For many years, I was leery of eating diet foods that were sweetened with sugar alcohols, and not because I feared they would make me drunk. Unlike alcoholic beverages, no matter how many maltilol sweetened candy bars I ate, I remained stone cold sober.
The problem with most sugar alcohols like maltilol, xylitol and sorbitol is that eating too much of them will cause gastric upset and frequent visits to the little girl's room.
Can I get any more euphemistic?
So when I discovered there was one sugar alcohol that does not cause stomach problems, I was over the moon, although it's name is as plain Jane as you can get: erythritol. Sounds more like something your doctor gives you for strep than a virtually zero calorie sweetener that travels through your body like a stealth missile and fools your mind into thinking you've consumed something sweet.
Sure everyone raves about stevia, but that stuff tastes nasty. If I want my food to taste like bitter licorice, I'll add anice.
Erythritol, on the other hand, has no weird off flavors aside from a mild cooling effect.
So far, my favorite commercial sweetener containing erythritol is Swerve, which can be purchased in both granular and powdered forms at healthier food stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts and online at Amazon and other websites.
According to the company's official website, "Swerve is zero-calorie, non-glycemic and safe for those living with diabetes. Human tests have shown Swerve does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels."
In addition to erythritol, Swerve contains oligosaccharides -- non-digestible fiberish carbohydrates that supposedly help grow beneficial bacteria in the large intestine.
You can cook with Swerve, bake with Swerve or add it to your smoothies and lemon water.
If there is a downside to Swerve, it's not cheap, but I use so little sweetener in my daily diet that I likely spend less money on Swerve than most families do on sugar.
While researching Swerve and erythritol, I came across another promising product I just ordered on Amazon to see how the two compare. The sweetener is called Lakanto, and instead of oligosaccharides, it combines erythritol with monk fruit a.k.a. Luo Han Guo. I will update you on which product I like better after I receive it.
imilar to fiber and can help stimulate beneficial bacteria in the large intestine. - See more at: http://www.swervesweetener.com/what-is-swerve/#sthash.RhOfuqrF.dpuf
Meanwhile, if you're interested in learning which commercial products contain erythritol, this forum on the Low Carb Friends website has some good suggestions. Be sure to check labels, though, since erythritol is expensive and some commercial products have reformulated with cheaper sweeteners.