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health Honey jaggery Maltitol myths natural sugars Nutrition Polyols Sorbitol Sugar Sugar Alcohols Sugar intake Sugar limit Sugarless Xylitol

Sugar Alcohol

Everybody has heard that we all should “eat less sugars”. 

A majority of people are under the impression that sugars are bad and they go lengths to eliminate them from their daily diet. 

The truth is you need to "eat less REFINED sugars", makes sense?

If 'sugars' were bad, we wouldn't exist and neither would 80% of the world's fruits. Our body converts everything you consume to sugars before it is burnt off as energy. 

One important thing, that everyone seems to miss is that only sugar is not the culprit for the obesity epidemic in the world. You can have sugars, in moderation! You can have up to 30gms of sugar in a day. Read more about the science behind, HERE.

With more people moving towards sugarless options, companies have come up low-calorie sweet options made using the artificial sweeteners & sugar alcohols in sugar-free ice creams, diet beverages and sugar-free gums.

The FDA has approved only a few of the sweeteners which are :

  • Saccharin
  • Aspartame
  • Sucralose
  • Acesulfame K
  • Sugar Alcohols (Maltitol, xylitol, sorbitol) Most commonly used in sugar-free bars

They are widely being used in the Indian market for making products such as :

  • Diet Beverage
  • Sugarless sweets, cakes and chips
  • Protein Bars and Brownies
  • Protein Powders

Sugar alcohols are laxatives

According to the researches, these sweeteners are not created equal and how the human mind and body may respond to these foreign beings may also be very complex.

Few reasons that can cause more problems than benefits are

  • Loss of calorie counting believing it’s ok to eat cake that has a sweetener inside.
  • Change of taste palate as a little bit of these sweeteners can give the same level of sweetness as table sugar
  • Use more of artificial sweeteners than regular real food

Sugar Alcohols are also LAXATIVES !!

The reason that a lot of people suffer from laxative effects is basically due to sugar alcohols are known as polyols. The polyols are natural and are made from berries and plants. However, some people cannot digest these natural compounds and can result in diarrhoea and bloating. Some people can handle them in small quantity.

It is always advisable for you to turn back the product and check if it uses these sugar alcohols. You would usually find them as Maltitol, Xylitol, Sorbitol or Erythritol. It is best to consume them in less quantity and not be dependent on them.

Do artificial sweeteners really help lose weight?

Some weight loss has been monitored when switched to the low-calorie sweeteners but it is only because of consuming lesser amount of calories. That does not make it healthy.

The white refined sugar may contain calories but a good source of naturally sweetened food groups such as honey, dates and jaggery bring a number of health benefits to you.

The American Heart Association has clearly mentioned being cautious of the use of these synthetic sweeteners in place of sugar to else they can lead to obesity and diabetes faster if consumed regularly.

It is way better to consume calories from a known source such as jaggery, dates and honey that have more purpose than just giving a sweet flavour.

Natural sources of sugar have a lot of other benefits such as being nutrient dense, full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Hope you all learnt something today :)

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