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What Are Sugar Alcohols?

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Old 01-24-2008, 04:17 PM   #1
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Default What Are Sugar Alcohols?

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.
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:25 PM   #2
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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!

Scary indeed. Erythritol seems to be less of a culprit than others.
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:47 PM   #3
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Sorbitol and Malitol are really bad for me. I avoid products with these in.

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Old 01-25-2008, 09:21 AM   #4
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Here's some info on sugar alcohols....

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/show...07&postcount=6

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/show...01&postcount=4

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Old 01-25-2008, 05:58 PM   #5
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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
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:23 PM   #6
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Your very welcome Kim

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.

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Old 01-28-2008, 06:23 AM   #7
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Your very welcome Kim

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!!!
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:36 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:14 AM   #9
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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!
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:20 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:51 PM   #11
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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
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:42 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:42 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:07 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:50 AM   #15
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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
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