2000 describing a woman who developed a serious skin reaction after drinking a beverage with erythritol. These conditions do not happen for most people taking erythritol, but they are riskier for people that are allergic to certain components in food. While it is not scientifically proven, erythritol causes more allergies vs. other sweeteners. it is always better to be cautious of what you ingest.

For the average taker of erythritol, it won’t hurt you unless you consume more copious amounts and regularly. Over 30 grams daily, for example, is a bit much. Studies advise that the average normal intake for sweeteners is 10 – 15 grams per day. Moreover, always inspect the label of the snacks that you buy to inspect its sugar alcohol content. Sugar alcohol should be located under the carbohydrate count of nutritional facts.

Erythritol Alternatives 

Monk fruit

A natural sweetener, monk fruit works as an excellent alternative. It is organic and is 400x sweeter than cane sugar, and at zero calories too. Moreover, it carries no side effects for the health. Monk fruit is also an awesome fruit that contains mogroside, an antioxidant that gives the fruit its very sweet flavor. This component is metabolized in a different process than other natural sugars. 

To top it off, monk fruit aids in oxidative stress and free radical attacks, which hurt your cells. It works as a natural antihistamine battling fatigue. And because of its low glycemic index, individuals with diabetes and obesity are supported by this amazing natural sweetener. 

Allulose 

Another wonderfully natural sweetener is allulose. It is a monosaccharide, a single sugar that prevents gut fermentation, which poses digestion issues, including gas, bloating, and cramping. Moreover, its GI is zero, meaning, allulose doesn’t affect your blood sugar at all. Another sweetening aid for people with obesity and diabetes. Allulose isn’t a very common component in most foods, but it is found in figs, wheat, and raisins. It’s an ideal substitute and is also widely used among followers of the ketogenic diet, a low-carb diet.

Erythritol sounds like a good option over sugar, that is true. It is a noncarcinogenic, antioxidant, and contains zero calories too. However, what is erythritol if it causes risky health consequences, better to go all-natural instead of using non-manufactured fruits and ingredients like the monk fruit. 

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