I have been reading about sugar alcohols and how they produce a MUCH lower insulin response in the body. Anyone out there care to weigh in on why these should be avoided?
asked byChrisO (457)
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on May 16, 2011
at 05:52 PM
Sugar alcohols are found in the Polyols category associated with FODMAPs (Fermentable, Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols). FODMAPs are classes of short-chain carbohydrates that are osmotically active, so they drag water from the intestinal vessels into the intestinal lumen, thus causing diarrhea. They are also easily degradable (fermentable) by intestinal bacteria, and yield large amounts of gases like hydrogen, carbon dioxide or methane, thus causing bloating.
FODMAPS are mostly avoided with a grain-free, legume-free, dairy-free paleo approach, but minimal amounts are still found in some fruits and veggies (fructose). It is thought that some of the GI distress associated with grain/dairy/legume consumption is not always to do with lectin/saponin and phytate content rather than from FODMAPS like fructans, galactans, and lactose (Oligo and Di-saccharides).
So, if you're looking to avoid FODMAP consumption (recommended), then you're best to avoid: Grain, Dairy, Legume, Hi-fructose containing foods, and artificial sweeteners.
on May 16, 2011
at 08:30 PM
From a blood sugar perspective, almost all sugar alcohols are used to fool you. The example given by Dr. Bernstein is that "sorbitol is 1/3 as sweet as sugar. They add 3x as much sorbitol instead of sugar. Sorbitol will raise your blood sugar as much as sugar....although slower. Now your blood sugar goes 3x as high as opposed to using sugar."
Erythritol is the only sugar alcohol that does not raise BS. All others do. Do not use them. "The only problem with erythritol is it is excreted thru the kidneys and we do not know the long term effects on the kidneys. You will be "guinea pigging" yourself if you do." Dr. Ron Rosedale
Stick with Stevia. When in doubt...check your Blood Sugar after ingesting sugar alcohols. They are sweet...but so is a kiss from a succubus.
on May 17, 2011
at 12:14 AM
I've learned the hard way to stay away... I ate the whole (small though) block of sugar-free chocolate with sugar alcohols once, thinking that it was "guilt free" treat. OMG. I thought that my guts got packed with knives, needles and all cacti of Arizona... I was in such a pain, I could hardly move, massage the belly or do anything, really. Never again :)
on May 16, 2011
at 06:56 PM
If you look at the structures of sugar alcohols, they are VERY similar to the sugars. I think if you look up maritol (or something like that, I'm just going my memory here), it's basically a fructose molecule that's been opened up with an additional H added on to the freed up O.
I had a long rant about this a long time ago, and I can't find it. But the basic idea is that once your body absorbs a sugar alcohol* it's absolutely trivial for it to turn it into the corresponding sugar. In fact they live in equilibrium. So if you see something that says "no sugar" but it contains a sugar alcohol, we'll legally it's true, but effectively it's like saying "contains no green" and the ingredients are "blue" and "yellow". To your body it's no different.
*note: There may be different absorption rates for the sugar and sugar alcohol, but I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about once it's in your blood, it's the same.
on May 19, 2011
at 03:00 AM
I recently came across an excellent comment on an Atkins style forum, that pretty much answered my earlier question like this:
Will drinking alcohol affect ketosis?
No and yes. The liver can make ketones out of alcohol, so technically, when you drink you'll continue to produce ketones and so will remain in ketosis. The problem is ... alcohol converts more easily to ketones than fatty acids, so your liver will use the alchol first, in preference to fat. Thus, when you drink, basically your FAT burning is put on hold until all the alcohol is out of your system. This rapid breakdown of alcohol into ketones and acetaldehyde (the intoxicating by-product) ... tends to put low carbers at risk for quicker intoxication ... especially if no other food is consumed to slow absorption
I've been looking for this explanation for weeks!
The problem with wine is that in the liver it turns into a ketone and is processed ahead of body fat - body fat loss via ketosis goes on hold. Wine isn't a 'carb' in that it triggers an insulin response (unless it still has sugars in it - many do), but it still blocks the body's removal of fat.
This explains SO much for me: why I suddenly started drinking a lot more (body still wanting 'quick energy' but not fully used to ketosis of fatty acids) especially at night. And why I was getting drinker faster (no excess sugar in blood to process ASAP), and even why I wasn't nearly as hung over the next day (liver started processing alcohol ketones right away - had more time).
In my case I had lost almost 30 lbs - then stayed there. The drinking was/is playing a huge role in maintaining that status quo!
on May 16, 2011
at 07:21 PM
I wish I would have read this article before I stocked up on Whey... Could have bought more bacon :( Guess I will have to see how I do on it.