Sugar is an additional ingredient in various dishes that become a basic necessity. However, did you know that not all sugar products are good for the body? Consuming it excessively also increases the risk of developing obesity and diabetes. Know Swerve Sweetener: Is It a Safe Sugar Substitute for Diabetics? and Safe For Children?
Swerve sweeteners are sugar substitutes that are often labeled “natural”, and are the “main substitutes for self-proclaimed sugars”. This article examines whether the claim is true.
Over the past few years, low-carb grilling has become increasingly popular. With the popularity of low-carb and keto diets, more and more people are looking for sugar substitutes for their kitchens.
As a result, there are many natural and artificial sweeteners on the market, but is Swerve a safe option?
What is Swerve Sweetener?
Swerve is a sweetener made by the business of the exact same title: Swerve. Beloved by low-carb and keto bakers, Swerve provides a similar level of sweetness to sugar and the ability to caramelize, making it an easy sweet substitute in many recipes.
According to the manufacturer, Swerve is “zero calories, non-glycemic and safe for diabetics, as it does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels.”
It all sounds cool, but what exactly is in it? In this article, we’ll try to verify this security claim.
Ingredients in swerve sweetener
First of all, let’s check out the three ingredients that Swerve contains. This product is a mixture of three ingredients that are considered natural;
Erythritol: Alcohol sugar extracted from corn.
Oligosaccharides: Fermentable pre-biotic fibers, otherwise known as inulin.
Natural Taste, Swerve comes in 2 types, namely:
- Swerve in the form of granules that have a texture similar to regular table sugar.
- Swerve in powdered candied style.
Erythritol is the main ingredient in Swerve and is an alcohol sugar derived from corn. Although it looks and tastes similar to sugar, there are almost no calories. It has approximately a sweet taste of 60-70% like sugar.
Despite its”organic” standing, erythritol is a commercial product. As part of its manufacture, the hydrolysis process extracts glucose from corn.
Furthermore, manufacturers add a type of yeast, often Moniella that ferments this glucose.
Lastly, the product is cleaned by filtering and then undergoes a crystallization process, resulting in erythritol.
Surprisingly, the initial discovery of erythritol came back in 1848, Scotland. According to Swerve, their erythritol is non-GMO certified.
Oligosaccharides are a type of prebiotic fiber that is naturally present in various plants. Swerve uses this fiber extract which was originally derived from vegetables. Although the manufacturer does not reveal the exact source, we can guess based on plant foods high in oligosaccharides.
Usually, the source of this sweet taste compound is vegetables such as chicory root, garlic, onion, and leeks.
Oligosaccharides add to the sweetness of Swerve because it is a prebiotic fiber, it can also provide some benefits for our gut bacteria.
Food products often label this ingredient as inulin, which is a common alternative name.
While ‘natural taste’ clearly sounds better than ‘artificial taste’, the reality is not so different. Artificial flavors are entirely man-made in the laboratory using synthetic chemicals.
On the other hand, natural flavors use chemicals that were originally found in nature. After extracting and modifying this material, then mixed with various other things.
These materials can number in the hundreds, and the extraction process often uses solvents. Unfortunately, the laws surrounding the use of the term ‘natural taste’ are still lacking.
Give extracts derived from food, no matter what happens next. In other words; The extract can be fried, boiled, mixed with various solvents, or whatever the flavor manufacturer wants. And it can still retain the name ‘natural.’
I see the taste of ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’ as the same thing; nor is it something you will find in nature.
How Many Carbohydrates In Swerve Sweetener?
While Swerve’s sweetener label claims to be ‘0 calories,’ this is not entirely accurate. By way of instance, based on FDA label needs, anything comprising less than 5 calories each serving could be known as 0 calories.
The portion size for Swerve is listed as one tsp (4 g). While this may be fine for a cup of coffee, the roasting recipe requires a cup rather than a teaspoon.
Even so, the actual calorie content is still quite low; Swerve contains 51 calories per cup serving. Regarding carbohydrates, Swerve sweeteners have 5g of carbohydrates per serving.
Although this sounds very high, the body does not metabolize these carbohydrates. Because of this, erythritol is non-glycemic and doesn’t impact blood glucose and insulin levels.
Are Swerve Sweeteners Safe?
To understand the safety profile, we must examine each material.
Erythritol is the main ingredient in Swerve sweeteners. I started trying to find the positive and negative impacts of erythritol, but research is generally positive.
In a study looking at pre-diabetes, daily doses of erythritol for two weeks did not affect blood glucose levels.
In addition, unlike natural sugars, erythritol seems to have a positive impact on dental health. Studies indicate that it inhibits harmful germs and reduces plaque – much more than xylitol.
And most importantly, toxicity and carcinogenicity tests on erythritol show that it is very safe for humans.
Studies testing high doses of consumption show no adverse gastrointestinal response. Furthermore, long-term animal studies show no signs of tumor triggering effects.
The overall study of inulin seems to be very positive.
Daily inulin supplementation over 16 days increases the diversity of the human gut microbiota. Also, randomized controlled trials showed that inulin improved inflammation, intestinal permeability, and overall gut health.
Inulin may also promise to reduce insulin levels. At a double-blind, randomized controlled trial, participants supplementing inulin in 10g daily had significantly decreased fasting glucose levels.
Other studies have also shown that inulin had a significant effect on decreasing fasting glucose levels in 44 subjects with prediabetes.
Of course, this dosage is much higher than you would find in some servings of Swerve sweeteners. However, they show that oligosaccharides are beneficial to health rather than something that causes concern.
As mentioned earlier, ‘natural flavors’ can include hundreds of different ingredients.
Therefore, it is difficult to know exactly what is contained in this ‘natural taste’.
Swerve Sweetener: Is It a Safe Sugar Substitute for diabetics? and Safe For Children?
Swerve and Type 2 Diabetes
Individuals with diabetes are some of the greatest consumers of low carb sweeteners.
Therefore, it is important to know what effect Swerve has on blood glucose and insulin levels.
As shown when discussing various ingredients, there is nothing in Swerve that seems to adversely affect blood sugar.
It turns out that these ingredients can lower fasting glucose levels.
But, it’s very important to be aware that anyone with diabetes must always talk about dietary modifications with their healthcare team.
For one thing, using Swerve instead of sugar may require an existing dose of the drug (such as insulin) to be lowered.
Is Swerve Safe For Kids?
Unfortunately, there is nothing specific in the literature on the safety of materials in Swerve for children. However, there is also no reason why it should cause damage.
In the end, kids and adults aren’t as different biologically. In addition, the FDA will not allow cake products to be sold if they are explicitly harmful to children.
Keep in mind that children are young, and this means their digestive system is also small.
As a result, any digestive sensitivity to erythritol will be “felt” at lower doses than adults would experience.
If a child shows discomfort after trying foods containing Swerve, then its use should be discontinued.
High Dose Erythritol Side Effects
One potential side effect to be aware of is that sugar alcohol, including arthritis, is capable of causing mild side effects. These side effects range from the consumption of high doses that cause little gastrointestinal discomfort such as bloating and gas.
The reason why this can happen is that we do not fully digest the sugar alcohol and they are left to ferment in the intestines, which leads to the above symptoms.
However, these erythritol side effects are rare in addition to high doses.
For example, a controlled study showed arthritis was “well-tolerated” at repeated daily doses of 1 gram per kg of body weight, for seven consecutive days.
How Do Swerve Sweeteners Compare To Stevia?
The two Swerve and stevia are organic sweeteners, and several men and women wonder which is best.
The truth is that these two sweeteners are a pretty good choice, especially in contrast to their artificial alternatives.
Stevia and Swerve sweeteners are very similar. If the taste is your top priority, then choose Swerve. If you want something as close to nature as possible, use unpurified stevia leaves.
Natural Sweeteners vs. Artificial Sweeteners
Natural sweeteners and artificial sweeteners are alike in certain ways.
First, both are very sweet, do not contain digestible carbohydrates, and replace sugar in many foods and beverages.
However, when it comes to its safety profile, there is one clear winner: natural sweeteners.
The relationship between artificial sweeteners and cancer, weight gain, and bowel health is unclear.
While some studies find connections, others don’t.
To summarize, here are some recent negative findings on artificial sweeteners:
- Studies show an impact on gut health.
- Animal studies show carcinogenic effects of artificial sweeteners.
However, for the sake of balance, many studies show no link between artificial sweeteners and diseases.
But why risk using artificial sweeteners when we can use something that seems much safer?
Can Sweet Taste Lead to Sugar Cravings?
One of the most interesting and evolving areas of research concerns the perception of sweetness.
Sweetness impacts the ‘reward center’ of our brain, activating dopamine receptors. This action can greatly affect the satiety and the amount of food we want to eat.
The researchers asked if this might be the reason artificial sweeteners have a relationship with weight gain; perhaps they reduce the satiety response and thus encourage excessive consumption of food
However, most of this research is about artificial sweeteners, and, unfortunately, very little is present in erythritol.
Could “natural” sweeteners like Swerve sweeteners have the same effect on dopamine receptors? With this in mind, it may be better to avoid any form of sweetener if you tend to crave sugar (or sweetness).
Where can I buy swerve sweetener?
Swerve sweeteners are available in many health stores, including Whole Foods. If you can’t find it offline, then you can also buy it on Amazon.
If you buy this product, then you may want some idea of what to do with it.
Just to repeat; it is a similar sugar substitute, so you can use it in the same amount as you use sugar.
You can use it for baking with swerve sweetener recipes or make use of swerving sweets chocolate cake mix.
Is Swerve Good or Bad For Your Health?
Well, sugar is one of the worst ingredients in the modern diet, and Swerve is certainly a great substitute.
However, I wouldn’t specifically call it ‘healthy.’
Nonetheless, Swerve’s security profile is relatively good, and there are no prominent concerns.
Overall, it doesn’t hurt to use it for the occasional sweet snack.
But it is best to always base the diet on nutrient-dense whole foods.
For more on sweeteners, see this guide to Best Sweetener for Diabetics Reviews.
Swerve sweetener reviews and critics
Reviewed in the United States in 2015 quoted from amazon
Swerve is ketogenic friendly! We loved the Swerve! Our daughter went on a Ketogenic diet (grams of very low carbohydrates per day – 20 or less for her) for health reasons. He had brain cancer and all cancers lived off glucose.
We thought if we could remove cancer from her glucose, it might not be too aggressive (hers is a very aggressive and inoperable type). The body’s cells can function very well in proteins and fats, but not in cancer cells.
So, she was still with us for over 2 years and was fine (her tumor was even a little shrinking), but she missed candy a lot.
Swerve allowed me to make ice cream for her, which she LIKED, and other low-carb desserts like coconut macaroni. The system remains good in ketosis (as tested with paper strips for diabetics), making it very safe for diabetics to use.
Reviewed in the United States in 2018 quoted from amazon
This got me SWERVE to the bathroom. I’ve tried many sweeteners in my time – Stevia, Splenda, Sweet ‘n Low, etc. – and have never had a problem with any of them (other than hoping it tastes EXACTLY like sugar).
I had heard and read good things about Swerve when I started the Keto diet. While it may work well for some people, and I have no problem with its taste or ability to dissolve, I do have gastrointestinal problems with it.
I had severe diarrhea in a very short time after swallowing it. It happened on the first day I tried. I wanted to give it a second chance, so I had another coffee on the second day.
Bam! It was like I was preparing a colonoscopy. Unfortunately, since I was cheap, I had to throw away the whole bag. My advice – see if you can try the sample before investing in this. You don’t.