Diabetes: Can Erythritol, which does not raise blood sugar, be used as a sugar substitute?

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Erythritol is a valid alternative to sugar, especially in the case of diabetes. Let's find out what it is and why it doesn't affect blood sugar

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

Erythritol is a valid alternative to sugar, especially in the case of diabetes. Let's find out what it is and why it doesn't affect blood sugar





If you have diabetes it is important check your blood sugar and watch out for sugar. An alternative to this is theerythritol able to add sweetness to foods and drinks without adding calories, raising blood sugar or causing tooth decay. But what's true? 

Index

Erythritol: what it is

THEerythritol is a sugar alcohol, but it actually contains neither sugar (sucrose) nor alcohol (ethanol). These are calorie-reduced sweeteners, found in everything from chewing gum to flavored water.

Erythritol is almost as sweet as sugar, with the only difference being that it has practically no calories. It occurs naturally in some fruits, such as melons, grapes and pears, and in some fermented foods. When erythritol is used in sugar-free foods and drinks, it is most likely made from fermented corn.

Advantages

Erythritol has several advantages, Including:

  • tastes like sugar
  • it has fewer calories than sugar
  • it has no carbohydrates
  • it does not increase blood sugar
  • it does not cause tooth decay

THEErythritol is available in granular and powdered form, and is also found in other energy-reduced sweetener blends.

Diabetes and erythritol

How does diabetes affect blood sugar? Normally, the body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose which supplies energy to cells. Insulin is a hormone your body needs to send glucose from the bloodstream to cells.

If you have diabetes, your body may not be able to make or use insulin effectively. This can cause blood sugar levels to rise. A sugar-rich diet can further increase these levels; and this is where i come into play sweeteners, just like erythritol.



What does the research say? According to the research, the Sugar alcohols don't have as much effect on blood sugar like other carbohydrates. However, you might be surprised to learn that many sugar-free products contain carbohydrates and calories from other sources, and can cause blood sugar to spike. A little study found that neither a single dose of erythritol nor a two-week daily regimen had a negative effect on blood glucose control.

Risks and side effects

Erythritol is only partially absorbed by your body, which is why it is low in calories. A safety review of erythritol found that the sweetener was well tolerated and non-toxic, even at high doses. But there are some people sensitive to sugar alcohols, which could have some side effects such as:

  • cramps
  • nausea
  • swelling
  • Diarrhea
  • headache

Managing your blood sugar is a process of trial and error; you will need to check it every day and you will also need to have more advanced blood tests regularly, to check the status of your condition.

If you have diabetes, theModerate use of erythritol is generally considered safe unless you are sensitive to polyols and sugar alcohols. Keep in mind that having diabetes doesn't mean you need to avoid sugar entirely; this can be part of your meal plan, as long as you manage your total carbohydrate intake. Limit sugary foods to special occasions, and eat them in smaller portions. If your blood sugar levels get too high or too low, you should see a doctor right away.


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