The truth about sugar alcohols

The truth about sugar alcohols

Sugar alcohols are a type of low-calorie sweetener commonly used as sugar substitutes. Examples of sugar alcohols include erythritol, xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol. While sugar alcohols are generally considered safe for consumption, they may have some potential side effects.

  1. Digestive issues: Sugar alcohols can have a laxative effect and may cause digestive discomfort. This is because they are not fully absorbed in the small intestine and can ferment in the large intestine, leading to symptoms like gas, bloating, and diarrhea. It's important to note that different sugar alcohols have varying degrees of tolerance among individuals, and some may experience these effects more than others.

  2. Blood sugar impact: Sugar alcohols are generally considered safe for people with diabetes since they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. They are not fully metabolized and do not raise blood glucose as much as regular sugar. However, it's important to note that they still have some caloric content and can affect blood sugar to some extent, so moderation is key.

  3. Oral health: Sugar and sugar alcohols feed oral bacteria in our mouth which can contribute to tooth decay and bad breath. It's important to read your ingredient labels as it's common for foods labeled as 'sugar-free' to still contain a sugar alcohol. 


In summary, pay attention to how your body reacts to sugar alcohols and adjust your consumption accordingly. Sugar alcohols can cause digestive discomfort in some individuals, and have an impact on your oral wellness which is why it's best to consume them in moderation.

If you have any specific health concerns or conditions, it's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice.

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