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Difference Between XYLITOL and ERYTHRITOL


Xylitol and Erythritol are alcohol sugars. They are used as natural sweeteners for patients who are maintaining their blood glucose levels and for those who just want to use artificial sweeteners. They are commercially sold in the markets and found under different brand names.

Xylitol is made from U.S.-grown, hardwood trees. It ranks seven on the glycemic scale. It has 75 per cent less carbohydrate content than sugars with 2.4 calories per gram. It has a ratio of 1:1 in place of sugar. It is as sweet as sugar, but with excessive use can cause a mild laxative effect. It is Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved as a food additive. It is guaranteed safe for diabetic patients and is known to be absorbed in the large intestines. The danger of mixing Xylitol with other sugars is of no concern since it can be mixed freely with no interactions.

Erythritol, on the other hand, is a sugar alcohol made from sugar with a fermenting agent added. It is naturally found in fruits such as cantaloupe as well as in grapes. It is also a natural byproduct of the fermentation of bacteria in our digestive system. It is zero on the glycemic scale. It has 0.2 calories per gram with no, or zero, carbohydrate content. Compared with other sweeteners, it has less key benefits due to its low calorie content, but for those who are weight conscious, it is surely a benefit. Unlike sugar, honey, and maple syrup, Erythritol does not trigger a spike in the blood glucose as well as a response in insulin, which can cause diabetes and weight gain. This is why it is safe for diabetics. It is also tooth friendly since it is not cause tooth decay.

Erythritol is generally recognized as safe like Xylitol. It is also a food additive as approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A two-thirds cup of Erythritol is equivalent to one cup of sugar. It is absorbed through the small intestines. It can be safely mixed with other sugars since there is no evidence that it can cause adverse effects. It is 70 per cent as sweet as sugar even though it has only 5 per cent of the calories of sugar. It is known as having the highest digestive tolerance of all sugar alcohols. For example, there is no bloating or diarrhea since it is harder for the bacteria to multiply in the conversion to gas. This is why, for the most part, it is readily absorbed into the blood and removed in the form of urine unchanged. It doesn’t attract moisture which prevents clumping and hardening like other sugars do.

Although Erythritol has many benefits, it also has its other sides. One of these is that it is not easily dissolved in cold liquids like iced tea. Erythritol has a negative heat of dissolution. Another factor is that more of it is needed to make the food sweet since it is only 70 per cent as sweet as common sugar. Third is that it does not caramelize so it is not advisable if one is to make caramel or candy. And lastly, when a liquid with Erythritol dries in a glass, it leaves behind fine, white crystals which are not easy to remove.


1.Xylitol and Erythritol are alcohol sugars.

2.Xylitol contains 2.4 calories per gram while Erythritol contains 0.2 calories per gram.

3.Xylitol is 100 per cent as sweet as sugar. Erythritol is 70 per cent as sweet as sugar.

4.Xylitol is made from U.S.-grown, hardwood trees while Erythritol is made from sugar with a fermenting agent added.

5.Xylitol ranks seven on the glycemic scale while Erythritol ranks zero.

6.Both are FDA approved food additives.

7.Both are diabetic friendly.

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  1. Difference Between XYLITOL and ERYTHRITOL

    These 2 statements in this article are at odds with each other.

    – “A two-thirds cup of Erythritol is equivalent to one cup of sugar”

    – “Another factor is that more of it is needed to make the food sweet since it is only 70 per cent as sweet as common sugar.”

    If the second is true, than the first should read “A two-thirds cup of sugar is equivalent to one cup of Erythritol.”

    • I find that Erythritol tastes slightly sweeter than sugar so I measure 2/3 cup Erythritol to 1 cup sugar.

    • They got it backwards, I checked on the Xylabrands website who make both Xylitol & Erythritol sweeteners and they say it is for every 2/3 cup of sugar you need 1 cup of Erythritol.

      Too bad they don’t read the comments here.

  2. Not all xylitol is made from birch hardwood. In fact, most of it is made from corn. The “sugar” that Erythritol is made from is derived from corn or wheat or sometimes birch. Neither of these are artificial sweeteners.

    • Not necessarily. On Xylabrand.com website they say:

      “Well, have no fear – our main focus is still on North American hardwood-based xylitol and xylitol products….”

  3. I think this type of warning should accompany any article about xyliyol. This is from: vetstreet.com
    “Because xylitol leads to a rapid drop in blood sugar, many dogs will collapse and suffer seizures. If they’re not rushed immediately to the hospital, they often die. In some cases, sudden death will ensue even before any other signs. And if they survive, they may suffer life-threatening liver failure.

    Unfortunately, many pet owners (and even some pet health professionals!) are still unaware of this “natural” sweetener’s extremely toxic effects. In fact, depending on the amount ingested, it can be way more toxic to dogs than chocolate. And yet most dog owners are still in the dark about the poisons that lurk in their pockets and purses.

    So if you ever believe your dog has been exposed to xylitol (or any potentially toxic substance), contact a pet poison control center and get to your veterinary clinic as soon as possible!

    Note: Cat owners can rest easy. Not only are cats not adversely affected by xylitol (that we know of), but because they’re not attracted to sweet things (they don’t have taste buds that register “sweet”), they’re also less likely to expose themselves to xylitol or any other sweetener. (Enticingly creamy delicacies are an exception.)”

    • I’ve seen many warnings about the sweetener being toxic to dogs just as chocolate and many other things are. It is though safe for humans.
      Some cats do like sweets, especially lactose ones.

      The best thing to to try a few different sweeteners to discover which one is best personally for you.

      • Xylitol is poison to dogs brcause it shuts down their kidneys…i love xylitol and use it in place of sugar…cant tell the difference from cane sugar…the best quality is from the Birch Tree vs from corn stalks and or corn leaves

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