T Nation

alcohol sugars

What is the difference between alcohol sugars and sugar, and why are they not considered impact carbs?

SOC, the alcohol sugars to which you refer (commonly found in low-carb bars) do not “impact” insulin, meaning they do not cause an insulin response or spike. However, for your purposes, a carb is a carb.

The only carb I don’t count is fiber, which passes through your body without providing energy.

it doesn’t effect insulin in most, but it does in some…and the side effects of over consumption are not real pretty…if you eat them be sure to keep the phone and a good reading supply in your bathroom…you will be there frequently.

as usual TT is right on the mark…

alcohol sugars have like 8 calories/gram, instead of the 4 cal/gram that regular sugars have.

i believe its 7 cals/gram not 8

Glycerine, a sugar alcohol, has around 4.3 cal/g.

Ditto what Iron Maiden said. Glycerine is a GI irritant and also used in rectal suppositories. Protein bar anyone?

alcohol sugars (like glycerine)=4.32kcal per gram

alcohol (booze)=7kcal per gram

Hi All,

Alcohol sugars are also called non-nutritive sweeteners and polyols. They include xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, and lactitol. Basically, they are made from a sugar (like lactose) and have an alcohol group -OH attatched.

Polyols are sugar-free sweeteners. Polyols are carbohydrates but they are not sugars. They are used cup-for-cup [volume-for-volume] in the same amount as sugar is used unlike acesulfame potassium, aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose which are used in very small amounts.

Sugar replacers (polyols) provide fewer calories per gram than does sugar. Sugar provides approximately 4.0 calories per gram.
Sorbitol has 2.6 cals per gram.
Xylitol has 2.4 cals per gram
Maltitol has 2.1 cals per gram.
Isomalt and Lactitol have 2.0 cals per gram.

Sugar replacers (polyols) are slowly and incompletely absorbed from the small intestine into the blood. The portion that is absorbed is metabolized by processes that require little or no insulin. Some of the portion that is not absorbed into the blood from the small intestine is broken down into smaller segments in the large intestine. In the large intestine, the colonic bacteria ferment these sugars and produce SHORT CHAIN FATTY ACIDS which can be absorbed across the large intestinal wall and will contribute 2 cals per gram.

Sugar replacers (polyols) are frequently combined with other alternative sweeteners, such as acesulfame K, aspartame, saccharin and sucralose, in sugar-free chewing gums, candies, frozen desserts and baked goods. The sugar replacer (polyol) gives these foods mild sweetness as well as the bulk and texture of sugar; the other alternative sweeteners bring the sweetness up.

These are also not readily converted to acids by bacteria in the mouth and, therefore, do not promote tooth decay. The FDA has authorized the use of the “does not promote tooth decay” health claim for food products containing erythritol, hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, or a combination of these. The American Dental Association has adopted a position statement recognizing the role of sugar-free foods and medications in maintaining good oral health.

I was wrong, my bad. I got the 2 mixed up.

As usual I agree with TT. Sugar alcohols low impact but need to count them. Also as stated some people spend quite a bit of time on the pot after ingesting these things so watch out. Fiber though is my one exception also. I dont worry about it to much even in P+F meals. It is good at slowing digestion also.

glycernine to my knowledge is not a sugar alcohol.
examples of sugar alcohol:
Malitol
Sorbitol
Isomalt
Xylitol

these ingredients when over consumed cause gastric distress: painful cramping, bloating and severe case of the scoots!

and to answer your question as to what sugar alcohol actually is: A quote:

By Andy Skrypka, MA, RD, CDE 

Sugar alcohols aren?t really sugar or alcohol. Sugar alcohol used in many products is actually derived from high-grade maltose corn syrup. In fact, a sugar alcohol can look very much like a corn syrup. Though a process known as hydrogenation, the addition of hydrogen to the corn syrup, the "sugars" that make up maltose syrup are transformed from "sugar" into "itols or polyols" (polyhydric alcohols). So maltose, the sugar is now maltitol, the sugar alcohol. This polyol has a different chemical make-up than sugar and thus carries its new chemical name. 

Polyols have other favorable attributes. Since maltose is now a sugar alcohol transformed into maltitol, it will metabolize in the body more slowly than sucrose (table sugar) and some maltitol will pass through the body without being metabolized at all. Thus, maltitol syrup will not cause the significant rise in blood sugar experienced when eating the same amount of sucrose. 

For those individuals who are carbohydrate counting to control their blood sugar levels, still consider the total carbohydrates found on the food label. Remember that just because a product says sugar-free doesn?t mean it?s carb-free and the product may eventually contribute to the rise in blood sugar in the end. 



Yeah I concur about the gut irritant that those types of sugars cause.

I avoid them as much as I can, I’m glad some bar makers (like biotest) use mostly real carbs instead since I can’t tolerate more than 1 of those fake sugar types in a day.

I count them as carbs also, I think they have some effect in that realm. Varies per body, but for me it seems like they count as about 1/2 carbs. Then for my wife they count as full carbs, since they kick her out of ketosis quick.

I’ve read sugar alcohols (along with glycerine) affect different people in different ways. Some have almost no effect (and no problem staying in ketosis) others it would seem to have an insulin spike like sugar. Same with the GI stuff, some it affects more than others. If you decide to eat something with sugar alcohols, just realize you’re taking risks.

Lauren