- Diet & Weight Loss
Low Carb Sugars: Oligofructose & Erythritol
The Good Sweeteners
These days, there are so many different sugar-free options to choose from. You're standing there with your morning coffee, trying to ignore the foot-tapping of the impatient man in the line behind you at the condiments bars, unable to make up your mind about which packet to reach for. You thought you'd decided between the pink and blue packets long ago. But then they entered that yellow option. And now you keep hearing that it's better to have cane sugar or brown sugar or raw sugar than any sort of low carb sugar substitute. But you have no idea what the truth is.
Well, the truth is that it's better for you to put aside the coffee, get yourself some green tea and skip all of the sweeteners (natural or not) altogether. But you, I, and that caffeine headache threatening to start knocking on your brain cells all know that you just aren't going to go that route. So, what we need to do is to make sure that you have the information that you need about some of the low carb sugars that are out there so that you can make relatively wise choices about which packets you're going to put into your body.
There are two sweeteners that are considered to be relatively safe and healthy for your body. While you should certainly do your research to find out which of those little packets is best for you, you can start by taking a look at the lowdown on those two sugars: oligofructose and erythritol:
This sugar substitute has been around for awhile now, basically since the 1980s when artificial sweeteners first really came to life. It's got a few different names, including oligofructan and frucotoligosaccharide (FOS), but as far as where you might recognize it, it's found in sweetener substitutes such as Stevia. As far as the artificial sweeteners go, this one is widely considered one of the best, which helps explain why it's been around for so long. It's derived from extracting it from normal every day foods such as bananas, tomatoes and garlic. More than this, oligofructose is said to have health benefits, including providing your body with helpful bacteria that assists with digestion.
This is a natural sugar alcohol and if you want to know why it's widely considered one of the better sweeteners to put into your body, just take a look at the information page on it available at Wikipedia. Among other helpful information, that page lets you know that: "It is 70% as sweet as table sugar yet it is virtually non-caloric, does not affect blood sugar, does not cause tooth decay, and is absorbed by the body, therefore unlikely to cause gastric side effects unlike other sugar alcohols." So, it's got the good stuff that you want from your artificial sweetener without many of the bad side effects. Zerose is the most popular brand name for this sweetener.
Wait, Zerose? Stevia? Yeah, you've heard the names in the health news but these are sweeteners that you're going to find at your local coffee bar. The truth is that if you really want to be healthy about your eating, you sometimes have to do some specialty shopping. If you're serious about making sure that the sweeteners that you're putting in your body are of the same variety like oligofructose and erythritol, then you might have to do your footwork. But won't your new body be worth it?