Cutting sugar out of your diet and replacing it with natural alternative sweeteners is a great way to reduce the amount of calories that you are consuming while still enjoying that sweet taste in your hot drinks and food! knowing which sugar replacements to use is a challenge. Knowing which ones are safe is another challenge. Let’s talk about what erythritol and stevia are and what are their differences and what benefits you get from a sugar replacement.
Benefits of Switching to a Natural Sugar Replacement.
- Less refined than white sugar.
- Helps you to lose weight.
- Higher mineral and nutrient content than regular sugars.
- Lower calorie levels.
- Reduces your risk of heart disease and obesity.
- Keeps your cholesterol levels down.
Sugar has been associated with a wide range of negative health impacts that includes heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancers. Despite the risks many people continue to consume large quantities of sugar in their diet without realizing that there are healthy, natural alternatives to sugar which can be substituted for the sugar in your diet!
There are a wide range of natural, artificial sweeteners that you can choose from however they all have that rich, unique taste that we associate with sugar but don’t have the dangerous health risks that sugar does.
Two Of The Top Sugar Replacements
Two of the most popular types of natural alternatives to sugar are Erythritol and Stevia. These are both a great substitute for sugar in your diet but what are they and how are they different to each other, and to sugar itself?
What is Erythritol?
Erythritol is a kind of natural sugar alcohol that was discovered and developed during the 1990s. Erythritol is made by fermenting natural starches in fruit and vegetables to produce a sweet and perfect substitute for the taste of sugar.
One of the main benefits of erythritol is that it contains much lower levels of calories than sugar which makes it a great choice if you’re trying to lose weight or get in better shape. On average, erythritol contains roughly 0.25 calories per gram, which is an amazing 94% lower than the regular sugar you can buy in most shops!
Erythritol has a very natural, sugar like taste which makes it easy for people to switch to without even really noticing! One of the other main advantages over sugar is that because it is a relatively new natural sweetener, and because of the way it is made, the body does not have the necessary enzymes to break down much of the erythritol when you consume it.
This means that you get the great sugar taste but then most of the sugar substitute is simply excreted through your urine. As a result of this erythritol does not have many of the commonly associated harmful effects that sugar can have.
Overall, erythritol is generally considered to be a safe and viable alternative to regular sugars however, because it is quite difficult to produce the price is relatively high compared with sugar and other natural alternatives.
What is Stevia?
Stevia is a natural sweetener that is extracted from a unique South American plant called the Stevia Rebaudiana. The sugar substitute contains zero calories and yet has a taste that is hundreds of times sweeter than regular sugar! This means that you only need to use a very small amount to achieve the taste that you are used to in your food and hot drinks.
Research has shown that when regular sugar is replaced by Stevia it can lead to weight loss, lower cholesterol and reduced blood pressure in people of all ages. As well as having zero calories Stevia is also very high in nutrients that have been associated with a wide range of health benefits.
Stevia has been shown to improve your metabolism which will help you digest the nutrients in your diet and keep your weight down.
Stevia is a completely natural sugar replacement that contains absolutely zero calories and is associated with a broad range of health benefits including lower blood pressure and improved cardiovascular function.
What is the Difference between Erythritol and Stevia and which is better?
Although both erythritol and stevia are viable sugar replacements there are differences between the two that should be kept in mind.
How is it made?
|Fermentation of fruits and vegetables in an industrial process
|Extracted from the leaves of the South American Stevia Rebaudiana plant.
When was it invented?
How sweet is it compared to regular sugar?
|Not quite as sweet, roughly 50-70% as sweet
|100-300 times sweeter than sugar!
Does your body break it down?
|Partly broken down by the body.
|Passes through the body.
|More expensive than sugar or other sugar replacements.
|Not expensive and easily accessible.
So, what’s the verdict – Which is Better?
There is still more research that needs to be done, particularly in the case of Erythritol because it was only developed quite recently, however, studies have shown that Stevia is safer, has a better taste and is cheaper to buy.
Some evidence has emerged the Erythritol may actually cause an increase in fat mass throughout the body however, this is not certain. What is for sure though is that Erythritol is more expensive than Stevia and harder to find.
Stevia has been around for hundreds of years and been used to sweeten drinks and foods by millions of people.
Although both Erythritol and Stevia are viable alternatives to sugar, Stevia has a longer track record and has been shown in more scientific studies to benefit your health.
The main health benefits of Stevia include lowering your blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels in your blood and helping you to lose weight and keep it off.
On balance, both Erythritol and Stevia are good substitutes for regular sugar however Stevia is the cheaper, safer and healthier of the two.