A Comparison of Two Popular Sugar Substitutes
Which Is Better Between Erythritol and Stevia?
💡 ERYTHRITOL VS STEVIA – Erythritol and stevia are two popular sugar substitutes. Erythritol tastes similar to sugar, while stevia is sweeter but with a bitter aftertaste. There’s actually no “better” substitute, as it depends on personal preference and intended use.
If you’re trying to stay away from sugar but still crave something sweet, erythritol and stevia are two of the most popular sugar substitutes.
In this erythritol vs stevia blog post, we’ll uncover their differences based on taste, safety, and nutritional advantages.
We’ll also look into how erythritol and stevia are digested by our bodies and their influence on blood sugar levels.
So let’s begin exploring to discover which one is the better sugar substitute for you!
Table of Contents
- What Are Sugar Substitutes?
- Erythritol vs Stevia
- Erythritol and Stevia Nutrition
- Uses of Erythritol and Stevia
- Erythritol and Stevia Conversion Chart
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
What Are Sugar Substitutes?
Sugar substitutes, otherwise affectionately known as sweeteners, are a wonderful way to add flavor without the guilt of extra calories. Unlike sugar, these sweeteners can come from natural sources like plants or they can be produced in laboratories.
Sugar substitutes made a revolutionary impact on diet, low-carb, and sugar-free products like sodas, sauces, and baked goods. These product alterations grant us all a guilt-free way to indulge in sweet treats that our taste buds crave!
With such flexibility comes increased popularity as more people than ever before now rely on these amazing ingredients when it comes to indulging in treats!
Erythritol vs Stevia
When looking for a sugar alternative, erythritol and stevia are among the top contenders. Both provide the same sweet flavor without all the calories, yet they possess individual distinctions in terms of consistency, taste profile, and uses.
What Is Erythritol?
Erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that is found in various fruits and fermented foods.
Although it may not have as much sweetness as traditional sugars, its taste is still delectable and won’t burden your calorie consumption! Boasting a taste and texture similar to table sugar, erythritol is about 70 percent as sweet but has no bitter aftertaste as other sugar substitutes.
How Is Erythritol Made?
Converting starch into a sweet-tasting, low-calorie erythritol may sound intimidating, but it is actually quite similar to the fermentation procedures used for some of our favorite food and drinks like wine.
It begins with natural starches from fruits and vegetables that are fermented by beneficial bacteria. As this process takes place over time, it transforms the starches into an incredible-tasting compound without all those excess calories found in traditional sugar.
Erythritol Health Benefits
For those looking to shed a few pounds or who have diabetes, erythritol is an ideal sweetener choice. This sugar substitute adds sweetness without contributing any additional calories or sugar to food, all while providing several amazing health benefits!
Take a look at the advantages that come with consuming erythritol:
- Protects dental health: Erythritol does not provide energy for oral bacteria which can cause tooth decay and cavities. In fact, research has shown that it might even reduce the occurrence of cavities by decreasing the adherence of bacteria to teeth.
- Gentle on the digestive system: With its minuscule molecular weight, erythritol is far less likely to cause harsh digestive issues like bloating and diarrhea than other sugar alcohols. Studies have even found that those who previously suffered from gastrointestinal issues may find erythritol easier to digest than others.
- Promotes healthy gut bacteria: Studies have uncovered that erythritol can have prebiotic properties, encouraging the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines. This not only aids digestion but also enhances our immune system’s prowess.
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels: Erythritol does not trigger any abrupt spikes in blood sugar levels. Humans do not have the enzymatic capability to break down this product, thus resulting in its swift excretion through urine without causing health complications.
- Has antioxidant properties: Due to its antioxidant qualities, erythritol may help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
Keep in mind that moderation is key to obtaining these benefits without compromising your overall wellness.
Erythritol Health Risks
Many health-conscious people ask, “Is there a downside to erythritol?” Generally, this sugar alcohol is viewed as safe to consume in moderation. But, like most products, consuming it comes with some health risks:
- Allergic reactions: If you experience any allergy symptoms after ingesting erythritol, seek medical attention immediately.
- Cardiovascular risks: According to a study, elevated erythritol levels in the bloodstream may amplify a person’s chances of experiencing major cardiac events like a heart attack or stroke. It’s also revealed that high amounts of erythritol can cause platelets to coagulate more easily, thus increasing their vulnerability to dangerous blood clotting and cardiovascular illness.
- Headaches: Eating large quantities of erythritol may lead to headaches for certain individuals.
To ensure your health and safety, use erythritol in moderation and always consider the suggested serving sizes.
What Is Stevia?
The stevia rebaudiana plant, which belongs to the sunflower family, is what makes up stevia, a naturally occurring sweetener.
With its steviol glycosides present in its leaves, this natural alternative offers up to 300 times more sweetness than sugar without causing any spikes or increases in blood sugar levels since it has fewer calories!
Aspartame and sucralose are artificial sweeteners which are much harsher options for those watching out for their health compared to the benefits of utilizing stevia as an artificial-free option.
Despite its numerous benefits, one major downside of stevia is its bitter aftertaste. It comes in granulated, powder, or liquid form; the taste will depend on the brand and how it has been processed.
Some people find that there’s a slightly sour or licorice-like flavor, whereas for others it can be quite sweet with no off-putting aftertastes.
How Is Stevia Made?
The creation of stevia, a natural sweetener, starts with the collection and drying of its leaves. These dried leaves are then steeped in hot water to generate an extract.
This extract is filtered meticulously, followed by centrifugation — a process that yields a concentrated, pure version suitable for consumption. The production of stevia extract is natural and straightforward, without unnecessary preservatives or additives.
It’s similar to the extraction process of other plant-based products like vanilla, which preserves the original properties of its source material. This provides you with a pure, unaltered product that has been preserved in its most organic form!
Stevia Health Benefits
With its natural origins, stevia has the potential to gift your diet with exclusive health advantages. Here are a few of them:
- Protects dental health: Unlike sugar, stevia will not contribute to tooth decay, making it a far better option for protecting your oral health.
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels: Stevia has been known to help in blood sugar control which is beneficial, especially for those diagnosed with diabetes or predisposed to the condition.
- Cholesterol management: Multiple studies have indicated that stevia could be beneficial to cardiovascular health, as it may assist in decreasing total cholesterol, LDL or bad cholesterol, and triglycerides while raising HDL or good cholesterol.
- Has anti-inflammatory properties: Stevia is a powerhouse of antioxidants, which can have powerful anti-inflammatory effects and thus minimize inflammation-related health issues.
Further research is needed to accurately assess the extent of stevia’s health benefits, but this natural sweetener has already demonstrated potential for improving overall wellness.
Stevia Health Risks
Stevia has become the sweetener of choice due to its low-calorie count and glycemic index. However, it also comes with a few health risks:
- Gastrointestinal issues: If you have a sensitive digestive system, consuming too much stevia could lead to unpleasant symptoms like bloating or diarrhea.
- Low blood pressure: Stevia is known to open up blood vessels, promoting lower overall blood pressure. If you suffer from ongoing low blood pressure levels, it is essential to consult a medical expert before consuming stevia for a prolonged duration.
- Allergic reactions: Developing a sensitivity to stevia is extremely uncommon, although some may experience an allergy to the leaves of the stevia plant. If you start experiencing irritation, puffiness, or any respiratory issues after consuming stevia-containing products, seek medical attention immediately.
Always read the label and speak with your doctor if you plan on using stevia or any other type of sweetener.
Erythritol and Stevia Nutrition
If you’re searching for a healthier, low-calorie and reduced carbohydrate alternative to table sugar, erythritol and stevia are both prime choices. These sugar-free sweeteners come with several noteworthy nutritional advantages:
- Both erythritol and stevia are the ideal substitutes for regular sugar due to their dramatically lower levels of calories and carbohydrates.
- Erythritol packs an impressive nutritional punch with only 5% of the calories found in sugar while being 60-80% as sweet. On the contrary, stevia is a no-calorie sugar substitute that can be anywhere from 50 to 400 times sweeter than your usual cane sugar!
- Both sweeteners possess a low glycemic index. Unlike regular sugar which is known to raise blood glucose levels, these sweeteners won’t cause such sudden changes. This makes it ideal for those who limit their sugar consumption.
One teaspoon of erythritol contains these nutritional information:
- Calories: 1.7 kcal
- Total fat: 0 gram
- Total carbs: 0.4 gram
- Fiber: 0 gram
- Net carbs: 0.4 gram
- Protein: 0 gram
Taking a look at the nutrition of stevia per 0.8 teaspoon serving, you’ll find:
- Calories: 0 kcal
- Total fat: 0 gram
- Total carbs: 3.5 grams
- Fiber: 0 gram
- Net carbs: 0 gram
- Protein: 0 gram
Uses of Erythritol and Stevia
Below are some popular uses for erythritol:
- Low-calorie substitute for sugar in beverages and baked goods like key lime pie and peach cobbler
- Used in low-carb and ketogenic products, such as sugar-free marshmallows, gum, and protein bars
Meanwhile, the following are some of the many ways to put stevia to use:
- Used sparingly due to its intense sweetness compared to sugar
- Available in liquid and powder form that can be used in sweetening low-carb drinks
- Can be sprinkled over foods or used in baked goods with recipe adjustments
If you’re searching for alternatives to regular sugar, erythritol and stevia provide an excellent way of indulging in sweet treats without health risks or added calories.
Although both substitutes may require some adjustments when it comes to recipes, as well as a difference in taste and texture compared to traditional sugar, by understanding their special qualities and uses, you can make informed decisions about which one is best suited for your favorite dishes.
Erythritol and Stevia Conversion Chart
For accurate sugar substitution with erythritol and stevia, using a conversion chart is essential. This reference serves to provide an approximate quantity of each sweetener needed for the desired level of sweetness.
With this handy tool, you can make tasty recipes that remain true to their original flavor and texture!
The conversion rates of erythritol and stevia are displayed in the table below:
|Sugar||1 tablespoon||¼ cup||½ cup||1 cup|
|Erythritol||1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon||⅓ cup||⅔ cup||1 ⅓ cup|
|Liquid Stevia & Stevia Powder||1/16 teaspoon||¼ teaspoon||½ teaspoon||1 teaspoon|
Keep in mind that the conversion rate may vary depending on the brand. Thus, it’s best to refer to each product’s website for accurate information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should You Use Sugar Substitutes?
Sugar substitutes provide an effective way to reduce calorie intake, keep blood glucose levels in check, promote dental health, and make cooking or baking easier. They offer a tasty alternative to traditional sugar and help you reach your desired weight goal without sacrificing flavor.
Are Erythritol and Stevia the Same Thing?
No, erythritol and stevia are two distinct types of sweeteners. Erythritol is extracted from fruits and vegetables, while stevia comes from the leaves of a plant with the same name.
Despite being different in their source, they share similarities, such as having low calories count, alongside both possessing a relatively low glycemic index when compared to other sugars on the market.
Is Erythritol Better Than Stevia for Diabetics?
Both erythritol and stevia are natural sweeteners that provide zero calories without affecting your blood sugar levels, so any of them is good for diabetics.
With the surge of sugar substitutes on the market, erythritol and stevia stand out as two highly sought-after options. Both boast a multitude of benefits compared to traditional sugars.
It all boils down to individual preferences and health concerns when deciding between erythritol or stevia. Nevertheless, these sweeteners can both be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle in moderation.