Posted by: keith | 2009-06-30

Sugar Alcohol


I' ve noticed a few nutrition brands selling restricted carb'  products (i.e. protein bars). In the Carb section of the product they have total carbs: 27g   Dietary Fiber: 5g   sugars: 2g   Sugar Alcohol: 19g. The products state net carbs of ONLY 4g. Are alcohol sugars really that insignificant when it comes to carb counting, especially when trying to understand the sugar content? Is alcohol sugar similar to trans fat –  chemically manipulated but essentially bad?

Your input would be great.


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Our expert says:
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Dear Keith
Sugar alcohols are naturally occuring compounds, so they are not manipulated or the result of a chemical process. Sugar alcohols do contain fewer kJ than standard carbs, namely 10 kJ per gram for sugar alcohols compared to 16 kJ per gram of carbs. So from a slimming point of view, these products have a slightly lower energy content, provided of course that the fat content of the products or protein bars is not increased! Also check on the labels if they have a warning that sugar alcohols when eaten in large quantities can cause abdominal discomfort and diarrhoea. This is one of the problems with these designer products - they may reduce the carb content, but they have such a high sugar alcohol content that this can cause unpleasant side-effects.
Best regards

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