A few weeks ago, on one of my favorite diet blogs (Waisted in the Wasteland), I read an article about the new sugar-free marshmallow peeps.
The blogger Suzzieque wrote the following:
"...as an adult, I agree with Minneapolis food writer Al Sicherman that Peeps are somewhat a "crime against nature" regardless of what color they are. But the sugar-free peeps are even more criminal.
Well, "crime against nature" or not, I like Peeps. While growing up, I'd awaken each Easter morning to find Peeps waiting for me. And, this article inspired me to seek out and buy the new sugar-free Peeps. I wanted to see for myself if they were as good as "normal" Peeps. I bought some of these last night. They taste EXACTLY like the real Peeps, sugary coating and all. The following are the nutrition info for both versions of Peeps.
Sugar-Free MARSHMALLOW PEEPS® Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 3 Chicks 28g, Calories 60, Calories from Fat 0, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 0mg, Total Carbohydrates 23g, Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 0g, Sugar Alcohol 23g, Protein 1g.
"Normal" MARSHMALLOW PEEPS® Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 5 (42 g), Calories 140, Calories from Fat 0, Total fat 0g, sodium 15 mg, Total Carbohydrate 36g, Fiber 0g, Sugars 34g, Protein 1g.
For the sugar-free version, the entire carb count of 23 per serving comes from sugar alcohols. I have learned that the body metabolizes 1/3 to 1/2 the carbs from sugar alcohols. Therefore, instead of being "0 net carbs", they have an effective carbohydrate count (ECC) of 11.5 per serving. Or about 4 ECC's per chick. The "normal" version has an ECC of 7 per Peep. The sugar-free version is still too high in effective carbohydrates to go wild but it is low enough that you can work some sugar free Peeps into your diet. I very much like these.
I applaud the company "Just Born" for attempting to make sugar-free and less unhealthy Easter candy. But, I really wish they would have not used the sugar alcohols. As many of you know, sugar alcohols have a tendency to cause bowel problems in some people. My wife and I are lucky enough that they do not effect us in this way. And, perhaps the reason that we are not effected is that we count 1/2 the carbs and therefore can not eat an unlimited amount. I would like to warn you to be very cautious of feeding mass quantities of these to your children. With that said, I like the way they taste. And, because I do not have a personal problem with sugar-alcohols, I will likely buy more of these and continue eating them.