Metro Bariatrics - Amir Moazzez MD, FACS

Sugar Alcohols, Reduced Calorie Sweetener and Sugar Free Candies

What are they?

Sugar alcohols are one type of reduced calorie sweetener and are used in sugar free candies, chewing gum, and desserts. In addition to providing sweetness, sugar alcohols add texture and bulk to foods, helping foods stay moist.

Where do they come from?

Sugar alcohols occur naturally in fruits and other plant foods. They are given this name because their chemical structure is similar to both sugars and alcohol. Sugar alcohols do not contain ethanol, which is found in alcoholic beverages.

How do I identify sugar alcohols?

You can tell a food has a sugar alcohol in it by checking the list of ingredients for words that end in “O-L.” Sugar alcohols contain about 1.5 to 3 calories per gram. The front of a food package may say “sugar-free,” but always check the ingredient list and the Nutrition Facts panel. Sorbitol, mannitol and maltitol are “sugar alcohols”.

Other Things to Consider