As the years pass, so do the many different trends in eating. According to research done by PEW Research Center, most Americans are eating more cheese, yogurt, and chicken than they were just 10 or 20 years ago. That also means that there are a few ingredients Americans have begun trying to cut out of their diet, and that includes sugar. Labels claiming to have “reduced sugar,” or “no added sugar,” are all the craze these days.
Despite an attempt at healthier living, people sometimes fail to see past the label its ingredient claims. Those who have read past those labels eventually discover that there are many different types of replacement sugars being marketed today. Each of these sugars claim to aid a person in their quest to eat healthier and live a cleaner lifestyle.
Sugar substitutes like Monk Fruit, Stevia, and so many more are found crowding out regular sugar on the shelves as people demand healthier sweetener options. Among some of these replacement sugars, we find erythritol and allulose. Let’s take a closer look at these two sugar substitutes, their benefits, similarities, and differences.
Allulose is a “rare sugar,” and is found naturally in a few foods including figs, raisins, and wheat. It has similarities and differences to regular sugar. It is a monosaccharide, or simple sugar. Its chemical structure is very similar to sugar, but it cannot be broken down by your body and used for energy like regular sugar can be. This is a key difference – by not being broken down, it is not digested. While your body can absorb up to 80% of allulose, it does not use it for energy. This means that it is essentially a zero-calorie food; it will not raise or lower your blood sugar levels.
For this reason, allulose has become very popular and helpful for people who suffer from obesity or diabetes. It provides those who eat it with the sweetness of sugar, without the negative effects. It is also very low-carb and great for keto diets. It is 70% as sweet as regular sugar, meaning that while it is a little less sweet, it is a really great dessert alternative while you are on a diet. It also has 90% fewer calories than regular sugar. Impact mixes it with Monk Fruit (300 times sweeter than sugar) to make it a 1-to-1 sweetener substitute.
While new to the market, allulose has been marked by the FDA as “generally recognized as safe.” According to PubMed.gov, initial testing by the FDA shows that allulose could be incredibly helpful when a person is trying to decrease inflammation, control their blood sugar levels, and maintain a healthy weight.
Erythritol is a type of natural sweetener called a sugar alcohol. Essentially, its chemical composition is somewhere between an alcohol molecule and a sugar molecule. Some other sugars alcohols that you may recognize are popular sugar replacements as well namely, xylitol or sorbitol.
Erythritol is found in grapes, watermelons, and other fruits and fungi. Not only is it found in fruits, but it is also created in the fermentation process of cheese, and alcohols like beer and wine. The sugar alcohol was approved by the World Health Organization in 1999, and then approved by the FDA in 2001.
Just like allulose, it has no effect on blood sugar levels and insulin levels, making it a great option for diabetics. Another great health benefit of erythritol is healthy teeth! Unlike regular sugars, erythritol does not wear down your enamel and cause cavities, and it actually decreases the amount of acid that bacteria make inside your mouth. This increases the health of your teeth, and results in less decay.
Erythritol and Allulose
Now that you know a few key differences, let’s see what these two replacement sugars have in common. We will look at how they affect your stomach, why it may be helpful to mix the two, and how well they both work when used to bake.
Many replacement sugars have got the bad wrap of causing stomach bloating or gas problems because of how they are absorbed, but both allulose and erythritol have been known to cause less of this then other replacement sugars. Keep that in mind as you see which sugar is best for you.
In addition, many people have found it helpful to mix replacement sugars to create a better replacement sugar overall. Many will mix monk fruit and allulose or allulose and erythritol in order to get the benefits of both and alleviate any residual flavors from any particular sugar. This is also helpful because different sweeteners offer different responses from your taste buds. Mixing one or two may be helpful as you experiment with each of these.
When it comes to baking, erythritol and allulose are two popular replacements. Since they are both very similar to sugar, they can replace sugar in almost any recipe without having to adjust the recipe elsewhere to compensate. They still maintain the sweetness most people crave, and therefore are still tasty when making anything from lemon bars to chocolate cake. They both seem to cause a slight cooling effect in your mouth as you eat it. It is not quite as noticeable if you are using small amounts, but present, nonetheless. Allulose doesn’t have quite the same magnitude of cooling as erythritol, but it can be another thing to consider as you choose between sugars.
Regular sugar plays a part in obesity, diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure. Replacement sugars have become a must have for the kitchen due to increasingly obvious health problems that come as a result of too much regular sugar intake. With a variety of popular health kicks like low carb diet, keto diet, low calorie diet, or intermittent fasting the sugar industry has adapted, and healthy alternatives are now available. Replacement sugars save the day by providing less calories, and carbs, while still supplying you with a little sweetness in your diet. Try a few today and decide which works best for your diet.