What Is Erythritol, and What Are Its Dangers and Side Effects?

It’s the 21st century, and we no longer have an excuse to eat sugar like it’s going out of style. The white stuff has been linked to all kinds of awful diseases, such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer, so it goes without saying that we simply must find ways to eat less of it. Of course, that doesn’t have to mean ditching sweetness altogether.

One of the most promising sugar substitutes on the market today is erythritol. Before you go spending the rest of your life on Google desperately typing in “What is erythritol/dangers/side effects??!!” … just take a deep breath. If you want to know the answer to this question, we’ve got it right here for you.

So Just What Is Erythritol?

Erythritol may sound like a fantastical substance from Superman’s home planet, Krypton, but actually, it’s a very natural calorie-free substance that tastes and bakes up just like sugar. It is made by mashing and fermenting the natural sugars found in certain fruits. While erythritol is usually made from corn, it is naturally occurring in pears, watermelon, soy sauce and a range of other foods we eat every day.

The difference between erythritol and other sweeteners is the fact that the sweetness comes from sugar alcohols. These do not break down in your body, so they neither create an insulin spike when they enter the bloodstream (which leads to the sugar high and sugar crash that is so devastating to your metabolism), nor do they feed harmful bacteria in your mouth or gut. After they pass through your digestive system and bloodstream, they are excreted through your urine in an almost entirely unprocessed state, causing no known harm.

Dietary Dilemmas

One of the most common aspects people want to understand when searching for answers on the matter of what is erythritol is whether or not it works for different types of diets. For instance, does it meet the low-glycemic criteria for diabetes? Is it actually sugar-free? And would it qualify for the Paleo diet?

These are good questions. Many people who are on restricted eating plans wish they had a little more wiggle room to eat the things they like. The good news is, erythritol definitely qualifies for sugar-free and diabetic diets because it does not create an insulin response when ingested, which is what is so dangerous for people with diabetes and other diseases. And because it’s made from plant pulp that could be gathered by primitive cultures, it qualifies as Paleo as well.

Erythritol Dangers and Side Effects

Erythritol is safe to consume in moderate amounts. It’s even safe to consume in high amounts - however, erythritol side effects can show up for some people when they consume this sweetener in excessive amounts. Erythritol side effects can include diarrhea, headache, and stomachache in some people, particularly when consumed in large doses.

We recommend you eat only a small amount of erythritol when you first try it. That way, you can screen out an allergy or negative reaction before it is serious. However, no serious allergies have been reported in relation to this alternative sweetener, so that’s unlikely to happen.

A Good Solution

At the end of the day, most people find erythritol to be a good solution. If you’re looking for a way to get those sweet treats into your diet without compromising your health, erythritol may be an excellent solution. As long as, with everything else, you consume it in moderation, you may find a perfect pantry addition for life.

So there you have it! Now you know what erythritol is, and possible erythritol side effects. Truly it is a wonderfully healthy choice for you and your family. If you’re ready to start taking advantage of that knowledge today, consider checking out our NuNaturals Erythritol and other products, made of the highest quality, all at affordable prices.


  • Kathryn Dunn

    Jolie and Toni, this is something any pet-owners would want to know! I would hesitate to give veterinary advice to you from an online search. Our best advice is to contact your veterinarian to ask, as s/he will have the most up-to-date information about pet consumption.

  • Jolie

    Can dogs eat this or is it harmful to their health. I like to sometimes get my dog a taste of what I am eating

  • Toni Remmers

    Would this be harmful to an animal if accidentally ingested?

  • Yolanda

    Is alcohol bad for the body?

  • Jon Bullinger

    SHiRLEy, great question. Erythritol has a low glycemic index and is consequently suitable for diabetics. It is a natural product found in some fruits and mushrooms. It has been used as a sugar substitute in Japan since the 1990s.

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