Listen up, sweet tooth!
For people with a sweet tooth, can you think of anything more annoying than being forced to give up your sugar cravings? We get it, most of us use sugar almost every time we eat, whether by adding sugar to our tea, coffee, or cereal or having a cake for our afternoon break at work. This makes it hard to give up on all that delicious sweetness, which is why we are always looking for interesting and convenient options to totally ditch sugar and still be able to satisfy our sweet cravings. Great thing erythritol was made available for human consumption!
What is erythritol and what is it made of?
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol with 60-80% sweetness but contains only 5% of the calories of table sugar (sucrose). Sugar alcohols are made from plant products such as fruits and berries. Don’t let the term “sugar alcohols” trick or confuse you though! It’s neither sugar nor alcohol. Sugar alcohols are a type of carbohydrate with a chemical structure similar to sugar.
They are used widely in the food and supplement industry to achieve that sweet rewarding taste most of us enjoy without the unhealthy side effects of regular sugar.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of erythritol as a food additive in the U.S in 2001.
Other sugar alcohols approved for human consumption are:
- Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates
While the safety of other sugar alcohols is well proven, some sugar alcohols can cause gastrointestinal discomfort such as bloating and diarrhea when consumed in excessive amounts. * The great thing is that our digestive system has better tolerance to erythritol. *
5 Benefits of Erythritol
“I gut you!” — can be the most reassuring thing that erythritol could tell if it could only talk to your tummy.
While some sugar alcohols can cause gastrointestinal distress, erythritol is less likely to trigger stomach upset as long as it's not consumed excessively. *Though some sources shared that it may cause excess gas and laxative effects, our digestive system can handle it better than other sugar alcohols.*
This advantage may be because the upper small intestine absorbs approximately 90% of the erythritol before entering the bloodstream and excreted in the urine.
Erythritol, unlike other sugar alcohols, does not attract water into the small intestines, resulting in osmotic diarrhea. In a nutshell, it is not fermented in the colon by gut bacteria.
Aids in weight loss *
If you've ever tried to cut back on sugar, you know how hard it can be. You want to be healthy, but also want to enjoy sweet treats! If you're looking for a sugar substitute that has fewer calories, erythritol can be a sweet solution to sugar restriction.
It’s perfect for people who are cutting calories for weight loss or monitoring sugar intake due to health concerns but can't resist grabbing a sweet snack to satisfy hunger or cravings.
Despite its carbohydrate label, erythritol is not absorbed by the body and should not contribute to weight gain. Sugar alcohols generally do not break down in the body and therefore does not contribute to the daily carbohydrate intake.
Promotes oral health *
Erythritol is not only a great sugar substitute in managing our weight and blood sugar levels but also an excellent alternative for people with a sweet tooth who are mindful of oral hygiene. It's been shown to improve dental health by limiting the growth of bacteria, resulting in fewer cavities.*
Some food, beverages, and even supplement manufacturers like Root'd use erythritol to produce both satisfying and nutritious products!
Safe for people with diabetes *
Sweet without a threat, indeed! *
Since it is naturally made from plant-based sources like corn or wheat and then purified to remove the carbs (glucose) and calories (4 calories per gram) our body processes erythritol differently than other sugars because it does not stimulate insulin release nor increase blood glucose levels.* What happens really is that it just passes through our system without being absorbed at all!
Helps reduce the risk of heart disease *
A study conducted on 24 adults with type 2 diabetes discovered that taking 36 grams of erythritol daily for a month improved blood vessel function, potentially lowering their risk of heart disease. *
Science taught us that sweetness triggers the reward center in our brain, releasing positive neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. So, there's no wonder why we feel so much satisfaction and happiness after eating or drinking something sweet. Friends, our sweet tooth shouldn't be blamed, but the insane amount of sugar in most products out there!
Obviously, we've got no control over how much sugar manufacturers put in their products but we have total control of what we consume. Now that we've learned the fun facts and health benefits that erythritol offers, let's stay Root'd to our goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Let's be more clever and start checking on the label!