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sugar alcohols rot in your intestines way to go FDA way to not regulate what’s on the front of a package guys and gals if you’re going through the grocery store and you look at the front label of a food did you know that’s not regulated by the FDA what that has to do with sugar alcohols and sugar and carbohydrates in general it’s pretty big because if you flip that label around and you look at the back you might find that even on the front if it says only three or four grams of carbs it actually has a lot more I’m going to explain how sugar alcohols work and how they really haven’t effect in the body so you can make its educated decision on what the best form of food for you is if you’re on a low carb diet let’s talk about what a sugar alcohol is because you might see it on a label from time to time sugar alcohol is actually neither a sugar nor an alcohol it’s a hybrid between the two known as a polyol and a poly all is technically a form of carbohydrate in its own classification it contains about three calories per gram whereas a carbohydrate contains 4 calories per gram so not too much of a difference there to be honest now some of them do range some of the sugar alcohol is like a riff through tall actually only contain about one gram of carb for certain you’ve probably seen some of these sugar alcohols before some of the more common ones that you’ve probably seen are going to be things like sorbitol maltitol isomalt erythritol there’s a few other ones and not all of them have the same calorie profile or carbohydrate profile but generally speaking erythritol has about one calorie per gram whereas something like multi tal has 3 calories per gram that’s what we’re talking not much of a difference with what the body metabolizes as a carbohydrate and a sugar alcohol now sugar alcohol is normally found in small small tiny amounts in berries but the thing is most of the sugar alcohols that you’re getting from the store or getting in your foods are derived from corn starch and we’re talking from low quality genetically modified corn purely artificial garbage that really doesn’t have a place in your bodies to begin with so knowing that why would people ever choose having a sugar alcohol just doesn’t make a lot of sense well the thing is sugar alcohols are great for people that are diabetic simply that doesn’t trigger a big insulin spike but it’s also good for someone that’s on a ketogenic diet or someone that is on a low-carb diet in general simply because you’re not having the carbohydrate impact so we believe but it’s really not the case you see they still do affect the body the way that they work is they just don’t absorb into the bloodstream all the time so they’ll go from the small intestine pass-through into the colon and those kind of do their thing there they don’t always absorb right into the bloodstream triggering carbohydrate insulin response but there still is a response depending on which sugar alcohol you use ie multitool actually triggering a response and you’re going to find that one in a lot of the low carb bars this incomplete absorption is what throws everything off just because it’s not completely absorbed doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect us later on down the line so there’s a little formulation that you can use to start determining what the actual carb impact is on your body when you consume something that has high amounts of sugar alcohols because you really should still be counting those carbs so here’s what you do you take half the amount of sugar alcohols and subtract that from the total carbohydrates here’s an example if you look at the label of one of your sugar-free protein bars and it says 20 grams of carbohydrates 10 grams of sugar alcohols you’re going to take that amount of sugar alcohols which is 10 cut that in half which is 5 and subtract that from the total carbon bound leaving you with 15 grams of net carbs sorry guys still 15 grams of carbs in that bar that’s enough to kick you out of ketosis if you’re not careful let me give you another example so the math totally makes sense if you have 30 grams of total carbohydrates and then you have 20 grams of sugar alcohols whereas the label is claiming hey there’s only 10 grams of effective carbs totally wrong take that 20 grams of sugar alcohols cut it in half that’s 10 subtract that from the total carbs which right now is 30 that leaves you with 20 grams of carbs you have 20 grams of net effective carbs that could be kicking you out of ketosis but it gets a little bit worse there’s some spirity of downsides of this stuff not only is it bonafide lies I hope you like being seat-belted to the toilet that’s probably what’s going to happen and here’s exactly why remember how I said it doesn’t absorb all the way it goes from the small intestine into the large intestine well that lack of absorption damages the intestinal lining it hurts the endothelial cells the intera sites the ones that actually help you absorb through to begin with and it can damage those but wait it gets even worse so there’s something called passive diffusion that happens in the body this passive diffusion is when you have things like sugar alcohols that draw water into the bowels they draw water into the small intestine and into the large intestine this causes first disturbance in your electrolytes but also causes a disturbance in your digestive system where it partially breaks down the sugar alcohols some of them get digested and excreted and the rest get left behind to rot literally to rot yes sugar alcohols rot in your intestines and then what ends up happening is you’ve created a perfect thriving environment for wonderful bacteria to come on in and thrive and just flourish and make sure you have plenty of bad bacteria and pathogens hanging around in your gut hence bloating and diarrhea makes perfect sense right why on earth would we want to consume these all in the name of eating low carbs and being healthy right raw so if you’re someone that’s dealing with a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth you’re dealing with Candida you’re dealing with yeast issues probably one of the main things you’d want to be avoiding I just highly recommend that you’re cognizant of the sugar alcohols because it’s one of these good old-fashioned food marketing lines it doesn’t work the way that we’re told it works and I’m sorry to drop that bomb on you you’re better off using a bar that already has a low amount of carbs it doesn’t have the sugar alcohols in it just have something that’s a little less sweet have a kind bar that has 14 or 15 grams of carbohydrates rather than having a protein bar that has 30 grams of total carbs and 20 grams of sugar alcohols net-net you’re at the same amount but at least you’re not getting the intestinal rot another one would be like something like an epic bar okay epic bars are basically like a beef jerky kind of bar that has a little bit of berries in it a little bit of some other foods in there that’s a good option if you’re just trying to get some protein in Larabar has some good options as well I’m not here to tout specific brands I’m just giving some different examples you’re better off having a few extra carbs then you are not absorbing and inhibiting the absorption of good minerals and nutrients that the rest of the day alright Mike drop rent done comment you’re probably gonna get upset with me I’ll see you in the next video
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Ketosis Foods: Sugar Alcohol Effect on Low Carb: Thomas DeLauer
Most “low carb” products are sweetened with substances called “sugar alcohols,” which the FDA allows manufacturers to describe as “sugar free.”
Sugar alcohols are neither a sugar nor an alcohol – the chemical structure of sugar alcohols is a hybrid between a sugar molecule and an alcohol molecule
A sugar alcohol is also know as a polyol and can be classified as a carbohydrate.
Most sugar alcohols are artificially modified in a way that does not occur naturally – derived from cornstarch from genetically modified corn
The most common being: Sorbitol, Isomalt, and Maltitol
Although included in most sugar free products, sugar alcohols do have a caloric value.
Each gram of a sugar alcohol turns into anywhere from less than 1 to as much as 3 calories.
Erythritol, which is expensive comes in lowest, delivering less than one calorie per gram, which is less than a quarter of the carbs in a teaspoon of table sugar.
Maltitol, the most frequently used sugar alcohol, provides the most carbs with 3 calories per gram, which is only one gram less than the 4 calories you find in regular sugar and starch.
Why Use Sugar Alcohols
The reason sugar alcohols are used is because they are slowly and incompletely absorbed in the body.
Once they are absorbed they use very little to no insulin to convert to energy. Not all of the sugar alcohol passes into the bloodstream. The rest passes through the small intestine and into the large intestine.
Sugar alcohols are incompletely absorbed, meaning they don’t initiate the same insulin response as they would if someone had consumed regular sugar.
They are also used in reduced calorie or low carbohydrate diet foods because they are used to replace the more energy dense carbohydrate sugars in the diet, thus lowering the total energy/calories of a food product.
This is useful in the management of weight control and can help people trying to lose weight
How to Calculate
Ex: Carbs: 20, Sugar Alcohol: 10, Total Carbs: 15
This sounds like a good thing, what’s the downside?
The big problem with sugar alcohols is that they are, for the most part, indigestible and have the potential to disrupt the functioning of the lining of the gut.
This is the very tissue that is already compromised for those suffering from diabetes and other autoimmune disorders.
The body’s inability to effectively break down sugar alcohols causes them to arrive for the most part intact when they reach the intestines.
At that point, a process called “passive diffusion” takes place whereby the sugar alcohol that was consumed draws water into the bowels. This results in only partial breakdown.
The unmetabolized portion begins to rot, creating the perfect environment for undesirable bacteria and pathogens to feed, thrive, and grow.
An imbalanced intestinal environment where pathogens and other undesirable microbes have a favorable place to exist is exactly the set of conditions that eventually compromise the gut lining, damage the critical enterocytes that line the gut wall, and promote the development of autoimmune disease symptoms.
While sugar alcohols do not feed pathogenic yeasts like Candida albicans like sugar does, the fermentation of undigested sugar alcohols has the potential to exacerbate yeast problems. (2,3)
One study compared products containing regular sugar and those containing maltitol and looked at the short-term digestive tolerances
The study took 36 healthy subjects aged 18-60 years and 32 completed it
The subjects consumed six different mixtures of dextrose, maltitol and scFOS (short-chain fructooligosaccharides) added in a chocolate dairy dessert at a dosage of 35 g.
Test days were separated by 2-week washout periods.
The subjects reported the intensity of four individual gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, and number of bowel movements for the 48 h following consumption of the dessert
Researchers found that flatulence, borborygmi, bloating and discomfort was significantly higher for all the desserts containing maltitol than for those containing dextrose (4)
1) Marketing Tricks that Make Carb Counting Tough: Net Carbs, Sugar Alcohols. etc. (n.d.). Retrieved from
2) What You Need to Know About Sugar Alcohols | Breaking Muscle. (n.d.). Retrieved from
3) How Sugar Alcohols Harm Gut Health and Worsen Symptoms. (n.d.). Retrieved from
4) Digestive tolerance and postprandial glycaemic and insulinaemic responses after consumption of dairy desserts containing maltitol and fructo-oligos… – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from 9