Does Erythritol Break Intermittent Fasting?
When we’re intermittent fasting, we’re always looking for beverages to drink to help break up the monotony of the day without breaking our fasts. The thought is if you’re drinking artificial sweeteners with zero calories, they shouldn’t count … right? Well, that’s not technically true. Some zero-calorie sweeteners can trigger an insulin response, which means your intermittent is broken, even if you haven’t eaten anything.
Erythritol is a popular type of sugar alcohol that many use as a sugar substitute. It has almost zero calories (0.24 calories per gram), and because it passes through your body quickly, it doesn’t have a chance to metabolize. That means your body doesn’t have time to convert it to energy, and because of that, using erythritol does not break your fast.
However, there are exceptions, so you’ll want to identify why you’re fasting. If your goal is to lose weight, manage insulin resistance, treat diabetes, or improve longevity, erythritol is safe to use and will not break your fast. It passes through your system too fast to make a difference. However, if you’re trying to rest your gut, erythritol is not safe and will break your fast. Erythritol triggers a response as it passes through your system because your intestines partially digest it. Because of this response, it will technically break your fast even if you’re not ingesting any calories.
Why Use Erythritol When Intermittent Fasting
Erythritol tastes good and can help sweeten coffee and tea without impacting your body’s blood sugar levels, cholesterol, triglycerides, and other levels. Recent studies found that it may reduce the risk of heart disease, though more research is needed to prove the effects can be replicated in humans.
Not much is known about the long-term effects of using erythritol as a natural sweetener. It may impact digestion over time, including causing gassiness, bloating, and diarrhea if you use too much in a short period of time. Introduce erythritol into your diet in slow and controlled ways for best results, especially if you’re intermittent fasting. Your body may react differently during fasting periods. However, because it is protein-free with minimal energy content, it should be fine to use as a healthy alternative to sugar.
Where Can You Find Erythritol?
Erythritol occurs naturally in many foods, including grapes, mushrooms, pears, and watermelon. It can also occur in select fermented foods and drinks, including beer, sake, wine, soy sauce, and cheese.
That being said, it’s also a popular ingredient in more than 150 products, including some zero-calorie sweeteners to give it a sugar-like taste without the calories or insulin reaction. Check out stevia, monk fruit, and sucralose for erythritol.
So, Does Erythritol Break Intermittent Fasting?
No, erythritol does not break intermittent fasting if you’re trying to lose weight, manage diabetes and insulin levels, and improve overall health and well-being. If you are trying to maintain your gut health, it will break fast as it triggers a response in your intestines.
Overall, erythritol is suggested to be an excellent alternative to sugar. It’s nearly calorie-free – with just 0.24 calories per gram – so you don’t have to worry about drinking your calories. Its side effects are relatively mild, with some people facing upset stomachs and indigestion after using too much. Your body may react differently to erythritol, so you must start small if introducing this low-calorie sweetener into your diet.
Ultimately, it will not break your intermittent fasting, so feel free to integrate it into your routine on fast days. You can also give yourself an extra dose of sweetness on regular eating days – erythritol use is not just limited to intermittent fasting days!
Don’t forget to check our recommended fasting apps to make your intermittent fasting journey easier.