Are The Sugar Alcohols Like Xylitol Safe?I am not a fan of sugar alcohols extracted from their natural sources. Sugar alcohols are actually made from sugar. Part of their structure chemically resembles sugar and part is similar to alcohol. To complicate matters more, these sweeteners are neither sugars nor alcohols. They are best described as a sugar byproduct refined by nature, not by man.
Sugar alcohols fall into a “grey area” in the sweetener arena because they are actually carbohydrates (starches) more than they are sugars. They are typically used cup-for-cup in the same amount as refined sugar, but they each vary in sweetness, ranging from half as sweet to as sweet as sugar. Sugar alcohols blend well with other sugars, so they are commonly added to products such as gums, candies and mints, toothpaste and mouthwash. Please keep in mind; these “grey area” sugar alcohols can give people gastric distress if consumed in excess.
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