sugar alcohols

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Lanie G
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 6030
   Posted 8/27/2007 7:07 PM (GMT -7)   
There's a lot of information online about sugar alcohol and these are just two sites.  They're in lots of "sugar-free" food.  They do have carbs as well as calories but they are not completely absorbed like regular sugar.  If you eat too much of the food that contains it, it might have a bloating or gassy effect on you.  Each person might react differently to food that contains them.  I first encountered maltitol in "sugar-free" chocolate back during the holidays.  I ate only 2 squares of the 4-square serving and my blood sugar jumped 40 points.  I would have preferred real chocolate and have bought Lindt's 85% since though I only might eat some once a week if that.   What are your experiences with food with sugar alcohol?
forum moderator - diabetes
"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 8/28/2007 7:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Mornin' Lanie,

Actually did a lot of research on the stuff a couple years ago (when first diagnosed), when we were thinking about a business that would include their distribution. Long story short... from research as well as personal experience, I don't go near them with a ten foot pole. I'm afraid I could never advocate their use.

I'm all about the "natural" way of eating (i.e. non-processed), and the whole chemical make-up of most of the 'fake' sugar just grates against that logic. The bloating, gassy, 'intestinal' side effects alone just don't make it worth it either :-)

I use <1/4 tsp of cane/normal sugar once a day in my coffee. Most my 'sugar' comes from fructose (fruit) or lactose (milk) and some of it comes from the sugar in my daily slice of bread and of course, whatever is in the veggies I eat. I eat chocolate every few days, too, but it's always the 'good stuff' (the super-dark-made-with-few-and-quality-ingredients type), and never more than a couple squares (2 grams carbs each square).

I find counting carbs much more predictable with natural-source sugar, too. Just my experience :-)

- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows"-Epictetus

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 8/28/2007 8:08 AM (GMT -7)   

I'm with Kris on this one.

Any of the sugar alcohols cause me to spike high and long. I think they taste overly sweet and unnatural. I also find the fake sugars- Splenda, Sweet and Low, Nutrasweet etc. suspect and I try to use them as little as possible. I use them as ant repellants, so I have no strong desire to ingest them.

I use Stevia as my sweetner- it's natural. I grow the plants in my garden, dry the leaves and make extracts for sweetening my yogurt and iced tea, or I buy flavored Stevia liquid at Whole Foods. I use regular sugar in my baking and cooking- I've cut back on the amounts in my favorite recipes.

I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 8/28/2007 3:55 PM (GMT -7)   

Agreed, the 'sugar free' illusion of sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and maltitol is just that - an illusion. The blood sugar spike is amost as high, but the time-lag makes stable blood glucose very difficult indeed. With rapid action insulin, the risk is that blood sugar will drop too low in the short term, followed by a high blood sugar much later. Hopeless!

I don't know too much about the production methods, Kris. Are you telling me it's made using forced child-labour in the poppy fields of the Taliban too?!

85% cocoa chocolate is a much better bet.

All the best,


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