Erythritol Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

erythritol in bowl

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is naturally present in some fruits and fermented foods.  

It’s about 60-80% as sweet as table sugar and contains zero calories per gram. In comparison, sugar has four calories per gram, which is why many manufacturers are using erythritol to reduce calories in sweet products.

The erythritol in many low-calorie ice creams, drinks and protein bars is a man-made additive. It’s created from the fermentation of wheat or cornstarch, which creates a crystalline product similar to sugar.  

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 teaspoon (4g) of pure erythritol crystals.

Erythritol Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 0
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g

Carbs

Although erythritol contains zero calories, it has 4 grams of carbohydrates in a one-teaspoon serving of the sweetener. The carbohydrates come from sugar alcohol.

Whereas other sugar alcohols (like sorbitol) cause a rise in blood sugar and insulin response when consumed, erythritol has no effect on either blood sugar or insulin levels.

Fats

There is no fat in erythritol.

Protein

Erythritol does not contain any protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

There are no vitamins and minerals in erythritol. 

Health Benefits

Erythritol is primarily used to add sweetness to food without any additional calories or sugar. This makes it a useful ingredient for those with Diabetes or people on a weight loss plan. Below are some specific health benefits tied to erythritol. 

May Prevent Cavities

Compared to other sweeteners, erythritol might be better for your teeth. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth come in contact with sugars and starches, forming an acid. The acid breaks down the tooth enamel and causes cavities. Since erythritol is not a sugar or starch, it does not play a role in the formation of cavities and it may actually reduce the occurrence of tooth decay. In addition, research suggests that erythritol may help decrease dental plaque, as well as decrease the adherence of bacteria to teeth.

May Be More Gut-Friendly Than Other

Many sugar alcohols have been linked to digestive issues, like diarrhea and bloating, but erythritol is may be the exception. Due to its smaller molecular weight, research has found that erythritol does not cause the same stomach issues as other sugar alcohols.

May Promote Blood Sugar Control

Humans do not have the enzyme to break down erythritol. After eating, erythritol floats around in the bloodstream until it is excreted in the urine. Moreover, research has shown that erythritol doesn't cause blood sugar spikes, making it a potentially good alternative for those with diabetes.

May Support Heart Health

A small pilot study in adults with Type 2 Diabetes found that taking 36 grams of erythritol every day for a month improved blood vessel function, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. That said, the study is very small and needs to be repeated before any major conclusions can be drawn. 

May Reduce Overall Sugar Intake

Consumption of excess sugar can cause weight gain, and may indirectly promote the development of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. For those trying to cut down on their sugar intake, erythritol can serve as a healthier alternative with zero sugar and calories. 

Allergies

Erythritol allergies are rare, and there are only a few documented cases. That said, there are published case reports of allergic reactions to erythritol in some, such as anaphylaxis and hives.

Adverse Effects

People with certain health conditions should be careful when consuming erythritol.  For example, erythritol and other sugar alcohols might aggravate those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In addition, one study linked high blood erythritol levels with fat gain in over 200 young adults.

Varieties

While erythritol is present in many packaged foods, it’s difficult to find on its own. That said, Swerve Sweetener is made from erythritol and can be used as a 1:1 substitute for sugar in recipes. 

Storage and Food Safety

Erythritol should be stored in a sealed container at room temperature. 

How to Prepare

Erythritol is nearly as sweet as sugar, making it a popular alternative for low-calorie baking or cooking. It comes in both granulated and powdered varieties. The powdered form works better in cooking and baking because the granulated form remains grainy unless dissolved in water.  

Because erythritol and sugar have similar sweetness, you can use it to replace sugar in recipes in a 1:1 ratio. That said, erythritol is slightly less sweet than sugar, so you may need to use 25% more to match the taste of sugar.

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12 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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