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View Full Version : when tracking your cals. do you count sugar alcohol?



rodedog57
01-13-2004, 12:29 AM
My protein bars are "2g impact carbs"

1g sugar and 1g dietary fiber

but 27g sugar alcohol.


should I just put 3 grams as my calorie counting or should I leave 30 like the label says. its kinda skewing my numbers if the carbs dont really count.

oddball182
01-13-2004, 03:55 AM
for carbs (as if you were on a keto), then just count the 2g of impact carbs. but i'd count the calories from the sugar alcohol.

sawastea
01-13-2004, 05:56 AM
Originally posted by oddball182
for carbs (as if you were on a keto), then just count the 2g of impact carbs. but i'd count the calories from the sugar alcohol.

Yes...The reason why this whole "net carb" craze came into play was for those on the low carb diets, trying to find foods that would not effect their blood glucose (sugar) levels. Everything boils down to their Glycemic Index (http://diabetes.about.com/library/mendosagi/ngilists.htm)

:cool:

Cardinal
01-13-2004, 08:27 AM
I am not sure how easily polyols can be stored as glycogen or even if they can be due to how they are digested. Sorbitol is either 2.1 or 2.4 kcals/gram I think, can't remember.

Just look at the calories provided per gram and add that to your daily caloric total. Same with fiber and fiber like constituents like polydextrose etc.

rodedog57
01-13-2004, 11:24 AM
cool so i'll just not count the sugar alcohol in my totals. 27 gram swing of carbs in one day is big. lets me eat something else in its place.

nathan101085
01-13-2004, 01:27 PM
Dont count them as carbs, but certaintly count the calories.

EME
01-13-2004, 01:46 PM
Here's the scoop on Sugar Alcohols, Fiber and Glycerin -

Sugar Alcohols aren't a "sugar" and aren't an "alcohol", they're a "polyol" - a carbohydrate that, according to the FDA, has a limited impact on blood glucose levels and insulin release.

When you eat a product containing sugar alcohols - maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, Xylitol, HSH they are digested more slowly than sucrose (sugar) and other basic carbohydrates. Because of this slower rate of metabolism, they will have a lesser impact on blood glucose levels changing dramatically. They do however contain calories and are metabolized for energy as a carbohydrate!

The amount of calories each gram of sugar alcohol carries depends on not only which one is used, but also which formulation of the sugar alcohol is used - Maltitol alone has four formulas, and manufacturers do not state which is used in the production of the product. Sugar Alcohols contain anywhere from 2.1 calories per gram to 4 calories per gram.

So, do sugar alcohols count?

Yes!

That is, unless you're somehow not able to metabolize and absorb carbohydrates you eat. They do need to be counted in your carb intake for the day!

How to count them is the trick.

There are three "acceptable" ways to count sugar alcohol grams in something you eat. How you count them is up to you based on how they effect your weight-loss!


1. Count the Total Carbs listed on the label, minus any fiber.

This is your safest bet. Not only are you accounting for the carbohydrates the product has in it from sugar alcohols, you're also limiting how many of the products you can use each day because of the higher carb counts. Just like the carbs in everything else you eat are among those lowest in creating blood sugar reactions - and you count them - you count all the sugar alcohols listed.

Example:
Brand X Protein Bar (50g)
Serving Size: 1 Bar (50g)
Total Carbohydrates: 27g
Fiber: 3g
Sugar Alcohols: 22g

27g - 3g = 24g net carbs to count

This option isn't as enticing as following the manufacturer's "net impact carbs", but you are counting what the bar does have it in accurately - just as you do with eggs, nuts, cheese, cream, etc. None of these carry a high potential to raise your blood sugar and you count them all too!

3. Count 1/2 the Total Carbs listed on the label after deducting for fiber.

This is generally an acceptable compromise. You know there really are carbs in there and that they're really adding some calories also - so a compromise to count half tends to work for many people. This also takes into account that you do need to be sure you're eating your allotted carbs within reasonable calorie parameters each day and getting a good amount of those allowed carbs from vegetables and salad greens and not convenient, processed foods!

To count carbs this way, simply take the Total Carbohydrates listed, deduct the fiber and then divide that by 2.

Example:
Brand X Protein Bar (50g)
Serving Size: 1 Bar (50g)
Total Carbohydrates: 27g
Fiber: 3g
Sugar Alcohols: 22g

27g - 3g = 24g | 24g /2 = 12g net carbs to count

I do not, however, recommend this option to anyone who is cutting. If you're going to try one of the products with sugar alcohols/glycerin in them - your best bet is option 1 above only!


3. Count the "Net Impact Carbs" provided by the manufacturer of the low-carb product.

This option requires taking the Total Carbohydrates listed and subtracting both the fiber and the sugar alcohols from the total.

Example:
Brand X Protein Bar (50g)
Serving Size: 1 Bar (50g)
Total Carbohydrates: 27g
Fiber: 3g
Sugar Alcohols: 22g

27g - 3g - 22g = 2g net impact carbs to count

In my opinion, this option really is blind faith. If you do see you're stalling or having problems using the products and counting them this way, but really want to keep some of the products in your menus, try another counting method for the carbs and see if that helps.

- EME

sawastea
01-13-2004, 01:52 PM
Nice post, EME