Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Truth About Sugar Alcohols

Over the last few years, stores have been filled with products claiming low net carbs* due to their containing sugar alcohols. Before trusting that I would not gain weight from eating these sweets, I decided to research sugar alcohols. What I found is that only about half the carbohydrates from sugar alcohols are digested. And, almost none of the fiber is digested. Therefore, the real net carbs should be calculated by taking total carbs minus fiber minus 1/2 sugar alcohols. Do not let the packages flaunting zero or low carbs fool you. Always read the nutrition information and calculate it yourself!

A good fact sheet about sugar alcohols can be found on the following web site: http://www.ific.org/publications/factsheets/sugaralcoholfs.cfm. On it, they say:

.................."An American Dietetic Association publication
..................recommends that persons with diabetes managing
..................their blood sugars using the carbohydrate
..................counting method 'count half of the grams of sugar
..................alcohol as carbohydrates since half of the sugar
..................alcohol on average is digested.'"


There is also a good article on http://www.lowcarb.ca/tips/tips010.html about sugar alcohols and their affects on low-carb dieters.

*Net carbs is the same thing as the Protein Power Life Plan's ECC (effective carbohydrate count)

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