What are Sugar Alcohols?
The debate of sugar versus sugar alcohols has been a topic of discussion for many years. Sugar alcohols are commonly used as substitutes for table sugar (sucrose) or as sweeteners in food manufacturing.
Sugar alcohols are a type of carbohydrate that is derived from plants. They are found naturally in a variety of fruits and vegetables, but can also be manufactured. Sugar alcohols are absorbed more slowly than sugar, which means they don’t cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. For this reason, they are often used as a sugar substitute in diabetic-friendly foods. Sugar alcohols also tend to be lower in calories than sugar. But let's take a deeper look on why most nutritionist recommend sugar alcohols to reduce your blood sugar.
Benefits of Sugar Alcohol
Fewer blood sugar spikes - Sugar alcohols don't significantly raise blood sugar levels like ordinary sugar does. They have a low glycemic index and could minimally affect blood sugar levels.
Reduced dental risk - When you consume sugar, oral bacteria convert the carbohydrates into acids that erode the enamel on your teeth. However, sugar alcohols, which are a common ingredient in toothpaste and chewing gums, do not cause tooth decay because oral bacteria cannot ferment them. If you look at the list of chemicals on your toothpaste, xylitol is probably there. Xylitol prevents tooth decay by preventing oral bacteria from attaching to teeth and interfering with their ability to produce acid and energy.
Gut microbiome diversification - By encouraging the development of helpful bacteria, several sugar alcohols may support a healthy microbiome. As a prebiotic, xylitol can help probiotics grow and improve intestinal health.
Managing weight - Sugar alcohols may be useful if you're attempting to manage your weight because they have a sweet flavor but fewer calories than normal sugar.
Overall, sugar alcohols are a healthy alternative to sugar. They have fewer calories and won’t cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. However, they can cause gastrointestinal distress in some people.