In the never ending quest to satisfy our sweet tooth while preserving our health, people have taken to desperate measures, like using carcinogens such as aspartame or sucralose (Splenda). For those of you that have been living under a rock and still use either of these two gems as a sugar substitute, please allow me the honor of scaring the crap out of you:
- Aspartame has been found to cause carcinogenic brain and liver damage by significantly reducing our body’s main antioxidant, glutathione. This study shows that aspartame eaten in combination with MSG, a very commonly eaten preservative, causes disruption of serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. Yay! Thanks, Monsanto! For a more comprehensive write-up on Aspartame click here.
- Sucralose ingestion has been linked to increased incidence of Leukemia. Another study on Sucralose showed that it does indeed spike your insulin levels when consumed, which is a no-no for diabetics who think they are doing the right thing for their health by using it in place of sugar.
Frankly, if I had to make a choice, I would rather you use plain ole’ sugar in your coffee than either of these poisons. It’s a lesser of two evils kind of thing.
But what if I told you about a sweetener that:
- Is all natural.
- Has almost zero calories.
- Has a zero rating on the glycemic index.
- Does not spike your blood sugar when you eat it.
- Tastes very close to real sugar. NO weird aftertaste.
- Is totally safe for daily use.
- Does not cause tooth decay.
- Does not cause the digestive discomfort that some other sugar alcohols do (like xylitol and sorbitol).
- Actually may have an anti-oxidant like protective effect on your vascular system!
Say what? You’d probably tell me I’m bs’ing you, and I can understand that. After all, Stevia is a safe sweetener but let’s face it…it tastes pretty bad. It has a strong aftertaste. The liquid vanilla stevia from nu-naturals is the closest thing I have tasted to a Stevia product that is actually tolerable, and you can’t use it to bake. Same goes for monkfruit.
Well, I’m not bs’ing you, and the sweetener is called Erythritol. Quoted from Wikipedia:
“Erythritol ((2R,3S)-butane-1,2,3,4-tetraol) is a sugar alcohol (or polyol) that has been approved for use as a food additive in the United States and throughout much of the world. It was discovered in 1848 by British chemist John Stenhouse. It occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. At the industrial level, it is produced from glucose by fermentation with a yeast, Moniliella pollinis. It is 60–70% as sweet as table sugar yet it is almost noncaloric, does not affect blood sugar, does not cause tooth decay, and is partially absorbed by the body, excreted in urine and feces. It is less likely to cause gastric side effects than other sugar alcohols because of its unique digestion pathway. Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling requirements, it has a caloric value of 0.2 kilocalories per gram (95% less than sugar and other carbohydrates)”
You may be unaware, but erythritol is already being used in a multitude of food items that you and your family eat on a daily basis, from chewing gums to sodas, and other processed junk that I don’t recommend you eat! So, without knowing it, you are probably consuming it already.
Let me tell you, as with ANY other product I recommend, I researched this one thoroughly. I tried and tried to find scientific research that gave me a reason NOT to use erythritol for my family or to recommend it to my readers. The worst I found was this:
- There has been ONE recorded case of a child going into anaphylactic shock from an allergy to erythritol. However, the authors of this case study clearly state:
“In summary, we described a very rare child case of erythritol-induced anaphylaxis that was confirmed by DBPCFC.”
In other words, this really isn’t something for us to worry about. It’s like any other benign food that can randomly cause a severe allergic reaction to someone that is unknowingly allergic to it. If this worries you, try it in very small amounts on yourself and your family first before using it. But again, this was the ONLY case of erythritol allergy recorded and it is a sweetener in widespread global use.
- If you happen to have contracted the Brucella Abortus virus from cattle, then erythritol may possibly feed and help it to proliferate, although this was only shown to happen in a petri dish and the researchers could not replicate this in vivo in mice. Seems pretty low risk to me!
- Some sources suggest that intestinal discomfort from erythritol ingestion can occur at doses of 50 grams or more, but that’s an INSANE amount of it. It would be very difficult to eat that much erythritol on a sitting or even a day or a week!
- As with ANY sugar substitute, natural or artificial, there is some research that indicates that just tasting a sweet taste can cause your brain to trigger an insulin response. This has not been shown to be the case with Erythritol as of yet.
- Japanese researchers from the University of Tokyo found that “These results suggest that erythritol is a very low energy sweetener without any harmful effect.”
- This French study concluded that “Erythritol acts as an antioxidant in vivo and may help protect against hyperglycemia-induced vascular damage.” This one is very important so let me expound: What they found is that in diabetics erythritol actually protects the vascular system from oxidative damage caused by Hydroxil Radicals (HO*). In other words, Erythritol acts as an anti-oxidant under hyper-glycemic conditions and prevents tissue damage to the vascular system in diabetics.
Given this information, you might be asking yourself why the news media and the USDA/FDA are not launching massive public awareness campaigns in order to get the word out on Erythritol, especially for diabetics. I mean, given the amount of money spent each year on healthcare and the massive diabetic and pre-diabetic epidemic we are facing as a country, wouldn’t that make sense? Well, I have my own ideas, but I will leave it to my readers to make the call on that.
When I decided to try Erythritol for myself I plunged into Amazon and other outlets and researched every erythritol sweetener I could find. If you are interested in trying Erythritol as a safe sweetener for you and your family, I highly recommend that you buy the brand, “z sweet”. I was astounded by how much it tastes just like sugar, with no aftertaste whatsoever. If you are a coffee drinker, or a diabetic, this will make your day!
And if you decide that, based on my research and recommendations, you are going to buy Z-Sweet, I would really appreciate it if you did so by using one of these links to my amazon affiliate account to buy it. It doesn’t cost any extra to you to buy it through my affiliate account and it helps to support the cost of running this free blog for my readers. So, thanks in advance if you buy through my links! 🙂
- Click here to buy just 1 bag of Z Sweet.
- Click here to buy a pack of 2 Z Sweet bags.
- Click here if you are really loco and want to buy a pack of 6!
I hope you enjoyed this article. Now let me know your thoughts. Have you tried erythritol? Did you like it? Have you heard of any negative side effects of long term erythritol usage that I did not? Do you just want to say hi? Use the comment section below!
Rick Gold, Functional Wellness, FDN Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.
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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author. Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.