Powdered Erythritol: Healthy Sugar Substitute Or Artificial Additive?
I have used artificial sweeteners countless times in my recipes. It is a common practice it never crossed my mind that I needed to investigate the value it added to my foodstuffs until recently. The one I use commonly is powdered erythritol. The fact that it is a calorie-free sweetener and sugar alternative is convincing enough to add it in most of my dishes – usually in low-sugar and sugar-free foods.
This sweetener was initially created to replace sugar and calories in different foodstuffs. That then would translate into creating diet-friendly food products, avoiding some of the risks one might get from taking in sugar.
Powdered erythritol looks like your typical sugar but it is made through combining and fermenting natural sugars. In most instances, corn is used to create this sweetener. It is 70-80% as sweet as typical sugar and has a mild flavor. Those who dislike the ultra-sweet taste of artificial sweeteners can readily use this powder and enjoy it.
Can you find this sweetener in other foods?
Yes. Erythritol is in natural food products such as soy sauce, pears, watermelon, among others. Foods that have to be fermented to improve their quality also contain this sweetener. These include cheese and beverages like wine. This sweetener is commonly regarded as a carbohydrate and helps to prevent issues such as dryness and browning of foodstuffs.
Does Erythritol have calories?
This powder usually has zero calories. As a result, the intestines absorb and get it out of your system through urine within 24 hours. What does this mean? It means that this product cannot be metabolized when you consume it. Consequently, it doesn’t convert into energy like other sugar products.
How much of Erythritol should you consume?
There are no official guidelines on the specific amounts of powdered erythritol that you can take. However, it is generally acceptable to take in 1 gram of every kilogram of your body weight. In this case, if you weigh 160 pounds, you can handle about 80 grams of this powder in a day, or even more. Of course, you can include Powdered Erythritol in your cake recipes or any other foodstuff that requires sugar.
Does Erythritol have any health benefits?
Most people usually use this sweetener as a healthy sugar alternative. Besides this use, it has other health benefits. These include:
Improving dental and oral health
Most people have issues with their teeth because of taking sugar. That is why the teeth brown, decay, while others develop cavities, among other complications. And these come with detrimental effects like pain that might affect your eating patterns. Some individuals have low self-esteem because they fear to show their teeth while they smile. Apart from poor oral hygiene, common table sugar makes dental problems worse.
If oral health is a concern for you, then adding powdered erythritol in your meals, could be the solution to eating tasty foods without worry. Add it to your tea or any other beverage and include it in other meals that require sugar. Studies show that erythritol helps decrease the chances of developing dental plaque, oral bacteria, and other dental problems.
Helping with weight management
Obesity is a big issue in modern society. Most people struggle to keep their body weight in check. Some invest a lot of money on gym services and special programs but still fail to achieve their weight goals. Fortunately, Erythritol could be the solution. It is ideal for weight management owing to its zero calory content. People who are diabetic can use it daily without developing any complications. Besides, those on a keto diet and other low-carb diets can readily take it. This artificial sweetener plays a major role in keeping your carbs in check and helps manage your weight.
Increasing satiety and satisfaction
It is worth noting that this powder can influence the release of certain hormones in the gut. It helps in slowing down the process of emptying the stomach. Meaning, you will not have to keep on eating food from time to time. This sweetener is a great deal for those with blood sugar level issues, those who want to lose weight and reduce other complications of the body that might result from eating carbohydrates. If you want to feel fuller for longer periods, you should consider taking this sugar alternative.
It has antioxidant effects
Your body requires antioxidants to function optimally. One advantage of taking foods rich in antioxidants is that they normally help to fight free radicals. They also play a major role in helping offer to offer protection against hyperglycemia-induced vascular damage, cardiovascular damage, and lipid peroxidation. This sweetener usually forms erythrose and erythrulose that are then excreted through the urine.
Does erythritol powder have side effects?
From the praises it gets, you might think that this sweetener does not have any side effects. However, it has its own drawbacks. Even though our bodies do not break down this artificial sweetener, it still produces several unpleasant side effects. The following are some experiences after consuming this sweetener.
Bloating and nausea
It is worth noting that most sugar alcohols usually have a bad history of causing digestion problems. Since they are not fully absorbed in the body, they tend to remain within the body system for a longer time. In this case, if you take this sweetener, only 90% of it will be absorbed and released from the body. The remaining 10% of it will go to the colon. Unlike other sugar alcohol, it tends to resist fermentation by the colon bacteria, causing bloating and experiences of nausea. Some people report cases of diarrhea after consuming this powder.
If you have small intestinal bacterial growth, your health might be at risk if you take this powder. Most people who have this problem usually suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. What you consume when you have this problem can make a difference between healing or cause more issues.
It makes you urinate several times in a day
It is okay to urinate once in a while. If you tend to urinate severally within a span of a few hours, something might be wrong with your health. Ingesting this sweetener increases the urine volume in your body, making you visit the washroom several times than normal. This sugar alternative also causes loss of electrolytes in the body. This means you are likely to lose essential nutrients such as calcium, citrate, sodium and even potassium when you consume it. These elements will come out through urine. Eventually, this leads to electrolyte imbalance in the body, making you get weak and feel dizzy. Frequent urination could lead to dehydration in the long run as well.
It can be carcinogenic
Just like your table sugar, you might be surprised to note that this sweetener could be a cause of cancer. We cannot say this because research in this area is still ongoing. Just like other sugar substitutes such as steviol and xylitol, this sweetener might cause irreversible mutations, including cancerous cells.
It can lead to weight gain
Some scientists believe that artificial sweeteners lead to weight gain, obesity, and even type 2 diabetes. If you take this sweetener, your body will not metabolize it and, therefore, does not register that you have consumed anything. In turn, it makes you crave for more food, increasing the risk of overeating. Studies indicate that some people who take this sweetener end up eating more than usual, which leads to weight gain.
Some people might think that this sweetening powder comes from nature. However, most of them can be genetically modified. A good portion of this powder normally originates from cornstarch that comes from genetically modified corn. If you are fond of consuming GMO products, you are likely to suffer from problems such as infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, and even cause changes in your body organs. It can also cause changes in the gastrointestinal system.
Has to be combined with other artificial sweeteners
Since this powder is not sweet on its own, it has to be combined with other sweeteners. Sometimes, these other sweeteners can have adverse effects on the body. For instance, if it is paired with aspartame, it can lead to fatalities. It is worth noting that aspartame can cause issues such as anxiety, depression, short term memory loss, among others. It can also cause weight gain, fatigue, and even brain tumors. Combining it with such artificial sweeteners could cause the above-mentioned problems, and more.
It can cause allergic reactions
Erythritol powder is known to cause allergic reactions. You will note that those people who take drinks that contain this sweetener have severe allergic skin reactions like feeling itchy. Itching of the skin is not necessarily a sign of an allergic reaction. But you might want to pay attention to how your body will behave after taking this sweetener.
Where can you buy powdered erythritol?
Even with the shortcomings, Erythritol is still in high demand, thanks to its effectiveness in cooking and sweetening foodstuff. Fortunately, it is readily available online from different online stores like Amazon. Some local stores might also have it. You just need to ask to be sure.
The following are essential tips that you should consider when buying this sweetener:
Choose a reputable store
Many suppliers can promise to supply this sweetener for you. They might even have better deals that help you to save money. Be keen to check the reviews of each supplier to get the value for your money. If a certain supplier has many positive reviews, go ahead and buy it from him or her. Your store of choice should be reputable.
Ask for recommendations
You might have friends who have bought this product in the past. You should take advantage of this and ask them for guidance. They are likely to refer you to a reliable supplier. Doing this will help you save more time and even minimize the chances of getting frustrated in the long run. Some people have bought this product blindly in the past and ended up regretting it. Some of them got the wrong product while others got duped. Asking for recommendations can help mitigate this problem.
Go for discounts
We would all like to save more money when we make purchases. However, this is not always the case. Depending on the shop that you choose to buy from, you might find yourself incurring huge costs on a natural sweetener like Powdered Erythritol. Choose shops that offer discounts on these products so that you can save more money. Buy it during specific times in the year (when there are offerings like on holidays) to enjoy discounts.
Check the delivery time
Ideally, a good supplier should deliver this product within a short period. Some people have had to wait for several months before obtaining this product after buying it online. Your supplier of choice should be able to deliver it in a good time. The sooner, the better. If the supplier is willing to ship the product at a relatively lower price, you are likely to save more money.
Means of payment
Earlier on, most people used to use cash to pay for different products. However, this trend has changed. Nowadays, most people usually choose payment methods such as PayPal for more convenience. This way, you can trust that if you do not get your product, you can reclaim your money. This has greatly reduced the chances of fraud and so on. If your supplier accepts this kind of payment, you can trust that you will not be frustrated.
Powdered Erythritol is a great alternative sweetener. Even though it comes with its drawbacks, it is helpful particularly if sugar is not your thing. It is a great alternative to sugar and calorie intake. Many people, including myself, love it because it doesn’t have the overpowering taste you find in other sweeteners. So instead of going out to look for random sweeteners, I would suggest Powdered Erythritol. It is natural and comes with health benefits you would not get from any other in the market. However, don’t ignore the side effects completely. Take as much as you need but don’t overdo it.