When it comes to diabetes management, sugar alcohols can be a component of a healthy food plan. Sugar alcohols, unlike artificial sweeteners, are a type of carb that can boost blood sugar levels, though not as much as sugar.
In your total food plan, you’ll need to keep track of carbs and calories from sugar alcohols. Meals labeled “sugar free” or “no sugar added” may appear to be “free” foods that you can eat as much as you like, but consuming too much of these can cause dangerously high blood sugar levels.
Subtract half of the sugar alcohol grams from total carb grams if you’re counting carbs and the food includes more than 5 grams of sugar alcohols. Do the following calculations if the label says “Total Carbohydrate 25 g” and “Sugar Alcohol 10 g”:
With one exception: if erythritol is the sole sugar alcohol listed, Total Carbohydrate should be reduced by the amount of sugar alcohol listed.
If you need assistance making a food plan or controlling carbs, talk to your doctor or a nutritionist.
Calculating Net Carbs From Fiber
The majority of fiber can be deducted from the total carbohydrates listed on the nutrition label.
If you live outside of the United States, the fiber has already been taken from the “total carbohydrate” line and is listed individually.
If the fiber isomaltooligosaccharide (IMO) is listed in the ingredients, just half of the fiber carbohydrates should be removed.
Calculating Net Carbs From Sugar Alcohols
In general, you can remove half of the carbs from sugar alcohols from the total carbs given on the nutrition label.
The exception is erythritol. Its carbs can be totally deducted from the total carbs if it’s the only sugar alcohol in the ingredients list.
Because many firms eliminate all fiber and sugar alcohol carbohydrates when calculating net carbs, this result may differ from the number of net carbs listed on the product label.
A maltitol-sweetened Atkins bar, for example, lists 3 grams of net carbs on the package.
When only half of the carbs from sugar alcohols are removed, the net carb value is 8.5 grams: 23 g total carbohydrates – 9 g fiber – 11 g sugar alcohols (11 g x 0.5 = 5.5 g) = 8.5 g net carbs
To calculate net carbohydrates, deduct a fraction of fiber and sugar alcohols from total carbs. Net carbohydrates are calculated as total carbs minus fiber (or half of IMO) minus half of the carbs from sugar alcohols (other than erythritol).
Do you count sugar alcohols on keto?
Sugar consumption is restricted on the keto diet because it raises blood sugar levels.
This is a problem since high blood sugar levels make it difficult for your body to stay in ketosis, which is essential for reaping the keto diet’s benefits (9, 10).
Sugar alcohols are typically included in keto-friendly goods since they have a considerably lower impact on blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, because sugar alcohols and fiber aren’t entirely digested, keto dieters often deduct them from the total number of carbs in a meal item. The resulting figure is known as net carbohydrates (11).
Nonetheless, due to the differences in GIs across sugar alcohols, some are better for the keto diet than others.
Erythritol, which has a 0 glycemic index and can be used in both cooking and baking, is a wonderful keto-friendly alternative. Erythritol is also better tolerated than other sugar alcohols due to its tiny particle size (12, 13).
Xylitol, sorbitol, and isomalt are all keto-friendly sugars. If you have any gastrointestinal side effects, you may just wish to reduce your intake.
The GI of maltitol is lower than that of sucrose. However, with a GI of up to 52, it’s more likely than other sugar alcohols to have a substantial impact on your blood sugar levels (14, 15).
As a result, if you’re on a keto diet, you might want to reduce your maltitol intake and go for a sugar substitute with a lower GI.
Most sugar alcohols are deemed keto-friendly since they have no effect on blood sugar levels. Maltitol has a stronger blood sugar effect and should be avoided on a keto diet.
Is sugar and sugar alcohol the same when calculating net carbs?
Smaller polyols, such as monosaccharides, are absorbed in the small intestine through passive diffusion along a concentration gradient (moving from high to low concentration areas), whereas larger polyols (di- and polysaccharides) are too large to be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and are thus poorly absorbed (less than 2% of oral intake is absorbed).
The polyols may be fermented by bacteria or expelled as is if they are not absorbed in the intestines. Due to the differences in chemical structures (saccharide type and molecular weight), absorption and fermentation rates differ from polyol to polyol, resulting in varied glycemic reactions and gastrointestinal side effects. Both food makers and customers are interested in the amount of digestible carbs that can also be digested in a food product.
The USDA currently mandates that all food manufacturers list the entire amount of carbohydrates in their products, including sugar alcohols. Some manufacturers, however, argue that the overall carbohydrate quantity on a food label is misleading because not all carbs in a food product are equally accessible. As a result, several producers devised a formula known as “Net carbs” refers to how much digestible/absorbable carbohydrates are in a product, and informs consumers about how many carbohydrates they are metabolizing.
Because sugar alcohols are poorly absorbed or metabolized, many producers deduct the amount of sugar alcohols in the product from the total carbohydrate content, resulting in the total carbohydrate content “carbohydrate net.” Although this computation is a significant improvement over treating all carbohydrates as equal, it was also computed carelessly and was extremely deceptive.
Many food makers, for example, interpret all sugar alcohols as having the same bioavailability and, as a result, either totally delete them from the overall carbohydrate content or subtract half of their weight from the total carbohydrate amount. The food science literature, on the other hand, contradicts this, showing that various substances have diverse effects in the body for decades.
What is considered a sugar alcohol?
Recognizing Them. Mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt, maltitol, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates are examples of sugar alcohols (HSH). Sugar alcohols aren’t often utilized in home cooking, although they’re present in a lot of processed foods.
How do you calculate sugar alcohol on keto?
Calculate half of the sugar alcohol grams (18 grams of sugar alcohol divided by 2 equals 9 grams). Count this product as 20 grams of carbohydrate by subtracting half of the grams of sugar alcohol from the total carbohydrate (29 grams total carbohydrate minus 9 grams sugar alcohol equals 20 grams of carbohydrate).
Should I count sugar alcohols as carbs?
Sugar alcohols are not counted as carbs in your daily carb count since your body metabolizes them differently than sugar.
Is stevia a sugar alcohol?
Sugar alcohols and high intensity sweeteners are the two main types of sugar replacements. Sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, mannitol, erythritol, and maltitol are sugar alcohols. Saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), sucralose, neotame, advantame, stevia, and Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle fruit extract are all high-intensity sweeteners (SGFE).
How much sugar alcohol can a diabetic have?
While there aren’t particular guidelines for each form of sugar alcohol, a general limit of 50 grams is a good starting point.
Can sugar alcohol raise blood sugar?
Xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol, and maltitol are common sugar alcohols (they commonly end in the letters –ol, like sugar “alcohol,” which might help you locate them immediately in the ingredient list).
Do Sugar Alcohols Raise Blood Sugar?
Sugar alcohols are a form of carbohydrate that can cause blood sugar levels to rise. As you can see on the right-hand Nutrition Facts label, “Foods labeled as “sugar-free” but containing sugar alcohols are neither carbohydrate- nor calorie-free!
Sugar alcohols, on the other hand, are digested by the body differently than other carbs, and some may elevate your blood sugar somewhat while others may not.
Erythritol, for example, is a sugar alcohol that does not raise blood sugar levels. As a result, it’s become highly popular as a low-carb ingredient “foods that are “keto” Erythritol is available in certain supermarkets and can be used in home cooking, so it’s possible you’ll see it in low-carb dessert recipes.
What Might Sugar Alcohols Do in Other Parts of The Body?
Sugar alcohols, unlike normal sugar, do not cause cavities. In fact, xylitol, a sugar alcohol found in sugar-free chewing gum, may aid in cavity prevention.
Many sugar alcohols, especially when consumed in high quantities, can induce gas, bloating, and stomach discomfort, and some persons may be more sensitive to this effect than others.
If you get an unpleasant stomach after eating “sugar-free” or other items sweetened with sugar alcohols, check the ingredients to discover which type of sugar alcohol is used. You should either avoid items that contain that type of sugar alcohol or limit how much you eat in a single session.
Sugar alcohols are safe to consume and may be an excellent choice for diabetics. When used in excessive quantities, however, they can induce gastric problems, and some sugar alcohols can boost blood sugar levels.
“Sugar-free” does not necessarily imply “carbohydrate-free.” Sugar-free foods’ carbohydrate content can be seen on the label.
Sugar-free items can be included in your diet if you keep track of the carbs. Check your blood sugar 1 1/2 to 2 hours after consuming a sugar alcohol-containing food to see how it changes.
As usual, your nutritionist or diabetes health-care team can assist you in determining whether or not using sugar replacements in your diet is the right option for you.