Erythritol is a sweetening sugar substitute that you can rely on while on the keto diet, which can be suitable for diabetics or people who want to lose weight.
If you are on the keto diet, you know that cutting out carbs, sugar, or sweeteners may not be easy for you.
Sweeteners and desserts can take you out of ketosis and hinder your progress on keto to lose weight.
Did you know?
The keto diet is based on limiting the intake of foods rich in carbohydrates such as starches and sweets and consuming large amounts of fats so that the body enters into a state of ketosis. Where the body burns fats instead of carbohydrates to obtain the necessary energy for the body.
But don’t worry, there are many keto-friendly sweeteners, with erythritol being the most popular of them.
Erythritol is one of the options that you can take while on a low-carb diet such as the keto diet.
Keep reading to find out exactly what is erythritol? Is erythritol a sweetener for a low-carb diet, or not? Plus the health benefits and potential risks.
What exactly is erythritol?
Erythritol is found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods. It is an alcohol sugar that does not affect blood glucose and does not contain calories.
Its sweetness is 80% more than regular sugar, yet it contains only 5% of calories for 0.2 calories per gram.
Although erythritol contains 4 grams of carbohydrates per teaspoon, studies indicate that it may help lower blood sugar levels.
* The World Health Organization (WHO) approved its use in 1999.
* Keto Erythritol can be used to prepare keto meals as a substitute for sugar.
Is Erythritol Keto?
If you are on the keto diet, you have likely seen several recipes that refer to erythritol or Swerve (the brand name for erythritol) as an ideal sweetener to substitute for sugar in your low-carb diet.
Erythritol is a keto-friendly sweetener because it does not raise blood sugar levels or affect insulin. (According to a Japanese study conducted in 1994)
Erythritol contains very few calories and has minimal negative health effects.
You may be interested in knowing the health benefits of this type of sweetener as a safe option for making keto-friendly desserts.
1. Safe for people with diabetes
Erythritol sugar is good for diabetics, as it does not affect glucose or insulin levels, making it a safe alternative to sugar if a person has diabetes.
2. Promotes dental health
Most types of alcoholic sugar, including erythritol, play a role in treating dental problems, including caries.
3. It helps in losing weight
Since artificial sugar has a negative effect on weight and a major cause of obesity, most people who try to lose weight or manage it on a keto diet stop consuming sugar and turn to alcoholic sugars, the best of which is erythritol because it has a very low glycemic index (GI = 0).
Thus, adding it to drinks, cakes, or desserts can reduce the accumulation of glucose in the blood that causes weight gain.
4. It reduces the risk of heart disease
It has an effective antioxidant effect, and it also reduces blood vessel damage caused by high blood sugar levels.
5. It does not affect the blood sugar level
It does not raise the level of insulin or blood sugar, nor does it increase the level of harmful cholesterol or triglycerides.
Erythritol can reduce inflammation in body organs such as the kidneys, liver and intestines, in addition to it prevents the development of some conditions such as constipation, kidney failure, hypercholesterolemia, acidity, ulcers and Crohn’s disease.
Eating this type of sugar substitute sweetener while on the keto diet can cause some damage despite its many benefits such as:
1. It causes digestive problems
The chemical composition of erythritol prevents the body from digesting it. Where it passes through the digestive system without any change until it reaches the colon, where it is fermented in the colon by bacteria, which leads to the production of gases.
Thus, consuming large amounts of erythritol may cause bloating and gastrointestinal upset.
2. It may cause diarrhoea
Alcohol sugars prevent water from reaching the small intestine, which leads to diarrhoea.
3. Causes various health problems
This is limited to some people who are allergic to erythritol and other types of alcohol sugar, as consuming alcohol causes cramps, nausea, bloating, diarrhoea and headache.
Erythritol and Keto
* Despite its few negative effects, erythritol is a suitable option for people on the keto diet, as it is low in calories and carbohydrates.
* In general, keto erythritol appears to be an excellent sweetener as a substitute for sugar.
* Other alternatives to the keto sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit… etc.
Remember: eating too many sweets or any kind of (keto-friendly) sweeteners frequently may cause you problems losing weight on keto.
Although, these sweeteners do not affect blood sugar and insulin levels as mentioned earlier. But some researchers believe that some people can make the mistake of relapsing carbs. So pay attention to this matter carefully.