Will Sugar Alcohol Raise Your Blood Sugar?

pink, yellow, orange, green, and blue There are many different hues of sugar alternatives available nowadays. the word “High intensity sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, non-nutritive sweeteners, and other low-calorie sweeteners are all considered sugar alternatives. Then there are sugar alcohols, like mannitol, erythritol, and xylitol. The use of sugar alcohols is growing as “sweeteners suitable for keto. What are they, though? And do those with diabetes find them to be a decent option?

What Are Sugar Alcohols?

The majority of sugar alternatives taste significantly sweeter than actual sugar. Since they have nearly no calories, only a minimal amount is required to get the same sweetness as sugar from them.

Sugar alcohols, in contrast to other “high-intensity sweeteners, have fewer calories per gramme than sugar, making them a “low-calorie sweetener.

Do not be misled by the name “alcohol;” sugar alcohols are not the same as alcohol that makes you feel “buzzy.” So don’t worry, it’s simply a science thing when the word “alcohol” refers to the form of the molecules in this situation.

How Are Sugar Alcohols Used?

Although they are common in many products, sugar alcohols are not typically employed in home cooking or in packets at the coffee shop “Foods without sugar include fruit spreads, gum, candy, and ice cream. They are frequently utilised as a sweetener in cough drops, mouthwash, and toothpaste.

items with the labels “diet,” “sugar-free,” or “sugar alcohols may also be present in products with no added sugar. You can tell if a product contains sugar alcohols by the “The Nutrition Facts label lists Sugar Alcohol under Total Carbohydrates. The ingredients list can then be scanned to see which sugar alcohols were added.

You might encounter xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol, and maltitol as common sugar alcohols ” (they usually end in the letters ol, as does sugar “alcohol, which can be helpful to quickly spot them in the ingredient list).

Do Sugar Alcohols Raise Blood Sugar?

Carbohydrates such as sugar alcohols have the ability to increase blood sugar. You can see the Nutrition Facts label to the right for further information “Foods labelled “sugar-free” but still containing sugar alcohols are not calorie- or carbohydrate-free!

Although the body processes sugar alcohols differently than other carbs, certain sugar alcohols may slightly elevate your blood sugar levels while others may have no effect at all.

For instance, the sugar alcohol erythritol may not raise your blood sugar levels. Due to this, it has gained a lot of popularity as a component in low-carb “ketogenic food You may even see erythritol listed as an ingredient in low-carb dessert recipes since it is readily available in some stores and may be used in home cooking.

What Might Sugar Alcohols Do in Other Parts of The Body?

Sugar alcohols, as opposed to normal sugar, do not cause cavities. In actuality, xylitol, a kind of sugar alcohol present in sugar-free chewing gum, may aid in cavity prevention.

When consumed in excessive quantities, many sugar alcohols can result in gas, bloating, and stomach pains. Some persons may be more sensitive to this effect than others.

If eating “sugar-free” or other meals sweetened with sugar alcohols gives you an upset stomach, check the ingredients to discover what kind of sugar alcohol is present in the dish. You might want to limit how much of those foods you eat at one sitting or stay away from them altogether.


Sugar alcohols are safe to consume and might be a suitable choice for diabetics. When used in high quantities, they can induce gastric problems, and some sugar alcohols can increase blood sugar.

“Carbohydrate-free does not equate to sugar-free! To find out how many carbohydrates are in sugar-free foods, read the label.

If you keep track of the carbohydrates in the meals you eat, they can fit into your diet plan. To see how your blood sugar varies after consuming a food containing sugar alcohols, check your blood sugar 1 1/2 to 2 hours later.

As usual, your dietitian or diabetes healthcare team can assist you in determining whether incorporating any kind of sugar replacements into your food plan is the right move for you.

Sugar alcohols elevate blood sugar levels to what extent?

It has roughly 60% the calories of sugar and is 60% as sweet. It’s a typical component in sugar-free meals and beverages, including soft candy and jelly spreads.

When you ingest less than 10 grammes, it has very little impact on your blood sugar and barely any digestive side effects. However, if you drink more than 20 grammes of it, it could result in digestive problems like stomach pain and diarrhoea (11).


Regular sugar and maltitol taste and feel remarkably similar. It has approximately half the calories of sugar and is 7590% as sweet.

Maltitol is poorly absorbed by the small intestine like other sugar alcohols, so it doesn’t enter your bloodstream rapidly and doesn’t affect blood sugar or insulin levels the same way sugar does (12).

Other sugar alcohols

Various food products also frequently contain the following sugar alcohols:

  • mannitol
  • isomalt
  • lactitol
  • Hydrolysates of hydrogenated starches

In the current diet, numerous sugar alcohols are present. Because they most closely resemble conventional sugar in flavour, erythritol, xylitol, and maltitol are the ones utilised in food production the most frequently.

How much sugar alcohol is permissible for diabetics?

If you have diabetes or prediabetes, sugar alcohols are generally safe and can be safely incorporated in your diet, but there are a few things to keep in mind. 10-15 grammes of sugar alcohol per day is the safe suggested intake.

Sugar alcohols, like many other substances, including sugar, should be consumed in moderation. In addition to having an impact on your GI system, some sugar alcohols have been shown to occasionally cause blood sugar increases.

They include carbs as well, albeit in less amounts than sugar. Since these nutrients can cause fluctuations in blood sugar, many persons with diabetes monitor and reduce their carbohydrate intake.

Carefully consider your meal choices if they contain sugar alcohols. Include the carbohydrates in the overall amount of carbohydrates you consume each day, and pay close attention to how foods containing sugar alcohols affect your blood sugar levels.

A food’s sugar alcohol content can be found on the nutrition label, which you should carefully review. Look for the “Total Carbohydrate number” on the label. The amount of dietary fibre, total sugars, and added sugars are listed there, followed by a line stating the product’s sugar alcohol content.

If a manufacturer declares their product to be sugar-free, they are simply obligated to mention sugar alcohols.

Discuss your eating habits, general health, and whether sugar alcohols are appropriate for you with your doctor or a nutritionist before choosing whether they should be a part of your diet.

Sugar or sugar alcohol—which is worse?

Sweet-tasting carbohydrates with slightly differing molecular structures include sugar and sugar alcohols.

Compared to sugars, sugar alcohols are often less sweet and have less calories. They also have less of an impact on blood sugar levels, making them a good substitute for those with diabetes.

They aren’t as well absorbed by the body as sugar, though. This means that they can result in bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and diarrhoea when ingested in big amounts or by sensitive people.

Can sugar alcohols be considered sugar?

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According to registered dietitian Tegan Bissell, RD, “Sugar alcohols may have a little effect on your blood sugars, but overall, they are safe to take as part of a balanced diet.

However, eating an excessive amount of sugar alcohol can have negative side effects. Bissell provides the information we need to enjoy the advantages and stay away from the disadvantages.

What is sugar alcohol?

Sugar alcohol is neither sugar nor alcohol, hence the name is deceptive. According to Bissell, sugar alcohols are a form of carbohydrate with a chemical composition comparable to sugar.

According to Bissell, sugar alcohols stimulate the tongue’s sweet taste buds, giving flavour without adding extra sugar or calories. “Food businesses may label their meals as low-carb, sugar-free, or diabetes-friendly without compromising taste,” she adds.

Your a1c is affected by sugar alcohol.

Glucose is a type of carbohydrate. Even though it has a less significant effect on blood sugar than actual sugar, eating too much of it can still cause blood sugar levels to rise.

You can eat items containing sugar alcohol if you have diabetes. Due to the fact that sugar alcohol is a carbohydrate, you must still be mindful of your portion sizes.

Read the Nutrition Facts label on everything you consume, including calorie- or sugar-free food items. These claims frequently refer to particular serving sizes. The amount of carbohydrates you consume can change if you eat more than the recommended serving size.

Which sweetener is the safest for diabetics?

If you have diabetes, you can use the majority of sugar substitutes, including: saccharin (Sweet’N Low) Aspartame (NutraSweet) potassium acesulfame (Sunett)

What beverage reduces blood sugar?

Having a nutritious diabetes meal plan is essential for controlling your blood sugar when you have prediabetes or diabetes. Choosing healthy foods and beverages can sometimes be challenging, but these 10 suggestions might help you maintain a healthy weight.

1. Any type of bean

Beans, whether they are garbanzo, kidney, pinto, black, or lentils, have a low glycemic index. This means that because their carbs are given gradually, blood sugar spikes are less likely to result from them. One study found that consuming a cup of beans every day for three months as part of a low-glycemic index diet decreased HbA1c by 0.5 percentage points. This is because beans are so advantageous.

Apples, 2.

Although you might believe that fruit has no place in a diabetic meal plan, apples are also low glycemic. One method of controlling blood sugar levels is to choose foods that are low or medium on the glycemic index, such as apples. A daily apple serving also offers advantages. They are fat-free and rich in fibre and vitamin C. Not to mention a convenient and transportable snack choice.

Try it! Pack an apple for lunch or snack on one in between meals. For a warm treat, bake them and add cinnamon.

Almonds 3.

Magnesium, a mineral that may improve how well your body uses its own insulin, is abundant in these crunchy nuts. Consider including more almonds in your diet; a dietone ounce (or about 23 whole nuts) has about 20% of the daily recommended amount of this mineral, which helps to regulate blood sugar. Additionally, nuts like almonds are a wonderful approach to help control blood sugar levels because they are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, protein, and fibre.

Try it! Pack almonds in single-serve containers in one-ounce servings for a wholesome on-the-go snack.

Spinach 4.

This leafy green is high in fibre and magnesium, both of which help control blood sugar levels, and only has 21 calories per cooked cup. Additionally, spinach is a versatile choice because you may eat it fresh, cooked, pureed, sauteed with olive oil, etc.

Try it! You can substitute baby spinach for lettuce in a salad or add a big handful to your next smoothie.

Chia Seeds, No. 5

You may have heard that one of the best things you can do to lower your blood sugar is to lose or manage weight. Chia seeds may be of assistance. In one study, persons with diabetes who consumed 1,000 calories per day with an ounce of chia seeds for six months lost four pounds and an inch and a half off their waistlines. These gems not only contain a tonne of fibre, but also protein and 18% of the daily necessary calcium intake.

Try it! Half a cup of chopped fruit, one cup of nonfat or one percent milk, and a quarter cup of chia seeds are combined. Enjoy for breakfast the following morning after being refrigerated over night.

Glucerna Shakes and Bars, number six

Eating healthy can be challenging if your day is hectic. Glucerna smoothies and bars can simplify your life. They are produced by Abbott and contain combinations of carbohydrates that are slowly absorbed and digested to lessen blood sugar increases. They’re a sensible, portion-controlled alternative with less than 200 calories each shake and less than 160 calories per bar.

Try it! No matter how hectic your day is, keep a couple Glucerna bars or shakes in your desk or car so you’ll always have a nutritious snack on hand.

A 7. Blueberry

Another fruit alternative is blueberries, which have strong scientific support for their health advantages. Compounds found in blueberries have been demonstrated to lower the risk of heart disease and enhance insulin sensitivity. According to one study, obese individuals with insulin resistance who consumed the equivalent of around two cups of blueberries every day had improved insulin sensitivity. Blueberries are an excellent method to get your fill because they’re also a great source of fibre and other nutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants.

Try it! Serve plain, unsweetened yoghurt with a half-cup of fresh blueberries (or defrosted, frozen blueberries). A cup of blueberries can also be added to your smoothie.

Oatmeal, 8.

Not only is oatmeal healthy for your heart. Additionally, it can lower blood sugar. Because they have a lower glycemic index than foods like white bread, bran flakes, or corn flakes, steel cut and rolled oats are a healthier option. Just keep in mind that while rolled and steel cut oats are excellent choices, highly processed instant and quick oats typically rank higher on the glycemic index and are therefore less healthy for blood sugar levels.

Try it!

Choose cooked oatmeal with blueberries made from steel or rolled oats for a filling, delicious breakfast.

9. Curcumin

Curcumin, a compound in this golden spice, may maintain the function of your pancreas and stop prediabetes from developing into Type 2 diabetes. How well does it function? For nine months, researchers gave prediabetic volunteers either 1500 mg of a daily supplement containing curcumin or a placebo. While both groups received the same amount of curcumin, only 16 percent of the placebo group eventually developed diabetes. This study sheds some light on the benefits of an old spice like turmeric in enhancing the body’s sensitivity to insulin.

Try it:

Turmeric is a key ingredient in curry powder. For a boost of curcumin, add some to your next vegetable stir-fry or consult a doctor about taking a supplement.

ten) Chamomile tea

Numerous illnesses have long been treated with camomile tea. It has antioxidant and cancer-preventive characteristics, and a recent study indicated that it might also help you control your blood sugar levels. Three times daily for six weeks, study participants drank one cup of camomile tea after meals, and their blood sugar, insulin, and insulin resistance all decreased.

Try it!

Instead of an after-dinner drink, opt for a cup of freshly prepared camomile tea. For flavour and an additional boost of vitamin C, try adding a piece of lemon.