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What’s the best low calorie sweetener?

I was unable to understand the name of the sweetener you suggested in the recipe for homemade cranberry juice in the video of 12/03. I’d be grateful if you could send along the spelling of the product.

Don Brix / Originally posted on Pink juice with green foam

Answer:

“Erythritol,” a nearly noncaloric sugar alcohol found naturally in certain fruits. I have a video about it here: A Harmless Artificial Sweetener. My family goes through about a pound a month. See, for example, our Pink Juice with Green Foam and healthy chocolate ice cream recipes.

study published last month adds a cautionary note, though: consuming erythritol with a large load of fructose (as can be found in certain confectionery and soft drinks) could inhibit fructose absorption in the small intestine and result in bloating and discomfort from fructose fermentation in the colon. I don’t imagine people would typically be mixing their diet and regular soda together, but if they did, it could be a bad combo.

I have another erythritol video queued up from volume 11 so stay tuned and make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss it!

Image Credit: Theculinarygeek / Flickr

Dr. Michael Greger

About Michael Greger M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

View all videos by Michael Greger M.D.

  • Stephen Albers

    What about Zsweet?

    • Dar

      Stephen, Zsweet is Erythritol that Dr. Greger uses and recommends. Zsweet also contains “natural flavors” which is very nonspecific.

      • http://www.facebook.com/darryl.roy.752 Darryl Roy

        Zsweet includes stevia as one of its “natural botanical extracts”, most likely to increase sweetness to sucrose like levels.
        http://zsweet.com/htmls/faq/zsweet-ingredients.html
        There remains debate on the safety of stevia. The Center for Science in the Public Interest’s has a page on stevia:
        http://www.cspinet.org/stevia/
        There are a number of brands of pure erythritol: NOW Foods, Wholesome Sweeteners, Emerald Forest and others.

        • Susie

          Stevia is available in Canada.

        • ===

          sold by ?

          • Darryl

            I bought mine from US Amazon over a year ago, but haven’t used much.

            I started using glycine (the mildly-sweet simplest amino acid) instead as my beverage sweetener, as it may both clear excess methionine and increase glutathione synthesis.

  • http://www.facebook.com/b.ramos.5 B Cecilia Ramos

    what about stevia?

  • http://www.facebook.com/b.ramos.5 B Cecilia Ramos

    xylitol? coconut sap nectar?

  • barbara

    I tried it (Erythritol) and it is 70% sweetness of sugar..it was OK. Saw recently about monk fruit …{Lo Han drops}..wondering about this and it’s safety. I love date sugar for cooking as you recommended! Thank you for all your information!

  • Dominic D

    I read an article that maple syrup is rich in antioxidant and have equivalent heath benefices than superfood. Is it possible that this sweetener will become the next best sweetener ? If no, what make it less interesting?

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/is-maple-syrup-the-new-super-food/article613045/

  • Avi

    what is your educated opinion about the Monk Fruit extract, (butanic name of the fruit Siratia Grosvenori Momordica/Mogroside)

  • NW

    Yes, I would like to know about Monk fruit as well. It is sold in packets and marketed as Nectresse. It has Erythritol in it, but claims to be mostly made of Monk fruit.

    • The Vegetarian Site

      Luo han guo is the natural extract from monk fruit. Like stevia, it is extremely sweet and non-caloric. Erythritol is used largely as a filler in this product, because, like pure stevia, luo han guo is super-sweet.

  • Barbara

    What about Yacon syrup?

  • The Vegetarian Site

    Certainly, natural stevia appears to be safe for human consumption. While stevia is relatively new to the US, it has been consumed in Japan in quantity for over 40 years. Have any detrimental effects of regular stevia consumption by those in Japan been discovered?

  • Joe Cassara

    “fructose fermentation in the colon”

    And I’m betting there’s a beverage snob out there that would pay top dollar for one to expunge that potent potion into a glass for his consumption!

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