Spend a little time looking at keto desserts and you’ll soon see “sugar alcohol” listed on a nutrition panel, and you may see erythritol listed in the ingredients. What is erythritol, and how does erythritol fit into your diet and lifestyle? Here are five things to know about this sweetener.
1. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol.
Sugar alcohols and sugars are two similar types of molecules that differ in that sugar alcohols have more hydrogen atoms. Since sugar alcohols like erythritol have a sweet taste like sugars but fewer calories, they’re often used as a substitute.
2. Some sugar alcohols affect blood sugar, but not erythritol.
Different sugar alcohols are processed differently by the body. Maltitol, another sugar alcohol found in many products labeled “sugar-free,” is known for having an effect on blood sugar levels. In studies with both healthy patients and patients with diabetes, erythritol did not have any significant effect on blood sugar.
3. Erythritol has almost zero calories.
Compared to table sugar (sucrose), which has 4 calories per gram, erythritol has 0.24 calories per gram—that’s only 6% as much!
4. Erythritol is found naturally in several fruits (and also some foods that might surprise you).
Erythritol appears naturally in fruits like watermelons and grapes. You may not expect to find something so sweet in mushrooms or soy sauce, but erythritol can be found in those foods as well.
💡 Feel-Good Fact: Over 70 species of mushrooms glow in the dark.
5. Erythritol helps make Enlightened desserts sweet (without all the sugar).
Along with allulose and monk fruit, erythritol helps us create desserts that are every bit as craveable as their high-sugar neighbors in the freezer case. The next time you enjoy Enlightened light ice cream or keto ice cream, cheesecakes, or Dough Bites, you’ll know that erythritol is an important part of that sweet experience.