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Monday, November 9, 2009

How about Sugar Alcohols for Low-Carbers?


Sugar Alcohols
It is certainly correct that sugar alcohols can cause stomach upset - unfortunately! Maltitol and Sorbitol are deadly poison for me, as far as I am concerned. I found out about my problems with sorbitol, when I ordered a chocolate syrup (sweetened with sorbitol) poured over my frozen yogurt from TCBY in Great Falls, Montana. Just as unfortunately, many food manufacturers for the diet and low-carb industry use maltitol preferentially in their products. I tend to boycott those products. What a shame! Surely, someone in this diet food industry can figure out that there are probably millions of other people, like me, who have an adverse reaction to maltitol. Why not use Erythritol?!!



Erythritol causes no stomach upset issues for the greater majority of people. It has a slight cooling effect on the tongue, but this is usually imperceptible in baking, when used in small amounts, and when combined with other appropriate sweeteners.

Erythritol (75% as sweet as sugar) comes in granular and powdered form and is very useful. When combined with Splenda, it produces great results, especially in frostings, cheesecakes and candies, however, also in regular low-carb baking. It is my preference these days to combine the two, however, all my cookbooks only used Splenda. It is possible to substitute one's sweetener of choice in my recipes. Splenda Granular offers very little in the way of bulk and texture to baked goods, making it fairly easy to substitute other sweeteners.

Granulated Erythritol is a little trickier to use as it does not always dissolve properly - for instance, in melted chocolate. In this case, one would use powdered erythritol. In baking it is best to combine the granular erythritol with the eggs, butter, cream or whatever liquid is in the recipe, and to process in a food processor until mostly dissolved. Many people use a coffee grinder to grind the granular erythritol into a fine powder.

Xylitol is just as sweet as sugar, however, I can only use it in small quantities, as I will still suffer some gastric distress if I overdo it. That kind of puts me off, and I rarely use the product as a result. I have lots of it sitting on my pantry shelf, but it hardly ever moves out of there.

Check out this site: Net Carbs for Sugar Alcohols

An excerpt: "Then in 2002 Dr. Atkins published the revised and current edition of his bestseller, which for many is the bible of low-carb dieting. The book now says that you don’t count “non-blood sugar impacting carbs,” including polydextrose, glycerine, and sugar alcohol, as well as fiber, “when doing Atkins.”

Here is an excerpt from the conclusion:

"One of the most commonly used sugar alcohols, maltitol and its syrups, does have a considerable effect on blood glucose. Two sugar alcohols, erythritol and mannitol, have no effect, and four others have some effect."

Therefore, it seems one does not have to count the net carbs in erythritol.

19 comments:

Steve Parker, M.D. said...

I've been wondering about this lately. Thanks for the clarification. It's a bit hard to keep it straight since I don't deal with it every day.

-Steve

Jennifer said...

You're welcome. :-)

God Bless! Georgiana said...

Sugar Alchols raise my sugar significantly. I cannot really go by net carbs- I have to take into account the entire carb listing on a product. I am an insuling dependant type 2 diabetic. Very insulin resistant apparantly and very sensitive to carbs.

Jennifer said...

Georgiana, that's rough - I'm so sorry to hear that. (((HUGS)))) On the bright side, you are definitely one of the more informed people who have to deal with those issues. Most people who have diabetes ignore the fact that it is a carbohydrate intolerance disease, and instead focus on the fat. Sigh. Of course, that is what they were taught by the professionals. Talk about the blind leading the blind!

God bless you too. :-)

God Bless! Georgiana said...

HI Jennifer,
Thank you for emailing me back before!

I was just wondering if you use net carbs or carbs with out the fiber subtracted in your cook books.
They are going to be my Christmas present!

Georgiana

Jennifer said...

Hi Georgiana, I do use net carbs, however, I have to tell you the amount of fiber in a recipe would rarely be more than 0.5 grams or 1.0 gram tops. I'm not sure why, but that's the case with my recipes, so if you want to be on the safe side - you can add 0.5 grams to each recipe you think might contain some fiber. Hope that helps.

It is not necessary to count the fiber. I might do a post on that soon to explain why that is the case.

God Bless! Georgiana said...

Hi Jennifer- you know the bread they have out there that has like 1 net carb and 14 fibers? Well, those breads (and anything like that) make my blood sugar go thru the roof- so in that case the fiber is significant- but it sounds like in your recipes it is so insignificant that it will not matter for my carb count. thanks! ordering your books. I am not going to order the last two dessert books that are for maintenance so that I am not tempted to make those desserts:)

Jennifer said...

That's great news, Georgiana. Wow, I wonder what is in those breads to produce that much fiber? Sounds like they fiddle with the numbers more than a little - put it this way, I'm suspicious, given the fact that it raised your blood sugar so significantly. Many of my recipes have no fiber at all and it is never significant if there is some. I'm not sure what the reason was, but that is how it worked out with my FoodSmart Program.

My first two books were dessert cookbooks, using Splenda and white flour, so I doubt you will ever want those, unless you are prepared to substitute one of my low-carb bake mixes.

Of the 5 low-carb cookbooks, only one is solely desserts and that is, Splendid Low-Carb Desserts. I hope that helps.

Thanks again, and please visit often. Nice to hear from you.

God Bless! Georgiana said...

HI Jennifer,
I just ordered the 5 books for 79 from Eureka publishing. Are these the books that I would be interested in?
They don't include the two higher carb dessert books, right?
Thanks,
Georgiana

God Bless! Georgiana said...

Oh, the bread with so much fiber is from Julian Bakery. Julianbaker.com I think.

They advertise on all the low carb sites. I cannot eat this bread with out loading up on insulin:) and still feeling sick afterwards.
All the nutrition information is at the website.
Check it out and see what you think.
Georgiana

Jennifer said...

Georgiana, if you give me the zip code that your books will ship to, then I'll check your order for you. Thanks. I can't tell from recent orders which one is yours.

God Bless! Georgiana said...

78665 round rock texas
Georgiana

Jennifer said...

Perfect! The Shipping Department tells me that the order is for all 5 low-carb cookbooks, and it is ready to go out tomorrow with USPS Media Mail. They say to allow 15 days, however, it usually takes 1 week or so. Thanks again! Hope you really enjoy them and that they make your life a lot easier. I'm just about to do a post - cooking is non-negotiable on this WOE. (wink)

God Bless! Georgiana said...

Could I give them extra $ to ship priority? I will pay pal it right away if they would do that for me.
tx! G

Jennifer said...

I'll look into it, however, your books may have shipped already. Good that you are so eager. :-) I hope you like them.

God Bless! Georgiana said...

Okay, just let me know and I will paypal the money asap.
Georgiana

Jennifer said...

Georgiana, it is being shipped priority post today. The Shipping Department will be in touch with you. Thanks. Hope they arrive quickly.

God Bless! Georgiana said...

Thanks for your help, Jennifer! Can't wait to try those recipes out!
Georgiana

Jennifer said...

You're welcome. :-) Thank you, too.