Carb Counters - What Are Sugar Alcohols?




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JerseyGyrl
01-24-2008, 05:17 PM
What is a sugar alcohol? While many sugar alcohols are naturally occuring in plants, most of them are manfactured from sugars & starches.

Sugar alcohols include Gycol, Glycerol, Erythritol, Arabitol, Xylitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol, Isomalt, Maltitol & Lectitol.

Sugar alcohols are not fully absorbed by the body so blood sugar impact is less and they provide fewer calories per gram. However, because they are not absorbed completely, they can ferment in the intestines and cause gas, diarrhea & bloating.

Though they have fewer calories than sugar, they also aren't as sweet so more is needed to get the same sweetness. Be aware, there is still a degree of sweetness & impact on blood sugar.

While doing low carb, some people deduct suigar alcohols as well as fiber to determine net carbs, since they feel they are not fully absorbed. Its one of those your mileage may vary issues.

Also be aware, consuming products laden with these sugar alcohols like sugar-free candy, ice cream, puddings etc. can cause your weight loss to stall as well as being a culprit of sugar cravings.


SoulBliss
01-24-2008, 05:25 PM
Also be aware, consuming products laden with these sugar alcohols like sugar-free candy, ice cream, puddings etc. can cause your weight loss to stall.

AND give you loose stools or anal leakage! :o

Scary indeed. Erythritol seems to be less of a culprit than others.

KforKitty
01-24-2008, 06:47 PM
Sorbitol and Malitol are really bad for me. I avoid products with these in.

Kitty


Leenie
01-25-2008, 10:21 AM
Here's some info on sugar alcohols....

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showpost.php?p=526507&postcount=6

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showpost.php?p=526501&postcount=4

.

JerseyGyrl
01-25-2008, 06:58 PM
Leenie. Thank you so much for those 2 links....I read them both & let me say, they are excellent.

The purpose of Atkins Induction is to bust sugar addiction by following the plan precisely. That means eating NOTHING that is not on the acceptable foods list. Sugar-free treats are not permitted on Induction.

Think about this realistically...on Induction, you should be eating meats, non-starchy veggies, salad, cheese, eggs, cream, butter. By substituting sugar alcohol laden treats like candy, ice cream, puddings, etc....you are simply replacing 1 evil (sugar) with another evil (sugar alcohols). It may start out as an "occasional" treat...but...before you know it, you're craving these treats on a daily basis and this totally defeats the purpose of doing Atkins to begin with.

Atkins is not a restrictive plan. We are permiited so many satisfying, dessert like foods. Cream cheese, whipped cream, Splenda, sour cream, just to name a few. There are wonderful websites & low carb cookbooks full of recipes with "legal" treats using those permitted foods.

When you choose to "modify" the plan with sugar-free treats...you risk not losing the weight you want to lose, as well as stalling and possibly quitting all together because you aren't getting the results you'd hoped for.

Do it right from the beginning & continue to keep doing it right...it works beautifully:)

Leenie
01-27-2008, 09:23 PM
Your very welcome Kim :D

The artificial sweeteners is what destroyed my efforts on my LC diet. The more I ate, the more I wanted....and the more I craved real sugar.

Do yourself a favor folks....stay away from it all.

.

JerseyGyrl
01-28-2008, 07:23 AM
Your very welcome Kim :D

The artificial sweeteners is what destroyed my efforts on my LC diet. The more I ate, the more I wanted....and the more I craved real sugar.

Do yourself a favor folks....stay away from it all.

.


Great advice Leenie!!:)

Why is it we insist on doing things our way...and...then end up doing things the right way!!!:smug:

Jen415
01-28-2008, 11:36 AM
This is good advice for me to hear now. I've just finished my first week of induction (7.5 lbs gone BTW) and have avoided sugar alcohols for the most part.

JerseyGyrl
01-28-2008, 12:14 PM
I've just finished my first week of induction (7.5 lbs gone BTW) and have avoided sugar alcohols for the most part.

Jen, Congratulations on your weight loss!

Staying away from sugar alcohols is a very wise idea. Sugar alchols DO have calorie content and despite what you may or may not have read, have been shown to have an effect on blood sugar.

Lots of people eat them & it doesn't appear to effect weight loss. However, those same people experience gastric distress that keeps them on a constant path to the nearest rest room.

The people that don't experience the gastric distress are the ones seeing the effects of sugar alcohols on the scale.

Either way, it hardly seems worth it to me!

Bottom line, be it sugar-free or low carb...junk is still junk just the same!

bluex
01-28-2008, 10:20 PM
I definitely agree that junk is junk! Here's an article that describes net carbs and sugar alcohols.

http://www.diabetesmonitor.com/m19.htm

The article has a good description of each sugar alcohol and its effects on blood sugar. You can see the worst of them is Maltitol. Easy to remember if you think of the word malt. Most of the "junk" out there that claims to be sugar free or low carb has maltitol and in great quantities.

bambifox
02-01-2008, 08:51 PM
Sorry ladies...but I desperately feel the need to chime in here. I'm no Atkins expert...but I've had a little experience with the diet. I am an avid chocolate lover...not all the time, but during that special time of the month, after dinner or lunch...I tend to want something sweet...not a bunch, just a little something (one chocolate piece of candy and I'm good). I used to go #2 maybe 3 times per week. Maltitol, which is found in many sugar substitute candies have actually help keep me regular...I don't go running to the bathroom...although one time I ate a bag of them and ended up living in the bathroom for 3 days!!!! But that taught me a lesson....MODERATION!!!! I believe (and many scientists too) that chocolate as well as caffeine are healthy, heart smart in moderation. Since sugar is the culprit in stalling weight loss...one or two pieces of sugar free chocolate a day should not stall anyone's weight loss. Any more than that, then yes, it could. But it still depends upon how YOUR BODY reacts to it. My advice...learn your body...that is why some people will never stall and others do...that is why some people will lose 14lbs on induction and others 3lbs. Your metabolism, genetics, and a host of other factors will play a part on how sugar alcohols effect YOUR BODY.

I for one, could have never succeeded (twice losing 30 lbs) on Atkins without them. Some people just need a little sweetness in life! Just wanted to share my point of view in case there are any others out there who may have felt like a failure reading all the posts against sugar alcohols. Joyce

WeightSmasher
02-01-2008, 09:42 PM
bambifox--I totally agree with you. I think all of our bodies are different and the best part of doing a lifestyle change is by finding yourself. I don't believe one glove fits all. I am slowly learning that everything must be with moderation. Too much of anything is bad for you. Thanks for your comment.

bluex
02-01-2008, 11:42 PM
I don't think anyone spoke up against chocolate in this thread. We were speaking against sugar alcohols. I certainly try to find healthier treats but believe me I have them. I am not on Atkins, I do my own version of low carb as dictated by my blood sugar meter, I don't eat what spikes me.

Chocolate doesn't have sugar. It's more important that you find healthy chocolate, that means a higher percentage of cacao. I have had 90% chocolate and it's a bit gross. The best chocolate I have found can be bought at Trader Joe's. It's called "The Chocolate Traveler - Bittersweet Chocolate Wedges."

Nutritional Info:

4 Pieces (which by the way are already cut into triangles so there's no guessing on the serving)
10g of carb, 4 of fiber for a net of 6. And guess what? NO sugar alcohol.

If you only have 2 pieces that's 3 grams. That is grams of sugar but if you like maltitol they do have sugar free varieties that have maltitol, curiously with more carbs. I do recommend them for the portion control.

http://thechocolatetraveler.com/

I also enjoy ice cream that often has lactitol but it's one of the less evil sugar alcohols and there are only a few grams per serving!

I think you have to experiment of course and it all depends on your brand of low-carb. Still if you overeat beyond the serving size, I don't believe it would work for anybody.

Leenie
02-02-2008, 09:07 AM
I think its wonderful that some people can have just one peice of anything and walk away unharmed.

But then there are folks like me who even the slightest sliver of sugar free frankinfood triggers the monster inside to want more and more. If your one of those people who are like the Lays commercial... betcha can't eat just one.... try to stay away from the stuff. If you can control it.... enjoy.


Bluex thanks for the chocolate info.... I gotta hit TJ's now lol.
.

bambifox
02-02-2008, 09:50 AM
Leenie - I agree wholeheartedly...don't try this if your not at the point where you can control the portions you eat. Eventually, though, I am hoping everyone will use Atkins or any other diet plan as a catapult (sp??) to learning to eat healthy and in moderation, thereby taking the power away from any food and putting the power back in our own hands to "just say no more" or to take just "one bite" and throw the rest a way. That takes mental and physical training and time....That's what I thought this was all about...that's what its about for me anyway...Joyce

sylvia78
02-02-2008, 02:57 PM
Thanks for the info JerseyGyrl [sorry that this has become a debate also] and the links Leenie and BlueX. I personally found, even when I was off the wagon recently, that sugar alcohols do not agree with my body. The more time I spend eating natural foods, the more adverse fake foods affect my body. I still eat at restaurants but pre-packaged low-carb foods keep my cravings alive.

Several recent studies found that sugar alcohols in no way fool your brain or your body either. Your blood sugar levels still rise and the consumption of sugar alcohols keeps your brain addicted to sugars. Sugar alcohols do nothing to improve your health. Yes, cacao has health benefits but there is not enough cacao found in low-carb bars and snacks to provide this benefit.

The goal of most low carb plans is to break this desire/craving/addiction to sugar/sweets.

If you've spent a good amount of time without any hidden sugar or sugar substitutes, when you do have something that is sweetened, naturally or with sugar alcohols, it tastes really sweet.

This has been my experience. I would like for those who have lost and maintained their weight using a low carb approach to chime in with what role fake sugars play in the maintenance phase of their lives.

However, as for eating sugar and flour in moderation, I have a question. Would you tell an alcoholic that they need to learn to drink in moderation; that they should be able to have one drink and walk away from the bottle? Or would you tell an addicted gambler to place one bet and leave the casino? Because this is exactly what a sugar/flour addiction is, it is an addiction. Addiction is addiction is addiction. They are all addictions of the mind AND the body. This is just something to consider.

bambifox
02-02-2008, 08:54 PM
:D...You guys are funny.....perhaps some people just enjoy a drink every now and then...just like some people enjoy a sweet every now and then. Sure, if your "addicted" to anything you should stay completely away from it. Okay..okay..I'm abandoning this thread as some people are a little over the top! It's really not that serious. FYI - I have succeeded on Atkins for many years (not in a purist form), but I have managed to control my weight using Dr. Atkins low carb concept for over 10 yrs....never wearing over a size 14! There are many "long timers" who are new to "THIS" forum.

For all you newbees, my advice, for whatever it's worth, is to simply listen to your body...nobody knows YOU better than YOU....and don't forget to exercise...it's good for the inner you and outer you...:carrot:

However, as for eating sugar and flour in moderation, I have a question. Would you tell an alcoholic that they need to learn to drink in moderation; that they should be able to have one drink and walk away from the bottle? Or would you tell an addicted gambler to place one bet and leave the casino? Because this is exactly what a sugar/flour addiction is, it is an addiction. Addiction is addiction is addiction. They are all addictions of the mind AND the body. This is just something to consider.

sylvia78
02-03-2008, 01:12 PM
I was not trying to be confrontational or offensive. Maybe funny because that helps to get the point across. Addiction is a serious disease. I have lost friends to addiction of one sort or another, including food. You can never force an addict to see their addiction. They have to see it for themselves. Food addictions are not different from any other addiction.

Some things can be done in moderation. However, for many people that cannot lose weight with any plan other than low carb, these sugar free treats are the golden ticket to weight loss stalls, gains, or just plain falling off the wagon and becoming roadkill [I've been there]. This goes for those low carb flour products also.

Thanks for the info everyone. I will definitely add the links to my library.

bluex
02-03-2008, 01:36 PM
:D...You guys are funny.....perhaps some people just enjoy a drink every now and then...just like some people enjoy a sweet every now and then. Sure, if your "addicted" to anything you should stay completely away from it. Okay..okay..I'm abandoning this thread as some people are a little over the top! It's really not that serious.


For some of us, it is that serious, diabetics take their blood sugar real serious as it is a life or death matter. Sugar alcohols make it more likely that I will go blind, lose a kidney, lose a limb, etc.

It's also serious for people who have sugar addictions and continue to be obese because of it. I am really glad that you can enjoy sugar alcohols on a regular basis and certainly each and everyone of us has to make those decisions for ourselves. I think we need to respect each other's seriousness or intensity.

bambifox
02-03-2008, 02:14 PM
My post "...it's not that serious" was not intended to make light of anyone's attempt at losing weight/getting healthy...as I'm in the same boat as everyone here to some degree. It was simply to lighten things up a bit. Sometimes in your (anyone's) desire/passion to lose weight, we lose sight of what food was really intended for...survival, enjoyment, nutrition, energy, substanance, etc. We become victims of our refrigerators!

My mom suffers with diabetes (Type II)...and I am aware of the seriousness of diet in this respect (it's a life/death issue). All I mean is "take it easy"..."smile"..."enjoy life"..."enjoy the foods you eat"...and for goodness sake..."stop being victims and take control". I try to live this way and that's why I'm here. To help myself and possibly others to do that. I wish that everybody (including myself) can just take "one bite" of something they enjoy and walk away...and not look at a piece of cake and "get scared...have a panic attack"... I realize this sort of thing takes time, patience and acceptance of the truth about yourself, among other things. I'm just an advocate of "enjoy your life...and don't take yourself too seriously". One day, you'll find that you don't even think about things like this (as least I'm hoping I don't). I wish you all success and enjoy your superbowl weekend!

On a lighter note...I'm helping my 8 yr old daughter bake a creamy delishous chocolate cake today...and she's helping me prepare sh*tload of low carb dishes (swiss chicken rolls, chunky chicken soup, hot wings, brocolli au gratin, mock cooked apples....yummy!) I find that when I expose myself to the treats that I would die to have and then not have them, but substitute them for something I do like, I feel like I'm starting to gain control...that's all. And yes, if I feel like it...I will have a peppermint patty...hey...at least I'm not having the cake! smiles....all day long. Joyce

sylvia78
02-03-2008, 04:24 PM
There is a new article posted by Leenie on the Frequently Asked Questions Thread.

LOW CARB PRODUCTS MAY JEOPARDIZE WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS

THIS ARTICLE IS FROM OUR LOVELY POOKIE

Check it out!