What is Erythritol?
Erythritol is a type of compound called a “sugar alcohol” (no, it won’t get you drunk). Sugar alcohols are made through fermentation. They can be found in small quantities in nature, but the vast majority of the stuff is human-made.
In mass production, factories create erythritol out of wheat or corn starch by using yeast to ferment it. Although this means erythritol is a processed ingredient, it is actually quite healthy compared to most other processed foods, especially traditional cane sugar. It contains zero calories, for one thing.
Erythritol typically comes as a powder, like sugar, but it is slightly less sweet. You will have to use a little more erythritol in your recipes than you would normally use with sugar.
Compared to ordinary sugar, erythritol is safe to use. Switching to it can help with dental health, heart health, and with managing blood sugar.
Nutrition at a Glance
Erythritol is pretty much carbs and nothing else. 100g includes:
- 0 calories
- 0g protein
- 0g fat
- 0g fiber
- 100g (non-digestible) carbs
- no vitamins or minerals
Although it contains a lot of carbs, erythritol actually contains zero net carbs. This means that your body simply won’t digest the carbs in erythritol. You should be able to consume erythritol just fine on keto.
Compared to cane sugar, erythritol has several health benefits, including:
- Managing blood sugar
- Reducing the risk of heart disease
- Helping dental health
Managing blood sugar
Like other alternative sweeteners, erythritol is great for managing blood sugar simply because it is not sugar. You get the flavor without the problems. Animal studies have shown that erythritol can help manage blood sugar and insulin levels. And it has a much lower glycemic load than normal sugar.
Reducing the risk of heart disease
Erythritol helps heart health by acting as an antioxidant. This makes it reduce damage caused by elevated blood sugar. One study on diabetes patients found that daily erythritol intake reduced blood vessel damage over the course of a month.
Helping dental health
No surprise here. Sugar is terrible for your teeth. It causes plaque buildup that allows bacteria to eat into your teeth, creating cavities and dental bills.
Erythritol not only doesn’t do that, it appears to actively reduce the ability of bacteria to reproduce in your mouth. This is why it’s actually found in some toothpastes. Every wonder how your toothpaste can taste sweet without sugar? It’s probably erythritol or another sugar alcohol.
Sugar alcohols often cause digestive issues. They are associated with gas, bloating, diarrhea, and nausea.
Erythritol, however, is a little bit different than most other sugar alcohols. It appears that some 90% of the stuff gets absorbed into your bloodstream, instead of going into your colon. That means you have to consume a lot more to have digestive issues, but it can still happen.
Compared to other sweeteners
There are several alternative sweeteners on the market. These include:
In most cases, these are all much healthier than traditional cane sugar. The main exceptions are individual reactions or allergies that do not apply to all people.
In some ways, erythritol is the best option. It is effectively zero calories, has few side effects, and even tastes like sugar. Unlike stevia, erythritol is not 200 times sweeter than sugar, so you can use close to normal amounts in cooking.
Monkfruit has the advantage of being a completely natural product. However, even though erythritol is a processed ingredient, that doesn’t mean it is bad for you. And erythritol does occur naturally in small amounts.
Compared to other sugar alcohols, erythritol is a great choice. It causes far fewer digestive problems, while still being useful as a sugar-free alternative sweetener.
How we use erythritol
We use erythritol in all of our products as an added sweetener. Small amounts of it can go a long way in transforming the flavor, making our keto snack bars just as tasty as regular candy bars.
In addition to erythritol, we also add stevia to our products for added sweetness. Having two different sweeteners goes a long way to maximize taste while minimizing the downsides, like the licorice aftertaste of stevia.
Take a look at our products for more information. You can see the nutrition facts for each product by clicking “View Nutrition Facts”.