Diabetes – Sugar Alcohol – Advantages & Disadvantages.



Reduced Calorie Sweeteners

Sugar alcohols are a kind of reduced-calorie sweetener which are used in puddings, cookies, chewing gum, candies, and ice-creams which are labeled as “€œno sugar added”€ or “sugar-free”€. Compared with sugar, sugar alcohols have less calories and their effect on the levels of blood sugar less too when compared with other carbohydrates.

Examples of sugar alcohol are:

  • Xylitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Mannitol
  • Maltitol
  • Lactitol
  • Isomalt
  • Erythritol
  • HSH (Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates)
  • Glycerol which is also called glycerine or glycerin

Although their name is sugar alcohols, there is no alcohol content in them.

Clearing Up Confusion On Non Sugar Sweeteners – Video Guide

Sugar Alcohols and Carb Counting Tips

It cannot be known how much effect sugar alcohols have on your levels of blood sugar always as such effects can change. If your meals contain sugar alcohols exceeding 5 grams, the following suggestions can be used to approximate the amount of carbohydrate to count in your meals as sugar alcohols have not as much effect on your levels of blood sugar as either starch or sugar.

If any food has sugar alcohols exceeding 5 grams:

  • Count the amount of carbohydrates which remains in the plan.
  • From the total amount of carbohydrates, take away half the amount of sugar alcohol.

For those people who manage their diabetes condition with carbohydrate counting or insulin, this suggestion will be useful.


Portion: a bar
Sugar alcohol equals 6 grams and total carbohydrate equals 15 grams.
Subtract half the amount of sugar alcohol from the total carbohydrate, which is 15 grams of total carbohydrate minus 3 to get 12 grams (15 -€“ 3 = 12). So, a bar is counted as 12 grams.


Reduced – or low- calorie sweeteners are useful in your attempt to reduce weight or avoid any further gain in weight as they have less calories than any food which are manufactured using either caloric sweeteners or sugar. Such products also have lower carbohydrate content and this assist in the control of levels of blood sugar.

Low-calorie sweeteners can give your food additional sweetness or flavors without adding any significant amount of calories. So, instead of sweetening your fruit, cereal, coffee and tea with sugar, use these low-calorie sweeteners as you take in carbohydrates and calories.Your recipes can be tried out with such sweeteners.


Although you are purchasing foods with reduced- or low- calorie sweeteners, you still need to read the label for the food nutrition facts as many such foods are not exactly “€œfree food”€ and can still contain quite a lot of fat, carbohydrates, and calories. You have to compare the usual sugar containing food with sugar-free food to know if the sugar-free food will be bringing you less calories.

There is also a need to look into the fat content given on the labels. Baked food, sugar-free they may be but contain lots of trans fat and/or saturated fat.

There are people, especially children, get side-effects such as gastric symptoms and laxative effect after taking food containing sugar alcohols.

There are diabetics who do not use sugar-free foods. Instead, they reduce the serving size of their food. Furthermore, sugar-free foods are more expensive than foods using sugar.


*** Posted By Natasha A.Nada ***