- Erythritol is an artificial sweetener used in low-sugar and sugar-free foods. It is designed to replace sugar and calories. Powdered erythritol sweeteners are made by combining and fermenting certain natural sugars. Corn is frequently used to prepare the sweetener. However, it is found naturally in watermelon, soy sauce, and pears. It is classified as a carbohydrate according to the FDA and is used not only to add sweetness to foods, but texture and bulk as well. The sweetener also prevents browning and dryness issues. Erythritol is generally crafted from GMO cornstarch. It is frequently marketed to diabetics and those with weight and metabolic issues because it provides a sweet taste without the insulin spike or added poundage.
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- Erythritol and weight gain
- The low-calorie sweetener erythritol tastes almost like sugar without the calories. Erythritol is classified as compounds called sugar alcohols known as polyols. Generally, sugar alcohols are found, especially in fruits (grapes, peaches, watermelon, pear) and vegetables. Erythritol appears to be different from the other sugar alcohols.
- To begin with, it contains much fewer calories. In large-scale production, erythritol is manufactured when a kind of yeast ferments glucose from corn or wheat starch. There are several confusing reports that gives the impression that consuming more erythritol leads to weight gain. All in all, the implication is that using erythritol may actually have the opposite effect it might make you gain weight. But then Erythritol is a biomarker associated with weight gain. High erythritol levels may indicate an increased intake of diet foods, and these are just people trying and failing to lose weight. Well, the pathway is a glucose-to-erythritol conversion. The people who gained the excessive weight were converting glucose to erythritol more than anyone else. It is possible that these people were also eating the most glucose. Glucose consumption is a well-established risk factor for weight gain in the average sedentary human.
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- Several science organizations believe that artificial sweeteners may lead to weight gain, obesity and type II diabetes. When you eat sugary food your body knows how to process them. It releases hormones that help to manage your appetite. Human body doesn’t metabolize artificial sweeteners and hence doesn’t register that the body has consumed anything. This leads to enhanced cravings and therefore the risk of overeating as well as weight gain. According to multiple clinical studies, those who consume diet food containing artificial sweeteners are at higher risk for overeating and weight gain. This may lead to obesity and diabetes. Whether this is because of the artificial sweeteners or because of the unhealthy food habits of people who consume artificial sweeteners that remains to be seen. Technically, erythritol is not an artificial sweetener as aspartame or saccharin, but it is rather a sugar alcohol polyols. Hence, more research is needed to determine if it also contributes to weight gain and overeating.
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- According to the research, erythritol has been identified as a biomarker for increasing fat mass. Although erythritol, supposedly has very little impact on blood glucose with its zero-calorie content (0.2.3 kcal/g vs 4.3 kcal/g for sugar), it has now been identified as a biomarker for weight gain by Cornell University researchers and the University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg.
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