Woman eating raspberries as a substitute for sugar

Sugar Substitute

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December 09, 2019  | by Gina

A Sugar Substitute That Is Good For You

Two words you may not have thought would be strung together in a dental article are “sugar” and “alcohol.” But “sugar alcohols” are becoming increasingly more popular as sugar substitutes, because they don’t have nearly the same calorie content, or carry the same cavity risks like sugar (and they don’t alter your behavior like alcohol.)

You may already be familiar with one “sugar alcohol”: xylitol, and its dental benefit for reduction and prevention of cavities. Erythritol has been around for over 170 years, and is found naturally in some fermented foods. However, it has about 1/20 the calories of sugar, and about 1/5 the calories of xylitol. It also does not cause a spike in blood sugar or insulin levels, and no effect on cholesterol. It's detrimental impact on dental health is minimal: bacteria cannot break it down, and therefore there is no risk of damage via tooth decay.

Like xylitol, erythritol can cause GI distress if consumed in large quantities. However, since 90% of it is absorbed by the small intestine, it is much easier to digest than other sugar alcohols, such as maltitol and sorbitol. Other words of caution are that some erythritol is manufactured from GMO corn, that it has no nutritional value of its own, and that it may be placed into food products that are less than “healthy” otherwise. But as an alternative, erythritol may be a better option than refined sugar, for your teeth and for your overall health - when consumed sparingly.

Check out the article at https://getcuros.com/erythritol for a great summary on this sugar alternative, and check out your local grocery or cooperative for organic erythritol in the baking aisle (sometimes sold as “monkfruit” sweetener), or at the checkout in a pack of dental-friendly gum.