Is Organic Stevia Better for You Than Erythritol?

It's hard to find out which sugar is the best choice, especially when you're trying to limit yourself to more natural choices. Organic stevioside products and erythritol have their own advantages, but they can only be eaten in limited quantities to limit the risk of side effects. The basic ingredient of Stevia substitutes is a substance called Rebaudioside A in Stevia plants, which is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. REB A is not absorbed by your body, so it contains no calories and does not affect your blood sugar level, but some Stevia substitutes contain other ingredients that may contribute a small amount of calories per meal. Erythritol is a glycol whose sweetness is 60% to 80% of sugar, but it is not completely digested, so its effect on blood sugar level is very limited. Five grams of erythritol has only one calorie. Some stevioside sweeteners also contain erythritol. This helps to further increase sweetness, while limiting the bitter aftertaste that people may produce when eating stevia, and also increases the volume of Stevia products, making it easier to measure.

Potential side effects

Although Stevia usually has no side effects, it can cause nausea and stomach distension. Erythritol has a purgative effect in large doses, as do other glycols.

h3>Pregnant women or lactating women should not use steviose. According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, high doses of Stevia may have a weak mutagenic activity. Guarani Indians in Paraguay also traditionally use whole Stevia leaves as contraceptives. Those taking antihypertensive or diabetic drugs should consult a doctor before using stevioside products because they may interact with these drugs. People allergic to ragweed may also be allergic to stevia.

Recommended Limit

Food and Drug Administration of the United States approved only products made from Rebaudioside A, not whole leaf Stevia or other Stevia extracts. The World Health Organization recommends a daily limit of less than 1.8 mg per pound of stevia, which means that if you weigh about 150 pounds, packages containing about 100 mg of Stevia should not exceed two or three packages. Because the risk of using erythritol is relatively limited, the organization does not set a limit for erythritol.