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Erythritol is a type of natural sweetener belonging to the class of compounds called sugar alcohol, a type of carbohydrate used as a sugar substitute. In addition to not generating residual taste, it is not a cariogenic additive, it does not have lactose or maltodextrin in its composition and it does not have an acceptable daily intake limit, considered safe for consumption.

Erythritol is presented as a white, crystalline powder, with a caloric value of 0.2 Kcal / g. Its sweetness power is 70% compared to ordinary table sugar (sucrose). As a potential sugar substitute, erythritol can be used in recipes, desserts and drinks, such as: cakes, sweets, teas, juices and breads.

Where to find erythritol?

In addition to serving as an additive to foods, making them sweet, erythritol can be found widely in nature in some fruits (melons, grapes and pears), algae, mushrooms and fermented foods (soy sauce, wines, beers and miso).

Benefits of erythritol

Because it has a lower caloric value than any other sugar alcohol, erythritol can serve as a beneficial sugar substitute in a calorie-controlled diet. However, erythritol is not a food but a food additive. Therefore, it has no nutrients.

The benefits of erythritol are:

Low calories (beneficial for diets with energy restrictions)
Safe for people with diabetes (does not influence blood glucose and insulin levels)

It does not usually cause laxative side effects, common in other polyols (except in more sensitive people, such as those who do not deal well with FODMAPS)

Ensures good texture and flavor in recipes (stable temperature and ph variation)

It does not interact with the bacteria responsible for eroding tooth enamel and causing tooth decay.

Risks and disadvantages of erythritol

Although erythritol is the least fermentative of polyols, it is possible that it causes flatulence, diarrhea or discomfort in people who have a more sensitive intestine, such as in cases of irritable bowel syndrome, endometriosis and inflammatory bowel disease. This occurs in more sensitive people, as only 10% of ingested erythritol reaches the colon. The other 90% is absorbed first in the small intestine.

Does erythritol help you lose weight and lose weight?

Weight loss occurs due to calorie deficit, that is, when you eat less calories than you spend. Therefore, for the person who wants to lose weight and wants to consume sweet foods, erythritol can be an ally for having low caloric value. However, it does not mean that it in itself helps to lose weight, after all no food “slims”.

Difference from common sugar, xylitol and erythritol

One of the main differences from erythritol to sugar is the caloric value. While erythritol has 0.2 kcal / g, sugar has 4 kcal / g. In addition, erythritol does not alter glucose and insulin levels, as its molecule is not broken down in the body, which is very different from what happens with the common sugar molecule (glucose). Xylitol, on the other hand, has a 100% sweetening power when compared to table sugar. However, it is more caloric (2.4 kcal / g) and more fermentative than erythritol.

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