Sugar alcohols

Used as a substitute for sugar in certain foods, particularly those that are labeled sugar-free or no added sugar.

It adds sweetness.

Can affect the size, texture, taste, browning, and moisture content of foods.

Known as polyols.

A variety of sugar alcohol types exist in nature.

Sorbitol is found naturally in some fruits.

Sorbitol is typically manufactured from dextrose, and is naturally found in apples and pears.

It is typically manufactured from dextrose that is derived from cornstarch.

It is naturally found in apples and pears.

Sorbitol tastes approximately 60 percent as sweet as regular sugar.

Mannitol is naturally found in strawberries, mushrooms, and onions.

Mannitol can be made using fructose from cornstarch.

Mannitol is also approximately 60 percent as sweet as regular sugar.


Maltitol is made using maltose from cornstarch.

It tastes around 75 percent as sweet as regular sugar.

Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates

Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates are made from starch, with cornstarch being used most often.

Their sweetness depends on their makeup, but the range is about 20 to 50 percent that of regular sugar.


Erythritol is also produced from cornstarch, but it is unique because the manufacturing process involves fermentation.

It tastes about 70 percent as sweet as regular sugar.


Xylitol can be made from a few different materials, including birch wood, corncobs, and leftover sugar cane stalks.

It is just about as sweet as regular sugar, and also has a cooling, minty taste.


Isomalt is made from sugar but only tastes around 55 percent as sweet.


Lactitol is made from whey and tastes about 35 percent as sweet as regular sugar.

Polyols is another name for sugar alcohols.

FODMAPs acronym, which stands for fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.

A low-FODMAP diet may help control gastrointestinal symptoms in some people with IBS.

Foods labeled “sugar-free” or “no added sugar” still provide calories, fat, and carbohydrates.

Sucrose or other sugars contain about 4 calories per gram (g).

Sugar alcohol Calories (per gram)

Sorbitol 2.6 g

Mannitol 1.6 g

Maltitol 2.1 g

Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates 3 g

Erythritol 0–0.2 g

Xylitol 2.4 g

Isomalt 2.0 g

Lactitol 2.0 g

Sugar alcohols can be found in a variety of products, including some of the following:

baked goods


chewable vitamins


cough drops

cough syrups




ice cream





Sugar are not fully absorbed and digested in the body, so they have less of an impact on blood sugar.

The hormone insulin is only needed in small amounts or not at all to metabolize sugar alcohols.

They also provide fewer calories per gram than regular sugar.

Differences in chemical structure exist between sugar alcohols and regular sugar.

Many sugar alcohols, except for maltitol and xylitol, taste considerably less sweet than regular sugar.

Consuming sugar alcohols in excess can result in gastrointestinal discomfort

Added sugar provides around 14.1 percent of calories consumed by children and adults in the United States.

Possible connections between the consumption of added sugar and certain health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Sugar alcohols also provide fewer calories than sugar, so they may be beneficial for people trying to lose weight by reducing their calorie intake.

Bacteria that live in the mouth do not feed on sugar alcohols, so they do not cause tooth decay like regular sugar.

Consuming large amounts of sugar alcohols could result in gas, diarrhea, or other digestive issues.

Sugar alcohols are one type of short-chain carbohydrate that may provoke symptoms in IBS .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *