When it comes to keto sweeteners, you might be surprised to learn that not all sugar substitutes are created equal.
We wanted to shine some light on our of our favorites, the incredibly versatile erythritol and why we think this is a staple for your keto pantry.
Erythritol debuted in Japan in the 1990’s and was studied at length, and found to be a reliable and safe alternative to sugar. As knowledge of the ketogenic diet grew, so too did the interest and curiosity of alternative sweeteners.
However, it is not the only sweetener on offer, and so you may be wondering is it the best and what are erythritol net carbs?
Depending on your take on keto, some sweeteners are not keto-approved, while others can work into your macros.
If you want to know what erythritol net carbs can do to ketosis, why we choose this sweetener for our Nui cookies or are just curious about keto sweeteners in general, we want to help.
What is Erythritol?
Simply put, erythritol is a sugar alcohol (readily spotted by the -ol in the name). Sugar alcohols are part sugar, part alcohol.
However, you don’t have to be over 21 or over to consume this sweetener as it won’t impact you like alcohol. Where it does share an alcohol commonality is in the fermentation process.
Erythritol naturally derived from some fruits and plants. It’s found in trace amounts in grapes, melons, mushrooms, and fermented foods such as wine, beer, cheese, and soy sauce.
Once processed, erythritol takes on a remarkably similar appearance to granulated sugar, but we do recommend for many recipes, blending it first or purchasing it as a powder (confectioner's sugar).
Erythritol doesn’t break down as well as sugar and may leave recipes “grainy.” To bend, pop a cup in a blender and pulse for 30 seconds, you can store this in a ziplock bag or mason jar and use as needed.
If you’re a baker, it’ll be handy to know that erythritol is soluble in water, and it starts melting at approximately 145°F.
However, be mindful when purchasing erythritol brand names, as some are blends with unfavorable sugar alcohols.
We recommend using erythritol sparingly, as it can have what some people describe as a “cooling effect.”
Erythritol is only about 70% as sweet as regular sugar, so you may wish to blend it equal parts with another sweetener, such as monk fruit.
If you find baking with erythritol only too bitter, blending 50/50 erythritol/monk fruit is our fave way to sweeten keto recipes.
You can also sprinkle (or use a few drops of liquid) Stevia to create another awesome combo.
Is Erythritol Keto?
In short, Hellyeah! Erythritol is delicious, safe, nutritionally sound, and won’t spike your insulin (not even a little bit). This wonder-sweetener is gaining a lot of fans who are seeking a tasty sugar-free alternative, but does that mean it’s keto?
Erythritol is one of the best keto sweeteners because it’s low-calorie, low-carb and tastes delicious. Erythritol shares a zero GI (glycemic index) as Mannitol, without the nasty digestive upset.
To substitute erythritol for sugar, mix equal parts erythritol in place of sugar to assist in keto-fying your favorite cakes, fat bombs, and even ice-cream!
You will also notice that erythritol is very low calorie (0.2 calories per gram), making it a great way to get your sweet fix and stay in shape.
Erythritol Net Carbs
If the number of erythritols is greater than 5 grams, subtract half the grams of sugar alcohols from the total carbohydrates and count this as the "available carbohydrate" for insulin adjustment purposes.
However, if erythritol is the only sugar alcohol listed, subtract all of the sugar alcohol.
All Nui cookies are under 4g net carbs, and we use erythritol. Many are as low as one net carb and taste like real cookies!
Erythritol Side Effects
As with any sugar alcohol, overeating can cause some unwanted side effects.
As far as it goes, erythritol is very low on the spectrum of people affected. Symptoms include digestive upset aka “bubble gut,” stalling weight loss, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.
If you experience these symptoms, stop or reduce the number of sugar alcohols as needed to restore proper gut health.
The most irritating of all sugar alcohols by far is Matoliol. We never recommend consuming Maloltiol - keto diet or otherwise.
Erythritol, by comparison, is probably the second least irritating sugar alcohol and is in on the frontline of best choices with Monk Fruit.
So, if you have had a negative experience with other sugar alcohols and are curious if this one will work for you, many people would agree that yes, erythritol is ideal.
Why We Use Erythritol
Choosing a sweetener was perhaps one of the most challenging aspects about creating a genuinely low-sugar, ketogenic cookie. Get the wrong sweater, and it’s a bust.
At best, inferior sugar alcohols leave a gritty, grainy or bitter taste. We found that erythritol had the best flavor profile, and would impact as few people as possible.
That was super important to us as we wanted Nui to be a vessel for people of all lifestyles.
Whether you join us from the sugar-free camp, are diabetic or have Celiac’s disease, we want our Nui cookies to be easy to digestible, be all-inclusive and taste as good as momma makes.
We also knew in our hearts that if our cookies tasted great, it would make the ketogenic lifestyle much more approachable and enjoyable for people.
Longestivty and optimal health are two of our passions, and we wanted to pass on the good news to you.
In the end, we considered many different factors (such as pricing, taste, and texture), and did a whole bunch of small batch runs, to create what we think is the best tasting sugar-free cookie in the world. That’s a huge statement and one we truly standby.
Each Nui cookie is baked with love and only uses erythritol and monk fruit as our ketogenic and sugar-free sweetener of choice.
To find out more about our cookies, please visit our online store, where we provide all the nutritional information and ingredient list upfront. Transparency is our middle name!