Almost no calories
Erythritol belongs to a group of compounds that are not sugar and not alcohol. The molecules are like hybrids of a carbohydrate and an alcohol (without any ethanol … what gets you drunk). They can be found in natural foods like fruits. The way these molecules are structured gives them the ability to stimulate the sweet taste receptors on our tongues.
Common sugar alcohols include xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol, to name a few. But erythritol appears to be quite a bit different than the others. Erythritol contains much fewer calories:
- Table sugar: 4 calories per gram.
- Xylitol: 2.4 calories per gram.
- Erythritol: 0.24 calories per gram.
Erythritol gets absorbed into the bloodstream and is excreted unchanged in the urine. When healthy people are given erythritol, there is no change in blood sugar or insulin levels. There is also no effect on cholesterol, triglycerides or other biomarkers.
For people who are overweight, with diabetes or other issues related to the metabolic syndrome, erythritol appears to be an excellent alternative to sugar.