So we now know the basics when it comes to simple sugars, but now lets focus on what Alcohol Sugars are.
In this second Blog Post about SUGAR I am going to tell you all about ALCOHOL SUAGRS and what you need to know:
What are Alcohol Sugars: Simple sugars containing an alcohol group in their molecular structure. The most common are xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol, they are a subgroup of chemical substances called polyols.
Xylitol is by far the sweetest alcohol sugar, its much sweeter than the other two more common alcohol sugars, mannitol and sorbitol.
Alcohol sugars are found naturally in very small amounts of some fruits. They are mostly used as sweetening agents in gums and candy.
Unlike the simple sugars, the alcohol sugars do not promote tooth decay because bacteria in the mouth that cause tooth decay can not digest them.
Did you know that foods sweetened with alcohol sugars can use the health claim " does not promote tooth decay" on their labels.
The alcohol sugars have fewer calories per gram than other carbohydrates, and are slowly but incompletely broken down, a little bit like dietary fibre.
Your small intestine doesn't absorb alcohol sugars well, so fewer calories get into your body. Just be careful however when consuming alcohol sugar, because they aren't completely absorbed it can cause diarrhoea, bloating or gas. My recommendation is to try not have too much food that contain xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol all the time. You may have had an experience with this when eating a whole tube of mints or throat lozenges??!!
Sugar Alcohols vs. Artificial Sweeteners:
Artificial sweeteners do not contain carbohydrates so they do not cause blood sugar to elevate, whereas, sugar alcohols have some effect on blood sugar. Overall, both can be useful in diabetes and weight loss management when used properly.
Next time you buy a "Low Carb" , "Sugar Free" or "Zero" drink, fizzy drink, sports drink, or energy drink have a look on a label and see if they contain either xylitol, mannitol, or sorbitol, you will find that most of them do, or they are combined with an artificial sweetener.
My next blog post for the sugar series blogs will be about artificial sugars and what they are! Stay tuned to learn all you need to know about "SUGAR".