Four things you need to know about Erythritol

By Ilana Muhlstein M.S. R.D.N.

Four things you need to know about Erythritol

By Ilana Muhlstein M.S. R.D.N.

What is Erythritol?
Erythritol is part of the sugar alcohol family. Unlike regular sugar, sugar alcohols provide sweetness without contributing as many calories or raising blood sugar. Erythritol contains the lowest calories per gram of any of the sugar alcohols. It’s also more easily tolerated than the other polyols (sugar-free sweeteners). Due to its structure and the way we absorb and excrete erythritol, it's less likely to cause stomach pains or distress than other sugar alcohols.
Where does Erythritol come from?
One big difference between artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols is that sugar alcohols are found in nature. Erythritol and other polyols are found in fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms but can also be produced for use on a large scale. Commercial production of erythritol is possible by the use of yeast to ferment the glucosein in corn or wheat.
Why is it zero sugar?
Erythritol contains only 0.2 calories per gram. The sweetness we taste is not from the presence of actual sugar, but the structure of the sugar alcohol that stimulates sweet receptors on our tongue. Erythritol does not cause a rise in blood glucose or release of insulin like sugar does.
Why do I , as a dietitian, deem Erythritol safe to consume?
Erythritol can help you to enjoy the sweetness of your favorite foods without the detrimental health effects that come from a diet high in added sugar. The research shows that erythritol does not raise blood sugar levels, does not cause tooth decay, and unlike other sugar alcohols, is not likely to cause diarrhea or other stomach concerns.