Top positive review
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Great erythritol, best sugar alcohol for keto
on June 2, 2016
As someone who has been eating keto/low carb for more than a year now, I've had experience with pretty much every mainstream sweetener out there and when I need something granulated, erythritol is my go to. It's generally regarded as having zero net carb/caloric impact, which is more than more sugar alcohols can say. It also doesn't have the unfortunate bathroom-related side effects that sugar alcohols like malitol can have in large quantities. The taste of xylitol is the most similar to sugar as far as sweetness and flavor goes, but erythritol is a close second minus the slight glycemic effects of xylitol.
It also beats out granulated stevia and sucralose (Splenda), which can taste and measure like sugar depending on the formulation, but are almost always granulated using a filler like maltodextrin which adds to the carb count, especially when used in the amounts necessary for baking or similar. These things might not make a difference if you're just trying to lower your sugar or calorie intake, but for strict low carb dieters, every carb counts. Erythritol doesn't require any fillers to make it granular.
The one downside of erythritol is that it can have a cooling effect in large quantities. It's not an "after taste" so much as it is an "after feeling", similar to the slight cooling/tingling sensation you might get after eating something minty. I counter this in my low carb baked goods by combining erythritol with another sweetener like stevia or xylitol. Stevia and erythritol are a particularly complimentary combination because the erythritol cuts the slight bitterness of the stevia and the stevia cuts the cooling effect of the erythritol, resulting in a nice balance.
Of course, there are stevia/erythritol blends like Swerve that already come combined in this way, and I think that could be a good place to start for those who are new to working with sugar alternatives. I personally find it more cost effective to buy larger bags of the individual sweeteners and combine as needed, which also gives me the freedom to use different ratios depending on the recipe.
The NOW Foods brand makes great products, and they are generally among the most cost competitive for buying sweeteners. I usually buy the 2.5 lb bag and it lasts me a couple months as a relatively heavy low carb baker, so I think it's a pretty good value. I'm really happy with their erythritol, and plan to keep buying it.