Erythritol vs. Xylitol on Keto

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Written by Rahul Malpe, Certified Nutritionist and medically reviewed by Jennifer Olejarz

Imge of Erythritol vs. Xylitol on Keto



If you're following a keto lifestyle, it's helpful to know a little bit about sweeteners and how they affect your body.

Both xylitol and erythritol are popular sugar alcohols used in the keto diet as sugar substitutes. In this article, we compare each sweetener to help you decide which one is right for you on a keto diet.


What is xylitol?

It’s a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables. It has a wide range of uses, including as a food additive and sweetener, as well as in medical and dental products. 

It is as sweet as sucrose (table sugar) but has around 40% lower calories and has a slight cooling effect on the tongue. It is largely metabolized by the liver and excreted in the urine. It causes a slight increase in blood sugar.

Although it is safe for most people, it can cause gastrointestinal distress in some people when consumed in large amounts, which can lead to diarrhea. 


What is erythritol?

It is also a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables. It is about 60-80% as sweet as sucrose, but it is not metabolized by the body, so it does not cause a rise in blood sugar levels.

In addition, it is non-cariogenic (it does not promote tooth decay) and it is safe for people with diabetes. It is also heat-stable, so it can be used in cooking and baking. It is available commercially as a white powder or granules.


Xylitol vs erythritol nutrition facts

Nutrients Xylitol (1 tsp) Erythritol (1 tsp)
Energy 10 kcal 0 kcal
Fat 0 g 0 g
Protein 0 g 0 g
Net carbs 4 g 4 g
Total carbs 4 g 4 g
Fiber 0 g 0 g




Since it doesn't raise blood sugar levels to a great degree, it's great for people with sensitivities, like diabetics, or those trying to reduce their carb intake without sacrificing their sweet tooth.

By eating it regularly, you can also help to starve cavity-forming bacteria, resulting in a reduction of risk when it comes to the formation of cavities. It can also increase the flow of saliva and create a more alkaline environment for our teeth, which is great news for us and prevents tooth decay.


Oral bacteria like Streptococcus are suppressed by this sweetener, which forms biofilms on your teeth and causes dental decay. As a result, your gut produces less acid when microbial growth is inhibited. This prevents caries and plaque from forming on your teeth.

The glycemic index of this sweeter is also very low, meaning it is perfect for people with diabetes because it won't spike up your blood sugar, so you can still enjoy the sweet taste on your tongue without the negative effects that usually accompany it as with sucrose.

Also, the digestive system digests it easily. Due to this, choosing this sweetener, as opposed to other substitutes, may result in less acidity and flatulence.


Difference between xylitol vs erythritol 


Considerations Xylitol  Erythritol
Source It is naturally found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including berries, plums, and pumpkins. It's also naturally produced by our bodies. The commercial form of this sweetener is manufactured from birchwood and corn cobs, both of which are raw plant materials. It is found in many different types of foods, including fruits and vegetables. It can also be produced through fermentation processes like those that create sake or wine. It is extracted from maize-based products in commercial settings.
Taste In terms of taste and texture, it comes closest to sucrose. Many sugar alternative blends include stevia, which has an aftertaste. This sweetener does not have that aftertaste. It may have a cooling effect on your tongue depending on what you use it for. Baking reduces this effect, but if you add it to tea or coffee, you may still notice it. Unlike stevia, it does not have an aftertaste.
Comparative calorie count with sucrose Its calorie content is 40% lower than sucrose. With a calorie content of 0.2 per gram, it is the least calorific natural sweetener. It is therefore 95% less calorific than sucrose.
Comparative sweetness to sucrose In many ways, it is the same as sugar as it is sweet, tastes the same as sucrose, and has the same volume. In comparison with xylitol, it is only 70 percent as sweet as sucrose.
Glycemic index (GI) 7 1


When to use xylitol or erythritol on keto

So, when should you use either of them on a keto diet?

If you are looking for a substitute for cane sugar in baking or cooking, either one would work well. 

However, xylitol may be a better choice for recipes that call for a granulated sweetener, as it has a texture that is similar to sucrose. 

Erythritol, on the other hand, tends to dissolve more easily and may be a better choice for beverages or frostings. 

Ultimately, the best sweetener to use will depend on your personal preferences and the specific recipe requirements.


Xylitol vs erythritol: which one is better for the keto diet?

Erythritol is an excellent option if you are seeking sugar alcohol that will support your keto lifestyle. There is only one issue you need to consider, and that is the fact that too much consumption could lead to digestive problems.

Similarly, It is also recommended to not consume xylitol in excessive amounts as it may also cause digestive issues such as bloating and flatulence. Moreover, it is not pet-friendly, so make sure you sweep up anything containing xylitol on the floor. 

The use of xylitol in caramels is better than that of erythritol, making it more suitable for caramel recipes. 

It is also crucial that you must read all food labels carefully to ensure you get the right balance of sweeteners in your food and avoid suffering any side effects.


Closing points: xylitol vs erythritol on keto

It may be better to use erythritol than xylitol for keto. Erythritol is more easily absorbed by the human body than xylitol, thereby causing less digestive discomfort. Moreover, erythritol does not increase blood sugar levels, while xylitol does so to a small degree. 

Even though they each have their own advantages and disadvantages, both of these sweeteners are still great choices to replace sugar on your keto diet. Therefore, you will benefit from any of them, regardless of what you prefer.

If you are someone suffering from an underlying health condition, It is best to consult with your doctor before beginning to use these substances and to monitor your reactions to them.