Here’s a quick question – what looks like sugar, tastes almost exactly like it, yet has a lot less calories, and doesn’t spike your blood sugar or insulin? The answer to that question would be erythritol! In case you want to use it in your kitchen in a pure form, free of GMO, preservatives, and artificial fillers, the organic erythritol crystalline from Now Foods won’t get you down.
But what exactly is this almost zero glycemic sweetener in its essence?
Erythritol pertains to the group of sugar alcohols. It doesn’t contain ethanol, which is the compound that gets people drunk, yet still its molecule structure is made from a cross between alcohol and carbs. Actually, a lot of sugar alcohols are contained in fruits, but some of them are added to products labeled as “sugar-free”. The thing is, the specific structure of these particular molecules grants them the ability to stimulate our tongue taste receptors. On the sweeter side however, 1g erythritol contains 0.24 calories at most, while normal sugar has 4, plus erythritol has 70% of sugar’s sweetness, which is more than enough if you’re aiming at fair taste.
When this calorie-free sugar substitute is produced for wholesales, usually it’s done via fermentation of yeast on glucose.
Benefits of erythritol
Another thing worth saying is that erythritol has a lot less side-effects than most other common sweeteners, especially than white sugar. Its specific chemical composition can’t be broken down by the human body. This is the reason it travels through our system unchanged, therefore it doesn’t cause the metabolic effects of too much sugar.
Because erythritol can’t be broken down by our body, it also doesn’t burden the digestive system (which is inherent to sugar alcohols). It doesn’t reach the colon at all to feed the harmful bacteria that reside in there.
We kind of mentioned in the beginning that erythritol doesn’t cause blood sugar or insulin spikes. It’s because our bodies don’t possess the enzymes to dissolve, and break it down. It’s simply absorbed into our bloodstream, then later excreted via the urinary system. This quality of the health-friendly sugar substitute has been backed on a lot of occasions. After healthy people take it, there is no alteration in their blood sugar and insulin levels, nor in their triglycerides or cholesterol index. That’s the reason erythritol is among the very best sugar alternatives for diabetics, and obese people.
Unlike regular sugar, erythritol is a lot safer for your dental health, and is a lot less likely to cause tooth decay, and cavities. The bad oral bacteria normally thrive on sugar, and use it for energy, in a result of which they grow in size and number, and secrete teeth eroding acids. Fortunately, that’s not the case with erythritol. Bacteria can’t digest it, and utilize it for energy.