The secret ingredient behind sugar free and low sugar foods- and the effects it can have
Polyols are a type of sweetener, having fewer calories and less of an effect on blood glucose levels than sugar. For this reason, it is commonly used as a sugar replacement in many foods.
Often, we may scan a food label for the lowest sugar levels and once we have found this product it ends up in our baskets. Now we can be happy with this decision and can just wait for the weight to drop off. What you may not have scanned on a food label is the ingredients. Here, on your impressive low sugar product, is everything that is in it. On further inspection you may find these “Polyols”.
Polyols are not completely digested like sugar, and are only partially absorbed. This causes the non-digested leads to the formation of gas which is left the body through flatulence. In simpler terms, through the passing of wind. Having too much may cause a laxative effect. Is it really a better alternative to sugar?
Here is a list of the types of Polyols that may be listed on a food label’s ingredients
Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysates
You may not have spotted these before as the ingredients list is often small and difficult read. However, the controversy behind these sweeteners has escalated and now on some labels you can now find the content of Polyols in grams amongst the nutrition label.
Yet not all food labels have this… so be careful, especially with products labelled as “Low Sugar!”
These are some of the foods that are likely to contain Polyols
Soft and Hard Candy
In conclusion, the sugar content in your food products matters. In very basic terms the lower the sugar content the better. However, it also pays to be aware of what is replacing those missing sugars and the effects that this content has on your body.