Sugar Alcohols – Not Sugar, Not Alcohol!
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- Sugar alcohols are used to add sweetness to food without
adding sugar. They have fewer calories than sugar, but more
calories than “non-nutritive sweeteners” such
as SplendaJ, EqualJ, Sweet n=LowJ, or Sweet OneJ.
- Sugar alcohols are not sugar and not alcohol. They are
carbohydrates that have a chemical structure similar to
sugar and similar to alcohol – but are neither!
- The sugar alcohols are, lactitol, mannitol, sorbitol,
and xylitol - sometimes called “polyols.”
They can replace sugar, usually on a one-to-one basis
fewer calories than sugar. Remember- they are not calorie-free!
- Sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol are found in plant products
such as fruits and berries but are usually artificially
synthesized. Lactitol is made from lactose, the carbohydrate
- Sugar alcohols are often found in “sugar-free”
candy, gum and cookies – remember they still have
- A large amount of polyols (eg, greater than 50 grams
of sorbitol per day, or greater than 20 grams of mannitol
per day) may cause diarrhea. Products with sorbitol and
mannitol may have the following statement on the label:
"excess consumption may have a laxative effect."