This article has some helpful tips on what you need to know about sugar alcohols and the keto diet. During the ketogenic diet, you should begin reading labels on anything and everything you purchase.
While cutting back on processed and packaged foods is highly recommended, there are still times when you might want to get a low-carb treat. Keto snacks are popping up at your nearby supermarket daily, and you need to read those labels.
One thing you will notice with low-carb packaged foods is that they often include something about sugar alcohols. Here is more information on these and why they are important.
Sugar-Free Isn’t Really Sugar-Free
This is one of the most common misconceptions about sugar alcohols. While the artificial sweeteners and “natural” sugars found in your favorite low-carb or sugar-free foods don’t affect your daily carb count the way normal sugar does, they are still there.
These are known as sugar alcohols, which react in different ways. There are some sugar alcohols that don’t metabolize right, so while they are from natural sources, you might hit a stall eating too much of them.
Other sugar alcohols, like maltitol, should be avoided because they are difficult to digest and can cause a lot of issues.
Types of Sugar Alcohols
When you are on the ketogenic diet, you should get used to reading labels on everything you eat. One thing you might notice is when looking at the nutritional label, there is something in there called “sugar alcohols”.
This label is there to remind you that you can remove it – more on that later. But you might also see them listed under the ingredients.
You probably recognize some sugar alcohols, while others aren’t as obvious right away. Some sugar alcohols include maltitol, erythritol, mannitol, sorbitol, and isomalt.
The New Kid On The Block Allulose
Due to its extremely low sugar content, allulose is becoming more popular among keto dieters—those who eat so few carbohydrates that the body begins making and using a separate energy source called ketone bodies.
Allulose doesn’t increase blood glucose or insulin levels.
We’re starting to see allulose as the main sweetener in keto-friendly foods such as one of my favorite go-to snacks the HEKA Good Bars.
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The Bottom Line
Sugar alcohols aren’t necessarily bad for you, but you should note how you feel after consuming them.
If you get a low-carb candy bar that is made with certain types of sugar alcohols, and you notice it keeps giving you stomach cramps or spikes in your insulin, then it’s best to avoid those products.
Some people tend to be more sensitive to them than others,
You can test your blood glucose levels with a device like a Keto Mojo which also checks your blood ketones levels as well.
Don’t Guess Test Your Glucose Levels
There are a few wearable smart devices on the market that diabetics had been using to continuously monitor their glucose levels using their smartphone to read the data.
Devices such as the Dexcom G6 can be available to the general public to purchase and they are pain-free to install. There are cheaper units coming to the market as technology improves.
As, for now, these devices are not inexpensive, but since you might only purchase it once to test common foods you eat for 10 days, the $150 +or- might be worth it to you. For those such as diabetics with health insurance, they can get these at a much better price.
This allows you to monitor your glucose levels for 10 days after you consume foods to see how they change insulin levels.
There are many “keto bars” and other keto-friendly products on the market that spike your insulin levels, so using an onboard glucose monitor is a real eye-opener.
As far as the impact on staying in ketosis with these sugars, that will depend on what kind and how much you consume.
In general, you can remove the sugar alcohols when determining net carbs, which many labels will show you.
This makes it easier to fit them into your daily keto carb allotment, but you should eat these treats sparingly and try to stick to the more whole, natural keto food options instead.
I hope this article had some helpful tips on what you need to know about sugar alcohols and the keto diet.
I’d love to hear what your experiences have been while consuming these alcohol sugars.