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Is Erythritol Bad for You?

is erythritol bad for you
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / HomeMaker

Erythritol is a good option for those who are watching their caloric intake or blood sugar. While erythritol has several health benefits, its impact on the environment is more controversial.

Erythritol, like other sugar alcohols, does not contain any sugar or alcohol. It is a convenient replacement for sugar, however, as it’s one of the sweetest sugar alcohols on the market, tastes just like sugar, and yet has far fewer calories than regular sugar and even compared to other sugar alcohols. It is therefore often used in “sugar free” processed foods. You can also buy powdered erythritol sweetener and use it at home!

Is Erythritol Bad for You?

Erythritol isn't bad for you. It can even be used as a sugar alternative at home in its powdered form.
Erythritol isn’t bad for you. It can even be used as a sugar alternative at home in its powdered form.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / RitaE)

Not only is erythritol safe for consumption, but it is also a great alternative to sugar for many reasons. Erythritol does not spike blood sugar or insulin levels, making it a good option for overweight and diabetic individuals. In fact, erythritol has been found to actually improve blood vessel function and possibly reduce heart disease risk

Erythritol also has dental health benefits. While sugar consumption has been linked to cavities and tooth decay, erythritol does not have these effects. In fact, erythritol has been proven to be more effective than xylitol and sorbitol in fighting plaque build-up and dental caries. 

Overall, erythritol is not bad for you. The only cause for concern with sugar alcohols in general is possible digestion problems which can cause bloating and gas. The good news is that erythritol is absorbed differently from other sugar alcohols and therefore has a low likelihood of causing indigestion. Unless you are consuming erythritol in excessive quantities, you should be fine. 

Is Erythritol Bad for the Environment?

Erythritol is derived from corn, which is excessively produced in the US.
Erythritol is derived from corn, which is excessively produced in the US.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / keem1201)

Erythritol is made from corn starch through enzymatic hydrolysis, which is considered an environmentally friendly process. It is also relatively sustainable when considering its water and carbon footprints

On the other hand, the corn industry dominates US farming. Corn is in almost all of our processed foods as it is highly subsidized and inexpensive. The excessive amounts of corn being produced and consumed is not good for our soil as it is unnatural for one crop to be grown and harvested repeatedly in the same fields. This, in addition to the industry’s reliance on fossil fuels in fertilizer production, and the impact of fertilizers on ground water, makes erythritol arguably unsustainable. It is therefore best to try and consume erythritol and other corn starches in small quantities and to purchase organic erythritol only. 

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