Doctor's Note

The other two mechanisms by which low calorie sweeteners could, counterintuitively, lead to weight gain were explored in How Diet Soda Could Make Us Gain Weight and Neurobiology of Artificial Sweeteners. If we’re able to maintain a healthy diet at home and away, though, then there may be no dietary downside to moderate erythritol consumption; see Erythritol May Be a Sweet Antioxidant. Just remember that although most erythritol is absorbed before it reaches the large colon, a small percentage remains. So, if you eat sufficiently large amounts, you can indeed trigger the osmotic diarrhea seen more commonly with the non-absorbed sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol and xylitol.

For further context, check out my associated blog post: How to Gain Weight on Diet Soda.

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  • basskills

    Does this include high fruit intake?

    • Toxins

      Fruits should not be put at the same level as added sugars. Fruits are indeed very healthy and we should eat plenty of them.

  • Neal

    I’m salivating just looking at those donuts…

    • herehere

      I agree. The photo is making me want donuts (or doughnuts, as we write in Canada).

    • Now I’m thinking about the donut shop across the street. Why did I read this? :)

      • Larry G Maloney

        LOL, I think y’all are proving Dr. Greger’s point :) Your brain is making you want donuts. Someone might be addicted to sugar.

        • Sean MacLeod

          Eat teenty bananas a day and tons of other fruits and you won’t crave doughnutZz

  • itsme

    Dr. Greger–Could you comment on the benefits, if any, of eating sacha inchi seeds (also called savi seeds). They are being touted for their omega 3 content. Are the claims justified?

    • David Goldman

      Hi itsme, Have you eaten sacha inchi seeds before? I haven’t just yet, but am certainly curious. You asked Dr. Greger whether the hype surrounding their omega-3 content is warranted. If I may, research confirms that sacha inchi seeds wield an impressive 6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per serving, comprising approximately 50% of their fat content. And since omega-3 fatty acids promote health in myriad ways, sacha inchi seeds will compliment the 250 mg of microalgae-based DHA that Dr. Greger recommends daily. Let me know if you try them, as I’ll be interested in whether you enjoy their taste.

      • Sean MacLeod

        But how much Omega 6 is present. I’ll stick with the flax

  • Heather

    If it comes from a plant, eat it. If it’s made in a plant, don’t eat it.

  • BPCveg

    I highly recommend date-almond rolls, which are now available in most grocery stores. It’s just whole fruits and nuts + fun.

    • Larry G Maloney

      If date-almond rolls are available at most grocery stores is it safe to guess they are made with refined (bleached) flour?

  • Chelsea

    Hi Dr Greger. I have suffered from chronic fatigue for many years of my life (since my teens). I have also always been a big sugar addict. I’ve been vegan for about 10 months now and am disappointed to find I still suffer from the chronic fatigue. So I have decided to give up refined sugar and processed foods in the hopes that it will help me. I am also hoping to lose a bit of the “chub” I carry around my middle. But I’m confused about fruit – I read a lot of information online stating that fructose is bad on the liver and contributes to weight gain. I know that fruit is the natural form of fructose, but a lot of people seem to say if you’re giving up sugar because of addiction reasons, you should steer clear of fruit as well. I’m quite torn about this because I love having my Dr Fuhrman vege/fruit smoothie in the morning for breakfast and I know fruit is full of nutrients that my body can thrive on. But is fruit consumption sabotaging my attempts to get over my sugar addiction and lose my excess fat? Are there certain fruits (e.g. dates) that I should cut out completely? I often use dates to make raw vegan sweet treats on the weekend. Any help much appreciated! Thank you for such a helpful and informative website!

    • Ellen

      According to another video from Dr. Greger, dates are fantastic!

      Have you had your thyroid checked? Craving sweets, fatigue, cold hands and feet are possible warning signs. I learned this from Dr. Kripps of Kripps Pharmacy in Vancouver. He is 90 and still works one day a week at the pharmacy. Take a look at his video about thyroid at the bottom of this page:
      krippspharmacy dot com

      He also wrote a book on this topic.
      Good luck, Chelsea!

    • emmarsh

      Have you had your thyroid checked? Sugar craving and fatigue can point to a problem there. Iodine can help with this. See Dr. Greger’s video about vegan and omnivore vitamin deficiencies.

      I first learned about the thyroid symptoms from Stephen Kripps of Kripps Pharmacy (krippspharmacy dot com) in Vancouver. He’s 90, full of life and very knowledgable in how to stay healthy. Their line of supplements was recommended to me by a nutritionist in the U.S.

  • Jim Malone

    xylitol ; could you comment more on the sweetner xylitol ? I’ve used it and from what I read, it’s really good but I can only read what the seller has to say. Is it as good as it sounds ?

  • Sebastian Tristan

    I agree. Not everything has to be sweet. Sweet and salty often mask the myriad of other flavors. My favourite sweeteners are fruits. When I want something sweeter, I use dates.

  • Sean MacLeod

    I’ve been taking date sugar with me in a sandwich bag when I go on trips. I’ll do the same with this stuff. I went to meet my wife’s biological family and when I pulled ripened bananas and dates from my bag, I got smiles from all around. Love knows best.