Sunday, November 1, 2009


The case.

Not me.

I finally researched a question that's been nagging me for a long, long time.

One of those things in the back of my mind that I think of in the moment, but later, when I could look it up, I've forgotten.

It comes up most often around the holidays...

"What's the difference between sugar and sugar alcohol, and do sugar alcohol carbohydrates count the same or metabolize the same as regular sugar carbs?"

I did a "google" search and found a good explanation at the American Diabetes Association website.

I guess the long and short of it is that sugar alcohols are a calorie reduced sweetener with less of an effect on your blood sugar than either sugar or starch.

If there are more than 5 grams of carbohydrates from sugar alcohol, you can take half the amount of sugar alcohol carbs and subtract it from the total amount of carbs in the product.

For example: the Yogen Fruz Non Fat No Sugar Added Vanilla blended yogurt I had at the Mall on Friday seems, at first glance, to have more carbs than either the Non Fat or Low Fat Vanilla yogurt.

This made me wonder if there was any point in even considering the Non Fat and No Sugar Added variety.

If I apply the formula suggested at the ADA website, it brings the carb count down from 22 to 18. (8 grams of sugar alcohol means 22-4=18 g)

Together with the lower calorie count and the absence of fat, it IS after all a better choice.

As long as you don't go freaky and get anything larger than a small.

And as long as it's a "walking around the mall for a couple hours" snack.

And as long as you remember that the fruit counts extra- probably at least another 15 g of carbs, although they don't tell you how much to add for that.

So... No Sugar Added treats are alright.

But still in small doses.

Good to know.

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