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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.