The low calorie sweetener, Erythritol, is a natural and a healthy substitute for sugar, which tastes just as sweet as sugar and without any calories. The negative factors of natural sugar are absent in this sweetener. Though it belongs to a class of compounds called sugar alcohols,
A sweetener without calories
Erythritol is different from all other sugar alcohols as it contains minimal calories than any other sugar alcohol. With only as much as six percent of calories, it contains seventy percent of sweetness and so very little need be used in food products and beverages. When produced on a large scale, Erythritol is created when a type of yeast ferments from either corn or wheat starch.
Unlike other sugar alcohols, Erythritol gets absorbed straightaway into the bloodstream before reaching the colon and is eventually expelled in the urine. Almost ninety percent of Erythritol is absorbed into the bloodstream and only ten percent reaches the colon which does not cause any great harm.
No effect on the blood sugar levels
No change in the blood sugar or insulin levels is seen when using Erythritol and has no effect on the cholesterol levels also. For people who are diabetic or are overweight Erythritol is an excellent substitute. It also acts as an antioxidant which helps reduce blood vessel damage usually caused by high blood pressure.
For adults having Type 2 diabetes, Erythritol taken for a month every day, helps improve the function of blood vessels which in turn help reduce risk of heart disease. On the whole, Erythritol is said to be an excellent sweetener because
- It contains almost no calories
- It has seventy percent of the sweetness of sugar and so very less need be used
- Blood sugar or insulin levels do not rise by its use
- It has very few side effects, very minor ones and
- No adverse effects have been observed in animals that are fed large amounts for long periods
How is Erythritol produced?
Corn is used to create Erythritol, though other fruits like watermelon, pears and such other fruits too are used to create this sweetener. As it is mostly absorbed in the blood, it does not contribute to weight gain. Like natural sugar it does not contribute to daily carbohydrate intake.
As they are low in carbohydrates it is used in keto friendly treats, candy, desserts and in diet soda and so is used in weight loss promoting foods. It also does not contribute to tooth decay or cavities, making it safe to use.
The usage of this natural sweetener
In ingredient lists, Erythritol has gained more prominence especially in energy drinks, packaged foods, snacks like
- Chocolate Products
- Diet Sodas and Drinks
- Sports and Energy Drinks
- Sugar Free Gums, Mints, Soft and Hard Candies
- Chocolate Products, Frostings
- Ice-Cream, Frozen Desserts, Puddings
- Cakes and Cookies and Even in Some
Other than producing a sweet taste, the natural sweetener is used in baking because it helps retain moisture, prevents browning and doesn't dry out the product.