Erythritol: benefits and risks as a sweetener
What is erythritol ?
Erythritol is a sugar alternative that looks and tastes like sugar, yet there are almost no calories. It is available in both granular and powder forms. It is 60-70% sweet as compared to regular table sugar. But it has only 0.2 kilocalories of caloric value per gram which is 95% less than sugar.
Can Erythritol harm or disturb Digestion ?
Consumption of more than 50 gram of it can cause nausea or stomach upset.
Whether consuming Erythritol may Spike Blood Sugar or Insulin?
Concerns about erythritol and other low-calorie sweeteners
Erythritol is not the cause of tooth decay
One important advantage of erythritol is that it does not cause tooth decay. It was shown in a 1992 study titled “Noncariogenicity of erythritol as a substrate.”
In our mouth, harmful bacteria can use sugar for energy, which helps them grow and multiply and spoil our teeth. But Erythritol is different, it cannot be metabolized by oral bacteria, and it does not cause the cavities.
What Happens to Erythritol Inside Our Bodies ?
According to a 2005 paper titled “Human gut microbiota does not ferment erythritol“, most of the consumption of erythritol is absorbed rapidly in the small intestine. And after traveling through the bloodstream, 90 percent of it emits in the urine. Only 10 percent of this sugar alcohol enters the colon.
Some people have experienced a laxative effect after consuming other sugar alcohol, such as Xylitol and Maltitol. But, since most Erythritol is absorbed in the body prior to going to the colon. As a result, it usually does not cause any laxative effect.
Final conclusions about Erythritol
In conclusion, there are many advantages over sugar in erythritol. There are almost no calories in it, it does not decay teeth and does not increase blood glucose.
Unless it is consumed more than 50 grams, Erythritol does not disturb the digestion in most people.
I recommend that people still need to be cautious that they do not end up heavily with Erythritol-rich food items. The reason behind this is: According to the American Diabetes Association, most of the foods that use sugar alcohol in the form of artificial sweetener still contain a significant amount of carbohydrate, fat, and calories. If you are choosing sweet foods with sugar alcohol for reasons of weight loss, then you cannot benefit yourself.
Though it naturally occurs in some fruits and fermented foods, commercially it is produced from cornstarch. In common practice, it is made using GMO cornstarch.
When selecting foods with sugar alternatives, examine the label of food facts, and compare nutritious information to traditionally sweet foods, to determine which one is the best option for you. If it is produced from GMO cornstarch, I recommend you to avoid it and go for Non-GMO one