Tag: sugar alcohol
In a recent discussion earlier this week, someone in my Facebook group brought to my attention if sorbitol in toothpaste was really that bad even though he tries to avoid it at all costs. Honestly, I’ve never heard of sorbitol and curiosity immediately kicked in. As a type 1 diabetic, the vast majority of us try and eat as health as possible to avoid any potential long term side effects. So what’s the deal? Are sorbitol side effects in gum and toothpaste really all that bad? Lets take a closer look!
What Is Sorbitol?
So what is this stuff anyway and are there other names for sorbitol? Well, sorbitol was first discovered in its naturally occurring form in 1872 and is in a variety of fruits and berries. Common fruits which contain this sugar are the stone fruits, such as apples, pears, peaches, apricots and cherries. High quantities of Sorbitol are also found in such items as dry fruits, prunes, raisins and figs. Sorbitol in these fruits is often associated with gas formation and aggravation of irritable bowel syndrome.
Safe For Type 1 Diabetics?
I guess (for obvious reasons) this is the one that surprised me the most and Jim, I can now see your concern with using sorbitol and thank you for pointing this out to me. I’m also thinking that you have to have adequate amounts as part of your daily diet, but lets see.
As type 1 and type 2 diabetics we may incorrectly believe products containing sorbitol and labeled “no sugar added” or “sugar free” will not affect their blood sugar. This is a dangerous misunderstanding that could lead to significantly elevated blood sugar levels, according to Joslin Diabetes Center.
The calories and carbohydrates in foods containing sorbitol or any other sugar alcohol must be added in to the total allowed amounts of a diabetic person’s meal plan. Read the nutrition label and look for sorbitol on the ingredient list; also look at the total carbohydrate grams per serving in order to avoid abnormally high blood sugars.
An Artificial Sweetener?
Well lets just say that once man gets into a lab, essentially anything can become artificial and altered, but what about sorbitol? Like I mentioned earlier sorbitol occurs naturally in fruits and berries, but sorbitol can now made chemically from corn syrup and is in a variety of foods and health products. Because it contains one-third the calories found in glucose, it is widely present in a variety of diet drinks and foods. Sorbitol is found in puddings, pancake-mix, cookies, oatmeal, and a variety of other foods. Foods products labeled as “containing no sugar” or “lite” frequently contain sorbitol as an artificial sweetener. A number of health and nutrition bars also advertised for diabetics also contain quantities of sorbitol.
So here we are with another artificial sweetener hitting the market, swerve sweetener! Let me first start out by saying the words “all natural” just flat out scare me and here’s why. Unfortunately, in most cases, its a marketing ploy and most companies just throw in the term “all natural” because there is no laws, or regulations that prevent them from doing so. I mean lets face it, certain street drugs that are manufactured in basements around the world can be considered “all natural”. Would you go around adding them to your favorite baked goods or coffee, probably not. So what about Swerve the “all natural” sweetener? How does it stack up against all the other safe “artificial sweeteners” on the market, lets take a look!
What is Swerve?
Perhaps you’ve seen it while strolling down the baking aisle at your local health food store, Swerve, the “all-natural sweetener” with no synthetic chemicals, no aspartame, and no genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), but is Swerve really a healthy sweetening alternative for diabetics and health-conscious individuals trying to cut refined sugars from their diet?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not necessarily a simple yes or no. While preferable to artificial sweeteners like Equal, Sweet’N Low, and Splenda, Swerve sweetener is still a highly-refined sweetening agent made primarily from erythritol a type of sugar alcohol naturally found in plants.