Many food products are made with polyols, a group of reduced-calorie sweeteners. These sugar alternatives are being used as ingredients in a wide range of foods including ice cream, chocolates, baked goods and more.
Get To Know Polyols
Polyols are low-digestible carbohydrates offering the sweet taste of sugar but with fewer calories.
Polyols and sugars are metabolized in different ways. Metabolizing polyols requires very small amounts of insulin or even none at all. As a result, polyols have considerably less than the four calories per gram of sugar and other carbohydrates. This makes them good options for people with diabetes.
The result of eating foods and beverages made with polyols is the same sweet taste of sugar but with fewer calories. By offering flavor and reduced caloric value, polyols can help people looking to improve their diets while continuing to enjoy their favorite sweet foods in moderation.
Foods With Polyols
Including foods with polyols in your meals can be an effective way to maintain a sugar-free or reduced-sugar diet, and polyols can serve as beneficial sugar replacers in a wide variety of foods and beverages.
You probably already have some foods with polyols in your kitchen. Some of the most popular foods with polyols include candies, ice cream and other dairy products, baked goods and fruit spreads. You can also find polyols in chocolates, fillings and frostings, canned fruits, beverages and yogurt.
Mints and chewing gum may also contain polyols, which have properties that keep these products sweet without promoting tooth decay. Some toothpastes, mouthwashes and pharmaceutical products like throat lozenges also contain polyols.
And thanks to the variety and safety of polyols, additional sugar-free foods are on the way.
There are many polyols used today. To find out if a product contains polyols as an alternative to sugar, look for the labels “sugar free” or “no sugar added.” You may find the name of one or many polyols on the Nutrition Facts panel for these products, by names including erythritol, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol or maltitol syrups, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol, as well as polyglycitols (hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, or HSH).