What Are Sugar Alcohols?

Sugar alcohols are naturally found in plants based foods like berries, fruits and vegetables. The sugar alcohols are also man- made that are available in form of  sweeteners containing very low calories than the regular sugar these sweeteners are added in processed foods and labelled as sugar free or no added sugar. But it is risky for those with diabetes as they think it is sugar free and use it which may raise blood sugar levels. In fact sugar alcohols are carbohydrates that can have negative effects on blood sugar levels.

Some of the common sugars alcohols named as sugar free that are found in foods include –

  • Mannitol – naturally present in mushrooms, onions and strawberries.
  • Maltitol – is prepared from maltose from cornstarch.
  • Erythritol – made from cornstarch.
  • Isomalt -is prepared from sugar.
  • Sorbitol – found in some fruits.
  • Xylitol- is made from sugarcane stalks, birch wood and corncobs.
  • Lacititol – is prepared from whey.
  • Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH) – is prepared from cornstarch.

Benefits if sugar alcohols

  • The main disadvantage of consuming regular sugar or sucrose is that it will put you at risk for developing dangerous illnesses and diseases like heart disease, obesity and diabetes. But when you switch to low calories sugar alcohols may save your life from developing many serious health issues.
  • Sugar alcohols also helps in preventing tooth decay as bacteria present in your mouth do not survive on sugar alcohol so they do not multiply that keeps your teeth safe from decaying.
  • One more important benefit of consuming sugar alcohols is that they are not completely processed by your body that means they are not totally absorbed into your body so they are good to keep your blood sugar levels in control. As a result people suffering from diabetes need not give up sweets completely when prepared with sugar alcohols as sweetening agents.

Risks of using excess sugar alcohols

Even though sugar alcohols are good to help you control your weight, keep your blood sugar levels in check. There is a risk if you consume excess of sugar alcohol loaded foods. The side effects caused by eating high amounts of sugar alcohols include digestive issues like diarrhea and gas.

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