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When it comes to low carb sweeteners, it’s easy to get lost in the array of choices: controversial sucralose, perfectly sweet allulose, potent monk fruit, and many more. If you’ve seen these, you may be wondering, what is erythritol? You guessed it, erythritol is another sugar-free sweetener. So, is erythritol keto too? Let’s dive deep into erythritol carbs, erythritol benefits, and how erythritol and keto relate to each other.
If you have more sweetener questions, use this sweetener comparison chart and calculator for a full breakdown (including how to substitute!)… or use these keto cheat sheets to view sweetener options at a glance.
Wondering where to buy erythritol? Get Besti erythritol here!
What Is Erythritol?
Erythritol is natural sugar replacement. Unlike artificial sweeteners designed in a lab, erythritol is found in nature and produced using natural processes.
It’s a type of sugar alcohol, but don’t let the name confuse you — it contains no sugar, and no ethanol (the kind of alcohol you drink). Based on its chemical structure, erythritol and other sugar alcohols are classified as polyols.
What is erythritol made from?
You can find erythritol naturally in certain fruits, mushrooms, and fermented foods.
Commercially, erythritol can also be made as a by-product of fermenting corn. Fermentation is a natural process – the same process used to produce vinegar, kombucha, wine, beer, and pickles, among other things.
Erythritol is 70% as sweet as sugar and used in a variety of foods to add bulk and delicious flavor. It also contains a small amount of total carbs (which we don’t metabolize), and zero calories per serving.
What forms does erythritol come in?
Erythritol serves as a replacement for both granulated and powdered sugar, so similarly, you can get to granulated erythritol or powdered erythritol, with the same consistency as their sugar counterparts.
Is Erythritol Keto Friendly?
Yes, this sweetener is keto! Erythritol carbs per serving are very low, especially when counting net carbs.
Is erythritol carb free?
If erythritol is keto, does erythritol have carbs? Yes — it contains 4 grams total carbs per teaspoon. But there’s more to the story…
Do you count erythritol carbs on keto?
Even though erythritol contains carbohydrates, many people do not include them in their macro calculations. That’s because almost the erythritol you consume (about 90%) does not get metabolized in your body, and is excreted without any changes [*].
Erythritol net carbs:
Do you subtract erythritol from carbs when calculating net carbs? Yes — that means erythritol contains zero grams net carbs per teaspoon.
Carbs in erythritol vs other sugar alcohols:
Erythritol is unique among its sugar alcohols family. Others, especially sorbitol and maltitol, tend to get partially metabolized and can still cause a blood sugar spike. Erythritol is the only sugar alcohol with a glycemic index of zero.
Is Erythritol Safe For Keto?
Is erythritol good for keto? Yes — but is it safe? Here are all the answers.
Is erythritol healthy?
Compared to white sugar and other high-glycemic sweeteners, erythritol is a healthy sweetener choice. Erythritol has a glycemic index of zero, which means it won’t spike your blood sugar compared to some other sugar substitutes [*].
Erythritol side effects:
What are the dangers of erythritol sugar substitutes? There are no known dangers, except for extremely rare allergies. In fact, the FDA has classified erythritol as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) as a food product for decades [*]. Studies show that everyone from children [*] to adults [*] can enjoy this sweetener safely.
Those who have used sugar alcohols may know that they can cause some GI distress. Erythritol can cause the same issues, but only if you’re consuming sugars alongside some form of fructose [*] — something that wouldn’t happen if you’re on a keto diet that avoids common fruits.
If you follow a fairly clean keto diet, you can enjoy erythritol risk-free.
If you’re cutting out sugar for its health benefits, erythritol should be high on your list of sugar subs. This keto sweetener has been linked to:
- Better oral health [*]
- Lowered insulin resistance [*]
- Improved intestinal health [*]
- Appetite reduction [*]
It may even act as an antioxidant in the body [*].
Another big benefit of erythritol is that the particle size is much smaller than other sugar alcohols, such as maltitol, sorbitol, or xylitol. Why does this matter? Because it means that the particles are small enough to absorb in the small intestine.
Even though we still don’t metabolize them, this is the reason why erythritol doesn’t cause as many tummy troubles for most people as other sugar alcohols do. (If you’re one of the unlucky ones that still has this issue with erythritol, use allulose or monk fruit instead.)
Baking With Erythritol
If you bake with erythritol on keto, you’ll quickly learn that it possesses special properties. While it shines in baked goods that need a crisp texture, it doesn’t dissolve and will even crystallize in certain recipes. For these types of dishes, consider an erythritol substitute.
Erythritol substitute options:
Allulose makes the best 1:1 substitution with erythritol, since both are 70% as sweet as sugar and contain zero net carbs.
However, you can also substitute sweetener blends that measure cup-for-cup like sugar – my best recommendation is monk fruit allulose blend.
Use this sweetener comparison chart and calculator to get exact quantities, since they vary depending on what you use.
Erythritol vs. stevia:
Erythritol and stevia are both keto-friendly sweeteners, but they don’t behave the same way in recipes. Since stevia has a much more potent sweetness level (and a bitter aftertaste to many people), it won’t add the same bulk or flavor that erythritol would.
In a battle of erythritol vs stevia, erythritol tends to be a better choice — especially if you choose an erythritol brand with no aftertaste.
Xylitol vs. erythritol:
Xylitol and erythritol are both sugar alcohols, and both can have a cooling effect in recipes. Both are also keto-friendly, tooth-friendly, and zero net carbs, and can be derived from similar sources like corn.
However, these sweeteners have a few differences. Xylitol has a glycemic index of 7 compared to 0 for erythritol, so it may have a slight impact on blood sugar [*]. Unlike erythritol, xylitol measures cup-for-cup like sugar.
One notable fact about xylitol is that it’s toxic for dogs. On the other hand, if your house has erythritol, dogs are safe to be around it. In a competition of xylitol vs erythritol, erythritol still wins for these reasons.
Where To Buy Erythritol
If you use erythritol for keto, it can be tough to find a quality source. Some brands have an aftertaste or are mixed with other bulking agents and sweeteners that are not-so-keto. After trying many erythritol brands, I only recommend Besti for pure erythritol and 1:1 erythritol sweetener blends.
With only one ingredient (erythritol!), Besti Erythritol outshines the others in taste — plus, unlike many others, it’s non-GMO. You can also find Besti powdered erythritol for smoother results in recipes.
When you need to measure cup-for-cup with sugar, try Besti Monk Fruit Erythritol Blend. It uses the highest grade of Mogroside V (the source of monk fruit’s sweetness) for the best flavor with no aftertaste. It comes powdered, too!
Top 10 Erythritol Keto Recipes
Try these low carb erythritol recipes for just-like-sugar sweetness, without the sugar spike!
Keto Apple Pie
An erythritol sugar substitute makes this pie taste just like the real thing — no apples needed!
Keto Cookie Dough Bites
Erythritol substitutes for sugar so easily in this edible dough recipe. Takes minutes to make, too!
One of the main erythritol benefits is that it makes baked goods more crispy. These copycat cookies are a stellar example!
Keto Strawberry Shortcake In A Jar
No need to fuss over a whole cake — this one takes just minutes and makes perfectly sweet results.
This show-stopping dessert makes a crisp, meringue-like base with your favorite light keto fruits. Almost too pretty to eat!
Keto Coconut Flour Waffles
Make fluffy and sweet waffles with erythritol and keto-friendly coconut flour, with just a few minutes prep.
Keto Tres Leches Cake
A moist cake with clouds of sugar-free whipped cream — can you believe it’s keto? Erythritol makes it possible!
Keto Piña Colada Cheesecake Cupcakes
Coconut lovers, this is for you — erythritol makes a smooth and creamy center, and a garnish of toasted coconut and pineapple takes each bite over the top.
Keto French Almond Cake
A sweet glaze and sprinkle of erythritol sweetener tops this moist and nutty cake.
Keto Matcha Green Tea Frappe
Earthy matcha pairs perfectly with sweet flavor from erythritol. The ultimate coffeehouse treat you can make at home!
Conclusion: Can You Have Erythritol On Keto?
So, is erythritol keto? Definitely — erythritol and keto make the perfect pair because erythritol carbs are so manageable. Try it in all your favorite keto recipes that need some sweetness to make the most of erythritol benefits.
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