Erythritol is a sugar alcohol with far less affect on blood sugar than the others. Maltitol, xylitol, and sorbitol are other sugar alcohols, which you may be more familiar with. Erythritol has almost no calories or carbohydrates, and if you want a truly free ride of sugary sweetness, it’s the way to go. Erythritol creates a great deal less intestinal discomfort than other sugar alcohols, tastes great, .
Erythritol occurs some fruits, fungi, and fermented foods.
Erythritol is approximatesly 3/4 as sweet as of sugar by taste, so use in recipes accordingly. It can be used in baking, milkshakes, smoothies, puddings, tea, anything you would use sugar for, but without the long list of harmful effects. Even agave’s glycemic index is 48, some lower than sugar, and not refined, but still often problematic because of the sugar levels, and more of a substitute for honey than for sugar, in consistency.
Diabetics, anyone concerned about Candida, mold and yeast in the intestine, keeping inflammation down, keeping blood sugar levels on an even keel for emotions, mental sharpness, weight maintenance, and more should try to stay low on the glycemic index with food intake. But how sad to avoid sweet foods altogether? Before, there were only the horrible artificial sweeteners, causing health problems left and right. These days, we live in a heaven of sweetness, with many very healthy sweeteners available. Erythritol has been used in foods since the 90’s, and is common in Japan, but still not well known in most of the world.
Sugar alcohols are not fully absorbable, so the blood sugar impact is lower, as is the caloric value. A plus is that sugar alcohols don’t cause tooth decay. Even more of a plus—Xylitol, actually inhibits bacterial growth in the mouth. However, sugar alcohols may ferment in the intestines and cause bloating, or diarrhea.
So, you may want to try out different ones to see what works for you. If your main concerns are stopping cavities, stops the growth of candida, boosting the immune system and reducing ear infections,.try xylitol first. If you are worried about indigestion, however, give erythritol a shot first. Or use a little of both, plus stevia., so there is less intestine issue, more cavity fighting, and you also have the blood sugar lowering effects of stevia.
Sugar is 60 on the glycemic index, xylitol is 7 or 13 depending on the source, much lower than matlitol, yet higher than sorbitol, which is 9. Erythritol, however, comes in at a whopping 0!! Stevia is 0 as well, actually lowering the blood sugar, which may be dangerous for some, so in that case, stick with erythritol. Stevia tastes delicious, but doesn’t have the same feel as sugar, which xylitol and erythritol do.
Erythritol is hard to find in stores. I get mine from Nu Naturals instead, which is in crystalline form. This excellent company has a wide range of blood sugar friendly sweeteners available in bulk, including stevia and xylitol. Per weight, stevia is their least expensive, then xylitol, then erythritol. A 16 ounce container of erythritol at Nu Naturals runs$13.49. While stevia is excellent, and their preparation has no bitterness, it can’t be used in the same way as the others when baking, for substituting the bulk and consistency of sugar.
If you don’t want an exact sugar substitute, but just some healthy sweetness, not only xylitol is great but stevia as well. It helps prevent cavities and bacteria too, heals skin problems, as well as wounds and lip sores.
Nu Naturals doesn’t have it in bulk, but in 2 oz liquid, they also have Lo Han for $17.99. Lo Han Guo is a fruit in the same family as melons, cucumbers, and squash. Lo Han is extremely low on the glycemic index. It isn’t like sugar, however, more like a fruity maple syrup, with a strong taste not everyone will find as appealing as erythritol, which is great.
Erythritol does make a great sugar substitute, and for most people seems to have much fewer digestive problems associated with it than xylitol, the other sweetener most like sugar. The two sweeteners taste basically the same to me. But both, as sugar alcohols, cause generally mild digestive problems for some people, and it may just be a matter of individual constitution as to which causes them. Most people have no side effects with them at all, and if they do, are often willing to put up with some for sweetness without all the horrible effects of sugar or artificial sweeteners. People with irritable bowel syndrome shouldn’t use them, to be safe, however. Otherwise, some laxative effect may even be useful at times.
So, have fun, experiment with the natural sweeteners out there, mix and match for the perfect taste combination, and thank goodness for the companies that make and sell and test these wonderful products.