Are you a fan of ice cream but trying to cut back on sugar?
You may have heard of Rebel Creamery, a brand that offers low-carb, sugar-free ice cream options. But what exactly is in their ice cream that makes it sweet without the added sugar?
The answer lies in a type of sweetener called sugar alcohol. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the specific type of sugar alcohol used in Rebel Creamery ice cream and explore its benefits and potential drawbacks.
So grab a spoon and let’s dig in!
What Kind Of Sugar Alcohol Is In Rebel Ice Cream?
The sugar alcohol used in Rebel Creamery ice cream is erythritol. This may sound like a strange name, but it’s actually a natural sweetener that can be found in fermented fruits and vegetables.
One of the benefits of erythritol is that it has zero calories and a glycemic index of 0, meaning it won’t raise your blood sugar levels. It’s also considered gut-friendly because it doesn’t ferment in the gut or feed good or bad bacteria.
Another benefit of erythritol is that it’s not fully digested by the human body. Instead, it’s metabolized in the kidneys and excreted through urine. This means that only a small amount of erythritol is left behind in the lower digestive tract, where it can act as a prebiotic.
However, some people may experience digestive issues when consuming erythritol, especially those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It’s important to stick to the recommended serving size and monitor your body’s response.
What Is Sugar Alcohol?
Sugar alcohol is a type of sweetener that is commonly used in many low-calorie and sugar-free foods. It’s often added to processed foods as a sugar substitute because it has about half the calories of regular sugar. While some sugar alcohols occur naturally in certain fruits and vegetables, most are man-made and produced industrially.
Sugar alcohols are a type of carbohydrate that have a chemical structure similar to both sugar and alcohol. They’re considered low digestible carbs, meaning that they’re not fully absorbed by the small intestine and instead travel to the large intestine where they’re fermented by bacteria. This fermentation process can contribute to a healthy digestive system by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Despite their name, sugar alcohols don’t contain any ethanol, which is found in alcoholic beverages. They’re also not as sweet as regular sugar, with a sweetness level of about 25-100% as sweet as sugar. However, they still activate the sweet taste receptors on your tongue and add flavor without extra sugar or calories.
Sugar alcohols are often used in combination with artificial sweeteners to make foods taste sweeter. They’re commonly found in lower-calorie and sugar-free foods like energy bars, ice cream, pudding, frosting, cakes, cookies, candies, and jams. When counting carbohydrates for products made with sugar alcohols, it’s recommended to subtract half of the grams of sugar alcohol listed on the food label.
The Specific Sugar Alcohol Used In Rebel Creamery Ice Cream
Rebel Creamery ice cream uses erythritol as its sugar alcohol of choice. Erythritol is a natural sweetener that can be found in fermented fruits and vegetables. It has a glycemic index of 0, which means it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels, and it’s considered gut-friendly because it doesn’t ferment in the gut or feed good or bad bacteria.
What’s interesting about erythritol is that the human body cannot fully digest it. Instead, it’s metabolized in the kidneys and excreted through urine. This means that only a small amount of erythritol is left behind in the lower digestive tract, where it can act as a prebiotic.
While erythritol is generally considered safe, some people may experience digestive issues when consuming it. This is especially true for those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). To avoid any discomfort, it’s important to stick to the recommended serving size and monitor your body’s response. Overall, erythritol is a great option for those looking for a low-calorie, low-glycemic sweetener that won’t cause gastrointestinal distress.
Benefits Of Sugar Alcohol As A Sweetener
Sugar alcohols, like erythritol, are a popular alternative to traditional sugar because they provide fewer calories and don’t raise blood sugar levels. This makes them a great option for people with diabetes or those on a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Additionally, sugar alcohols don’t contribute to tooth decay, making them a common ingredient in chewing gum and other oral care products.
Another benefit of sugar alcohols is that they can act as prebiotics in the gut, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria. This can lead to improved digestion and overall gut health.
Compared to artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols have a more natural taste and texture that closely resembles sugar. They also don’t have the same negative health effects as artificial sweeteners, such as headaches or digestive issues.
It’s important to note that some people may experience digestive discomfort when consuming sugar alcohols, particularly in large amounts. However, for most people, they are a safe and effective alternative to traditional sugar.
Potential Drawbacks Of Sugar Alcohol Consumption
While erythritol is considered a safe and healthy alternative to sugar, there are some potential drawbacks to consuming sugar alcohols in general. One of the most common side effects of sugar alcohols is digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and stomach upset. This is because sugar alcohols are not fully absorbed by the body and can ferment in the gut, leading to discomfort.
Consuming large amounts of sugar alcohols can also have a laxative effect, which is why products containing certain types of sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol and mannitol, must carry a warning label. Additionally, some people may have concerns about the source of sugar alcohols, as they are often made from GMO substances such as cornstarch and corn syrup.
It’s important to note that while sugar alcohols may be a healthier alternative to sugar for some people, they should still be consumed in moderation. The American Diabetes Association recommends a moderate amount of sugar alcohols per day and advises against eating them in excess quantities. For those with digestive issues or following a low FODMAP diet, it may be best to avoid or limit consumption of sugar alcohols altogether.
Other Foods That Contain Sugar Alcohol
Sugar alcohols are commonly found in many processed foods, especially those labeled “sugar-free” or “low-sugar.” Some examples of these foods include energy bars, ice cream, pudding, frosting, cakes, cookies, candies, and jams. Many of these products use sugar alcohols like xylitol, maltitol, sorbitol, and isomalt as a sweetener to reduce calorie content while still maintaining sweetness.
In addition to processed foods, some natural sources of sugar alcohols can be found in fruits and vegetables. Mannitol is found in carrots, olives, and asparagus; xylitol can be found in some fruits and vegetables like mushrooms and berries; and sorbitol is naturally present in apples, pears, and peaches. However, the amounts of sugar alcohols found in whole foods are typically much lower than those found in processed foods.
It’s important to note that while sugar alcohols may be a healthier alternative to regular sugar for some people, they can still have negative side effects if consumed in excess. Some people may experience digestive issues like bloating, gas, and diarrhea when consuming large amounts of sugar alcohols. It’s important to monitor your intake and stick to the recommended serving size when consuming foods containing sugar alcohols.
Is Rebel Creamery Ice Cream A Healthy Alternative To Traditional Ice Cream?
Rebel Creamery ice cream is marketed as a healthier alternative to traditional ice cream due to its low sugar content and high fat content. While it’s true that Rebel Creamery ice cream has less sugar than traditional ice cream, it’s important to note that it’s still a high-calorie, high-fat food.
A half-cup serving of Rebel Creamery ice cream contains 14 grams of fat and 150 to 200 calories, depending on the flavor. This is comparable to the fat and calorie content of regular, non-diet ice cream. Additionally, while Rebel Creamery ice cream has less sugar than traditional ice cream, it still contains carbohydrates from other sources such as erythritol.
It’s worth noting that Rebel Creamery ice cream is designed specifically for those following a ketogenic diet, which emphasizes high fat and low carbohydrate intake. For those following this diet, Rebel Creamery ice cream can be a good option as it fits within their dietary restrictions.
However, for those not following a ketogenic diet, Rebel Creamery ice cream may not be a healthier option than traditional ice cream. It’s important to remember that all foods should be consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.