The average person consumes about 152 pounds of added sugar every year. That's about 22 teaspoons or 355 calories worth of sugar every day - way more than the American Heart Association's recommended limit of 6 teaspoons (100 calories) per day for women and 9 teaspoons (150 calories) per day for men.
Many people are looking for ways to cut back on sugar, and one way is to use a sugar substitute. When it comes to sugar substitutes, there are many options to choose from. Two of the most popular substitutes are erythritol and xylitol. But which one is the better option?
Here's a look at erythritol vs. xylitol to help you make the best decision for your needs.
What Are Sugar Substitutes?
The common white granulated sugar we see in bags or packets is sucrose.
Sucrose is a molecule composed of glucose and fructose.
It is the type of sugar found in cane and beetroots.
It is also the main type of sugar used in food manufacturing and baking.
Sugar substitutes are any sweet-tasting substances used to replace sugar in our diets.
They can be natural or artificial, and they are often many times sweeter than sugar.
Many people use sugar substitutes to help with weight loss or management, diabetes, and other conditions.
Although they may have some benefits, there are also some risks associated with their use.
Examples of Sugar Substitutes
Sugar alcohols are a type of sweetener that have about half the calories of regular sugar.
They occur naturally in some fruits and vegetables but can also be man-made and used in processed foods.
Erythritol: Benefits and Disadvantages
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that has been approved for use as a food additive worldwide.
It is 70% as sweet as table sugar but does not promote tooth decay or raise blood sugar levels.
This makes it a popular choice for people looking for a healthy alternative to sugar.
Erythritol is also a good source of antioxidants and has been shown to have other health benefits.
Benefits of Using Erythritol
- Diabetes-friendly: Erythritol doesn’t affect blood sugar levels. It is a popular choice for people with diabetes as erythritol helps decrease the amount of sugar absorbed whilst altering glucose metabolism.
- Aids weight loss: Erythritol is low in calories; replacing white sugar with this can reduce caloric intake and promote weight loss.
- Excellent antioxidant: Erythritol can help scavenge free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage.
Drawbacks of Using Erythritol
Most people should be able to consume erythritol without any discomfort.
However, it can lead to nausea, abdominal distress, and other digestive symptoms in people who are sensitive to it.
Xylitol: Benefits and Disadvantages
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is used as a sweetener.
It is found in various fruits and vegetables and is also produced by the human body.
Xylitol has a lower calorie content than sugar and does not cause tooth decay.
Xylitol is safe for consumption by people with diabetes as it has a lower glycemic index than other sweeteners.
Benefits of Using Xylitol
- Improves glucose tolerance: Xylitol’s glycemic index is 7, which makes it a great option for people with diabetes. It doesn’t lead to spikes in glucose levels and may even improve glucose tolerance.
- Reduces belly fat: Xylitol has only 40% lesser calories than white sugar. This can lead to reducing in calorie consumption and help with reducing belly fat.
- Protects oral health: It prevents the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay, promoting good oral health.
Also Read: Improving Glucose Response With Exercises
Drawbacks of Using Xylitol
High consumption of xylitol can lead to digestive disturbances, including diarrhea, owing to its laxative properties.
People who already have digestive issues may face severe discomfort with xylitol.
Further, xylitol is extremely toxic to pets, even in small amounts.
Erythritol vs. Xylitol - Which Is Better?
|Sweetness (compared to white sugar)||60-80%||100%|
|Impact on blood sugar levels||None||Very mild|
|Digestive issues?||Rarely/Less||Diarrhea is a common side effect|
|After taste||Better aftertaste||Not as good as erythritol|
Summary - Erythritol vs. Xylitol: Which Is The Better Sweetener?
Both erythritol and xylitol are low-calorie sugar alcohols often used to replace sugar.
Digestive issues are higher with xylitol; however, this is observed only in larger doses.
Xylitol has better oral health benefits, but erythritol also prevents tooth decay to an extent.
In addition, erythritol has antioxidant properties, which are good for heart health.
In conclusion, erythritol has a small upper leg here with a lower risk for digestive issues and absolutely no impact on glucose levels.
But both these sweeteners are great options for replacing white sugar in your diet.