Is Erythritol Safe? Do The Benefits Outweigh The Risks?
Research-Based Healthy Living You Can Trust One of the questions that I get asked fairly frequently here on the blog is, Is Erythritol Safe? I've already answered the question Is Stevia Safe? and Does Xylitol Cause Tumors? , but today I'm going to tackle the erythritol safety topic. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol. Other sugar alcohols are: You're probably seen these on the labels of sugar-free foods in the grocery store. Erythritol is made by fermenting the natural sugar found in corn. Erythritol is about 70% as sweet as table sugar, so when using it, you when converting a recipe, you need to add about 30% more to the recipe to get the same sweetness that you would have otherwise. Alternatively, it can be, and is often combined, with other sweeteners such as stevia (or other, less desirable sweeteners) to enhance its sweetness. It has a cooling effect on the tongue that you might notice. After eating it, your tongue might feel a bit cool. I personally don't use erythritol that much, but it's a very versatile sweetener. It works well in low carb recipes particularly when blending it with other sweeteners. There are a number of people out there in the internet world of information claiming that erythritol is not safe. Within each article there are a number of concerns listed that, at first glance, are quite disconcerting. When I saw people asking online about these concerns, of course I was alarmed. I don't want to be using anything in my home that is damaging to our health. No one is perfect, and we can't avoid everything, but I try to make the best decision for my family and keeping removing toxins from our home and diet is something that I work hard at. I have to say, however, that even though there were a few things in these posts that deserve some notice, just as wit Continue reading >>
Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause An Insulin Spike?
178 Comments The notion that artificial sweeteners (and sweet tastes in general) might produce an insulin response is one of those murky memes that winds itself around the blogs, but it’s never stated one way or the other with any sort of confidence. I briefly mentioned the possibility of non-caloric sweeteners influencing satiety hormones in last week’s diet soda post, and a number of you guys mentioned the same thing. Still, I’ve never seen unequivocal evidence that this is the case. This whole idea first came to my attention some time ago when my dog Buddha got into a bottle of “alternative sleep assists” which contained, among other things, 5 HTP (version of l-tryptophan) and xylitol (sugar alcohol). Long story short, dogs can’t take xylitol because it causes a spike in insulin, which then severely depletes blood glucose. Buddha got past this with a trip to the vet’s at 10:30 Sunday night (thanks, Dr. Dean). But it occurred to me that the same effect might be seen in humans, which is why I pose the question today… Do artificial sweeteners induce insulin secretion (perhaps via cephalic phase insulin release, which is sort of the body’s preemptive strike against foods that will require insulin to deal with)? One of the reasons a definitive answer is rarely given is that the question is improperly framed. Artificial sweeteners is not a monolithic entity. There are multiple types of sweeteners, all of them chemically distinct from each other. A more useful question would be “What effect does [specific artificial sweetener goes here] have on insulin?” So let’s go around the circle and ask. Does aspartame (aka Equal and Nutrasweet) affect insulin? Aspartame is pretty gross stuff, what with its awful taste and hordes of people who get terrible react Continue reading >>
Erythritol: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly With This Common Sweetener
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol like xylitol that I’ve spoken about before in my article titled “The 5 Worst Artificial Sweeteners.” A lot of people think it’s awesome because it decreases the amount of sugar and calories in what they’re consuming. You’ll commonly find it as an ingredient in low-sugar and sugar-free foods, but there are some very concerning and common erythritol side effects — even when it’s used in low amounts, erythritol consumption can cause diarrhea, stomachache and headache. The reason why it doesn’t provide calories or sugar to its consumer is because the body actually can’t break it down! That’s right — even though erythritol travels through your body, it doesn’t get metabolized. (1) Is erythritol a safe and smart substitute for sugar? If it’s made from GMO cornstarch, then absolutely not. I definitely don’t recommend it, especially when there are healthier, safer options readily available. If you’re talking about non-GMO erythritol, then it can be a better choice than some other artificial sweeteners, but I still think there are better options out there. Erythritol is rapidly absorbed in the small intestine, but it’s poorly metabolized, has absolutely no known functions in the human body and is excreted through the urine unchanged. As we’ve seen before, just because a sweetener doesn’t have calories and doesn’t appear to affect blood sugar, it does not mean that it’s good for your health. What Is Erythritol? If you’re a label reader (and I hope you are!), you may have noticed erythritol becoming more and more prominent in ingredient lists lately, especially in energy and sports drinks, thinking to yourself, what is erythritol? It naturally occurs in some fruits and fermented foods, but the variety being Continue reading >>
The Best And Worst Low Carb Sweeteners
Most people that start a keto diet plan find that they have some intense cravings for sugar in the beginning, but will dissipate after a few weeks. Even the seasoned low carber will tell you that they have cravings every once in a while, sometimes burning inside them so deep they want to give up to temptation. That’s where sweeteners come in, where you can make or bake things you usually can’t eat. Of course, you will have to watch out because most things that say “carb free” actually still contain carbs. Make sure you take the net carbs of any impacting sweetener into consideration when tracking your macros. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always best to try to avoid sweeteners in the beginning. They’re well known to cause cravings and some may stall your progress with over-use. Stay strict and try to only occasionally consume sweet treats when you are on a low carb diet. Types of Sweeteners In general, there are a few classifications of sweeteners. There are natural sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and synthetic sweeteners (or artificial sweeteners). There are a few others that aren’t exactly classified in these categories (like glycerin based sweeteners) but they are quite uncommon and rarely used, so we’ll skip going over them. For a ketogenic diet, I personally suggest sticking with erythritol and stevia (or a blend) because they are both naturally occurring, don’t cause blood sugar or insulin spikes, and sweeten just perfectly. When used in combination, they seem to cancel out the aftertaste that each has, and work like a charm. When you purchase sweeteners, make sure to take a look at the ingredients on the packaging. You normally want the pure sweetener, rather than having fillers such as maltodextrin, dextrose, or polydextrose which can cause spik Continue reading >>
Erythritol: A Perspective On The Benefits And The Dangers Of This Common Sugar Substitute
Erythritol: A Perspective on The Benefits and The Dangers of This Common Sugar Substitute Have you ever taken a swig of the new Absolutely Zero variety of Monster Energy drink? Or perhaps youve tried Grandma Koyotes BBQ Sauce, or Quest Bar protein bars?Maybe you like to dump a packet of Truvia into your coffee every morning? If youve sampled these or many other sugar-free products on the market, youve consumed a sugar-like substance called erythritol. Discovered way back in 1848 by Scottish chemist JohnStenhouse,erythritoloccurs naturally in some fruitsand in some fermented foods, but on an industrial scale, erythritol is producedfrom fermented corn starch. Erythritolis an organic compound called a sugar alcohol, and contrary to what the name might suggest, sugar alcohols are neither a sugar nor an intoxicant. However, they taste similarly sweet as sugar, and are increasingly being used by the food industry as an alternative to artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose. There are other sugar alcohols in common use as commercial sweeteners, including xylitol, sorbitol,mannitol, andmaltitol. Erythritol, however,has some distinctions that may help it stand out from other sweeteners. With only 6% of the caloric content of sugar, Erythritol is 70% as sweet as sugar. Erythritolhas only 0.21 calories per gram. Erythritoldoes not cause aspike in blood sugar or insulinlevels. Whenever we consider the properties of sweetening agents, we must take into account the special needs of diabetics, who have difficulty metabolizing and utilizing sugar. Diabetics are on the lookout of products that provide the sweet taste of sugar without negatively impacting their health. And once again,erythritolseems to shine out. According to Noda, Nakayama, and Oku, in their workSerum glucos Continue reading >>
Do You Use Erythritol?
Who uses erythritol? Does it spike your bg? I was getting ready to order some and then I noticed on here that someone said it caused a 20 to 25 point spike on their blood glucose. I can't afford any spikes so I'm wondering what experiences others of you have had with it. I'm looking for something that doesn't have that sweetener aftertaste. I have a lot of splendor to use up but it does have an aftertaste. Also vanilla caramel syrup I had in muffins tasted great when I ate it,but also had an aftertaste. I have read that Stevia has an aftertaste if you bake with it and that's mostly what I'm interested in now. Also, do you have any tricks for using the sweetener syrups? I may have used too much. I had no idea how much to use so I just poured in a glub glub. That was probably me. To clarify, I bought some "Swerve", which upon closer inspection of the tiny print is composed of erythritol and some mystery "oligosaccharides and natural flavors". I baked some blueberry muffins and my blood glucose did rise. The blueberries might have contributed but there were very few in one muffin. It might be that pure erythritol will work better for me. The Swerve package has all sort of "diabetes friendly" messages all over the package, but I truly wonder whether the stuff they mix with the erythritol is as blood glucose friendly. I use both Swerve (powdered & regular) and the granular erythritol. They don't raise my b.g., but the erythritol has a feeling on the tongue that is hard to describe. I heard one blogger say it was "cooling". The powdered Swerve is great for frostings. It is just like powdered sugar. I think Ann uses xylitol, but I've not tried it, maybe she will chime in later. I use liquid Splenda mostly (Sweetzfree) and only a couple of drops or it has an aftertaste. Here a Continue reading >>
Insulin Response To Erythritol
Erythritol, unlike other polyols, is readily absorbed and therefore prevents the accumulation of unabsorbed products in the large intestine. The available data clearly demonstrate that erythritol has a much lower potential to cause laxative effects as compared to other polyols, or even compared to sugar like lactose and tagatose. The laxation threshold for erythritol is generally from 2-fold (compared to xylitol and isomalt) to 4-fold (compared to sorbitol and mannitol) greater than other polyols. Source: Alternative Sweeteners, Fourth Edition / Edited by Lyn OBrien Nabors. Copyright 2012 Unlike other polyols, erythritol combines the unique properties of being noncaloric and possessing a high digestive tolerance. Because erythritol is rapidly absorbed in the small intestine and rapidly eliminated by the body within 24 hours, laxative side effects sometimes associated with excessive polyol consumption are unlikely when consuming erythritol-containing foods (Arrigoni et al. 2005: Muller 2007). Source: Sweeteners: Nutritional Aspects, Applications, and Production Technology / edits by Theodoros Varzakas, Athanasios Labropoulos, and Stylianos Anestis. Copyright 2012 Ingested xylitol is absorbed by passive or facilitated diffusion from the intestine (Bassler 1969; Lang 1969). The absorption rate is quite slow, which means that high oral doses may induce transient osmotic diarrhea. Source: Sweeteners: Nutritional Aspects, Applications, and Production Technology / edits Theodoros Varzakas, Athanasios Labropoulos, and Stylianos Anestis. Copyright 2012 As with all polyols and slowly metabolized carbohydrates (e.g. lactose) the consumption of large doses of xylitol can cause certain gastrointestinal side effects. The factors affecting the tolerance of xylitol are its limited abs Continue reading >>
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Erythritol: What You Need To Know About This Natural Sugar Substitute & The Better Choice Available
Eating healthy does not mean avoiding sweets completely. Find out about the best natural sugar substitute for your healthy diet. Erythritol is not your average sugar alcohol. Used as a natural sweetener, erythritol is about 60 – 80% as sweet as sucrose (sugar). It is used primarily in chewing gum, baked goods and beverages and occurs naturally in pears, soy sauce, wine, sake, watermelon and grapes. In fact, erythritol has even been found to exist naturally in human tissues and body fluids.1 After much toxicology and clinical studies, erythritol has been found to be safe for consumption as a sugar substitute, even when consumed on a daily basis and in high amounts.2 While Body Ecology does not recommend eating any sweetener in high amounts, we do believe that the sweet taste is a natural part of our diets. Sugar Alcohols are NOT to be confused with artificial sweeteners. While sugar alcohols do contain fewer calories than sugar, they occur naturally in plants, like fruits and vegetables. In the case of sugar alcohols (also known as polyols), part of their structure resembles sugar and part resembles alcohol. However, there is no ethanol in sugar alcohols, so it is not the same thing as alcoholic beverages.3 Sugar alcohols, like malitol, sorbitol and xylitol, are often used as sugar substitutes because they provide a sweet taste that does not raise blood sugar to the degree that sucrose does. This is because they convert to glucose more slowly in your body and do not require much insulin to metabolize. In addition, sugar alcohols do not cause tooth decay, which is another plus to their use. However, many people report experiencing gas, bloating and diarrhea when eating sugar alcohols (typically only when eaten in excess, but this varies from person to person). From a Bo Continue reading >>
Serum Glucose And Insulin Levels And Erythritol Balance After Oral Administration Of Erythritol In Healthy Subjects.
Serum glucose and insulin levels and erythritol balance after oral administration of erythritol in healthy subjects. Omiya Research Lab., Nikken Chemicals Co. Ltd., Saitama, Japan. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effect of an oral administration of erythritol on serum glucose and insulin levels in healthy subjects and estimate available energy of erythritol in human. DESIGN: Ingestion of erythritol (0.3 g/kg body weight) or the same dose of glucose as a control. SETTING: Omiya Research Lab., Nikken Chemicals Co., Japan. SUBJECTS: 5 healthy male volunteers aged 45-58 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Serum glucose, insulin and erythritol levels after erythritol ingestion. Urinary erythritol excretion. RESULTS: Erythritol did not increase serum levels of glucose or insulin, while the same dose of glucose increased rapidly glucose and insulin levels within 30 min. Erythritol did not induce any significant effects on serum levels of total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, free fatty acids, Na, K and Cl. Also, urinary Na, K and Cl were not affected by erythritol ingestion. Serum levels of erythritol reached the maximum concentration of 426.5 +/- 113.4 micrograms/ml at 30 min and declined to 13.5 +/- 3.2 micrograms/ml at 24 h. Total urinary excretion of erythritol was 85.8 +/- 4.6% for 24 h and 90.3 +/- 4.5% for 48 h, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Erythritol did not affect serum levels of glucose, insulin or other serum constituents. More than 90% of ingested erythritol was readily absorbed and excreted in urine without degradation. This fact suggests that available energy of erythritol in human is less than 1.7 kJ/g (0.4 kcal/g). DESCRIPTORS: erythritol, glucose, insulin, low energy sweetener. Continue reading >>
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Is Erythritol A Healthy Alternative To Sugar? A Look At The Research
Is Erythritol a Healthy Alternative to Sugar? A Look At The Research Erythritol has become a popular sugar substitute. It seems a worthy alternative considering it tastes and looks similar to sugar, but contains zero calories. This article dives deep into the research to uncover the uses, health benefits and side effects of erythritol. Erythritol is a calorie-free sweetener and sugar alternative. Its found naturally in some fermented foods and fruits. However most erythritol is manmade from cornstarch. Its 70-80% as sweet as table sugar and has a mild flavor. Its often preferred by those that dont like the ultra-sweet taste of artificial sweeteners ( 1 , 2 ). Erythritol is classified as a sugar alcohol due to its chemical structure. But this is not the same type of alcohol in beer, wine or spirits that gets you drunk (that is called ethyl-alcohol ). Its molecular structure allows the body to absorb it but not metabolize or break it down. This is why it has zero calories compared to table sugar, which has four calories per gram ( 1 ). Summary: Erythritol is a zero-calorie sugar alternative that is 70-80% as sweet as table sugar. Its classified as a sugar alcohol but this is not the alcohol that gets you drunk. Does Erythritol Offer Any Health Benefits? Besides its role as a sugar alternative, erythritol offers some health benefits. Table sugar is well known to cause negative impacts on oral health. For this reason many food products and toothpastes use alternative sugars to decrease the risk of cavities and tooth decay. However, studies looking into erythritols impact on oral hygiene show mixed results. In one review, erythritol was shown to decrease dental plaque, oral bacteria, and the overall number of dental caries compared to xylitol and sorbitol ( 3 ). In a clinic Continue reading >>
The Top Four Sweeteners For A Low-carb Keto Diet
Sugar is basically off limits on a ketogenic diet, but not all hope is lost — you CAN still enjoy sweetness while eating keto. All it takes is some education on the right types of sweeteners to use. Read on to find the top four sweeteners you can use for a low-carb keto diet and why we recommend them. What Defines a Keto-Friendly Sweetener? First, let’s start with what each of these top keto sweeteners have in common and how they follow our guidelines: Low Glycemic The glycemic index (GI) refers to how much a food raises blood sugar. It runs from zero to 100, zero representing no raise in blood sugar and insulin levels. The goal with the ketogenic diet is to remain in ketosis, so staying as close as possible to zero GI for sweeteners is the best choice. Sugar Free Obviously, avoiding added sugars is a necessity on keto. We’re training the body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates; therefore, carb intake should be kept very low. Even fruit should be severely limited, preferably eliminated, so it makes sense that anything with added sugars are a no-go. Low Carb Another obvious guideline when you’re keto: low- or no-carb sweeteners are a must if you want to stay in ketosis. Top 4 Low-Carb Keto Diet Sweeteners Now that we’ve established some guidelines, here are our top four recommendations for sweeteners on a low-carb ketogenic diet: #1 Stevia Stevia is from the extract of the herb Stevia rebaudiana. In its pure form, stevia contains no calories, no carbs and is zero on the glycemic index. Additionally, It is typically 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar, meaning you only need to use a little to get a sweet taste in foods. Benefits and Using Stevia: Besides not affecting blood sugar or contributing carbs or calories, stevia has also been shown to actu Continue reading >>
Erythritol, The Sweet Ketogenic Diet Ingredient
Erythritol, the sweet ketogenic diet ingredient Erythritol , the sweet ketogenic diet ingredient, is a sugar alcohol (polyol) that is approximately 60-80% as sweet as sucrose (table sugar ). It is naturally found in minor amounts in some fruits like watermelon, pear, and grape. Theres some even in mushrooms and fermented foods like wine, beer, and soy sauce. In Japan, erythritol has been consumed as a food ingredient since 1990. Thus, theres been plenty of researchconducted by Japanese scientists on how safe erythritol is, what are its side effects, etc. Erythritol has been approved in USA since 2001. It hasbeen used as a white or brown sugar substitute, as well as powdered sugar substitute. Erythritol , just like sugar , caneither be granulated or powdered. It has a low glycemic index and is therefore suitable for diabetics. It is soluble in water, andit starts melting at approximately145F (119C). This might be a handy information for cooking purposes. Its caloric value is less than 0.2 kcal/g for daily intakes not exceeding 25 g/day (which is slightly less than an ounce a day). There are two methods of fermentation for erythritol production. Both methods include yeast-like fungi to ferment wheat or corn starch. The fermentation broth is then heated to kill the production organism, and dead cells are removed by filtering. Erythritol further on undergoes various purification procedures, so that the final product is at least 99% pure. The fermentation method obviouslydiffers from synthetic manufacturing of artificial sweeteners like sucralose. Splenda is the famous sucralose brand name. Erythritol , accompanied by steviol glycoside ,is an ingredient of Truvia . If you want to use solelyerythritol, Sukrin is one of the most known brands you can find pretty much worldwide Continue reading >>
Sugar Alcohols: Everything You Need To Know
179 Comments I’ve been on a bit of an alternative sweetener kick these past few weeks, for good reason: people want and need to know about this stuff. While a purist shudders at the prospect of any non- or hypo-caloric sugar substitute gracing his or her tongue, I’m a realist. People are going to partake and it’s important to understand what’s entering your body and what, if any, effects it will have. Whether it’s diet soda, artificial sweeteners, stevia, or the mysterious sugar alcohols, people want the sweet without worrying about a big physiological effect – an insulin surge, a blood glucose dip, even a migraine. So I’ve been covering the various types and have tried to be comprehensive about it. As a whole, it all seems fairly safe. Alternative sweeteners might mess with some folks’ adherence to a low-sugar diet, and they might induce or fortify cravings, but the research doesn’t suggest that they’re going to give you cancer or diabetes. The potentially negative effects are all fairly subjective, so it’s safe to play around with them and determine their role in your life based on how they affect your appetite, state-of-mind, and any other subjective health markers. One remains, however. I have yet to cover sugar alcohols. I was surprised, actually, having gone through my archives and finding nothing. Sugar alcohols are pretty prominent in the low-carb world – all those sugar-free desserts and chocolates and protein bars geared toward Atkins types tend to use sugar alcohols – so I had better get to it, huh? What Are Sugar Alcohols? A sugar alcohol, also known as a polyol, is an interesting type of carbohydrate. Its structure is kind of a hybrid between a sugar molecule and an alcohol molecule (hence the name “sugar alcohol”) and, for the Continue reading >>
89 Erythritol Side Effects : Good, Bad & Shocking Facts
Home Food & Bevarages Flavourings 89 Erythritol Side Effects : Good, Bad & Shocking Facts 89 Erythritol Side Effects : Good, Bad & Shocking Facts Some of us is not surprised by the benefits of Erythritol . Erythritol is is one kind of sugar alcohol or polyol that has been approved for use as food additives in the United States and other countries. Erythritol is a major source of some fruits and fermented foods. Naturally, Erythritol contained in soy sauce, sake, wine, grapes, pears, and watermelons. This is why, Erythritol is regarded as a natural sugar substitute. Sweetness level of Erythritol is able to achieve 60% to 70% compared to other sugars. Moreover, almost no calories, does not affect to blood sugar does not cause tooth decay and partly absorbed by the body, is excreted in feces and urine. One major advantage of Erythritol is does not cause gastric side effects than other sugar alcohols. Erythritol is a white crystalline powder with a clean sweet taste similar to sucrose. It is about 70% as sweet as sucrose and flows easily due to the non-hygroscopic character. As other polyols, erythritol does not cause tooth decay and it is safe for diabetics. Erythritol is rapidly absorbed in the small intestine and rapidly eliminated by the body within 24 hours. Various surveys and studies have shown that Erythritol is safe for consumption as an alternative sugar. Sugar is something we couldnt leave because it has an important in our life. But, sugar also have an bad effects that we have to prevent. Erythritol can be alternative to reduce sugars bad effects. Even some facts indicate that Erythritol has some good effects if consumed. As follows: Erythritol does not contain the glycemic index, so it does not increase the risk of diabetes. In addition, it is also considered Continue reading >>
Exactly What Is The New Sweetener Erythritol?
Exactly What Is the New Sweetener Erythritol? Swine Flu May Be a Human Error From Vaccine Production VitaminWater, a Coca Cola product, may not actually be healthy as its manufacturers claim. It is loaded with sweeteners like crystalline fructose, sucrose, and a sugar alcohol called erythritol The beverage contains 33 grams or more than six teaspoons of crystalline fructose. Refined man-made fructose metabolizes to triglycerides and adipose tissue, not blood glucose, and this impairs your insulin and leptin sensitivity Erythritol, when consumed, provides less calories because it is not completely absorbed in your body. This then causes abdominal gas, diarrhea, and headaches The food and beverage industry spends about $40 billion a year on advertising with the intention of brainwashing you to believe that junk food is good for you. But, no vitamin supplement can compensate for a poor diet Drinking pure water or juicing vegetables are great sources of fluids for your body, while your diet should contain unprocessed, locally grown organic foods If you look at the ingredients of VitaminWater 10 (owned by Coca Cola), you might be pleased to see that it contains the natural sweetener stevia. However, you will also notice that it is loaded with crystalline fructose, sucrose, and a mysterious product called Erythritol. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol, a sweetener that does not provide as many calories as sugar. But the reason that sugar alcohols provide fewer calories than sugar is because they are not completely absorbed into your body. For this reason, high intakes of foods containing sugar alcohols can lead to abdominal gas and diarrhea. Also, bear in mind that while sugar alcohols are lower in calories, gram for gram, than sugar, they are not calorie-free, and if eaten in la Continue reading >>