Sugar Alcohols vs. Sugar
Sugar Alcohols vs. Sugar – Erythritol is classified as a sugar alcohol and is a naturally-derived sugar substitute that looks and tastes very much like sugar. The key point is that it has almost no calories and doesn’t count as a carbohydrate or a sugar.
Erythritol is my favorite sugar alcohol. And in this discussions over sugar alcohols vs. sugar, let me say why. Unlike another sugar alcohol, Xylitol, Erythritol is completely absorbed in the stomach and upper intestines and is immediately excreted by the body in the urine.
However other common sugar alcohol sweeteners like Sorbitol and Xylitol have some digestive issues.
Xylitol, another sugar alcohol passes through the entire gastrointestinal system, not cleared immediately by the kidneys and that is why Xylitol is associated with abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Xylitol has essentially no calories like Erythritol and really shouldn’t be added to your carbohydrate or sugar consumption as calories.
Sorbitol, is also a sugar alcohol whose absorption in the human body is slow, and this allows part of the ingested sorbitol to reach the large intestine where metabolism yields fewer calories. Therefore, in sugar alcohols vs. sugar, unlike sugar which contributes four calories per gram, the caloric contribution of sorbitol is about 2.6 calories per gram.
Sugar Alcohols vs. Sugar – NATURAL SWEETENER STEVIA
Stevia is in the sunflower family native to tropical regions in South America.. It is known as sweet leaf, sugarleaf or just Stevia. As a sweetener Stevia’s taste has a slow onset but last longer than that of sugar, although some of its extracts may have a bitter aftertaste.
The steviol glycoside extracts are 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia undoubtedly has an important role in the low-carbohydrate lifestyles as a low-sugar sweetener. A very important part of Stevia’s metabolism in our body is that it has a negligible effect on blood glucose, and therefore won’t cause insulin spikes so common with a carbohydrate rich (low-fat) diets.
In the debate over sugar alcohols vs. sugar, I find Stevia and therefore Truvia with Erythritol very helpful as a natural sweetener in patients who require a carbohydrate-controlled diet, and strongly recommend it.
Truvia ® is a combination of Erythritol and a purified Steviol glycoside called Rebaudioside(Rebiana).The carbohydrate in Truvia® natural sweetener comes from erythritol – a natural sugar alcohol vs. sugar that is also found in grapes and pears – that also has zero calories. Erythritol passes through the body without being broken down for calories.
As a result, it has no effect on blood sugar so in the debate over sugar alcohols vs. sugar, Erythritol is used in Truvia® natural sweetener to evenly disperse rebiana to achieve uniform sweetness, similar to how dextrose and other ingredients are used by other high intensity sweeteners like Splenda® to evenly disperse the sweetener.
Sugar Alcohols vs. Sugar
To summarize, in sugar alcohols vs. sugar concerns, I like using Truvia® with erythritol or Ribose as sweeteners for coffee, as they do not metabolize like a sugar and therefore do not count as sugars or carbohydrates. And the metabolites of each do not result in injury to the human body.
Ribose in fact will increase the availability of important components in ATP, the primary source of energy, as well as the nucleotides, important in the genetic code.
Certainly Splenda® and Nutra-Sweet® do not count as calories as well, but there are health risks associated with these sweeteners. Certainly in the debate over sugar alcohols vs. sugar, it is clear which one is the winner.