Sugar vs. Sugar Alcohol
E-mails to Christine (GlucoMenu® Nutrition Director)
Christine is a Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator
E-mail your questions to Christine at: nutrition@GlucoMenu.com
Q. How many grams of sugar is the limit for one day, and what is the
difference between sugar and sugar alcohol?
A. Sugar alcohols are reduced calorie sugar substitutes that can be found
in sugar-free candies, desserts, chewing gum, and other products. Sugar alcohols do not have as much
effect on blood sugar in comparison to regular table sugar.
If a food contains more than 5 grams sugar alcohol, the American Diabetes Association recommends subtracting 1/2 of the
sugar alcohol grams from the total carbohydrate in a food. For example,
if a food contains 18 grams total carbohydrate and 6 grams sugar
alcohols, subtract 3 grams sugar alcohol (1/2 the amount in the food)
from 18 grams carbohydrate to equal 15 grams total carbohydrate.
A word of caution, sugar alcohols in excess can cause diarrhea and
therefore should be used in moderation.
With regards to the amount of sugar to have each day... the thinking has
shifted to counting total carbohydrates instead of only sugar. You
should ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian and
certified diabetes educator to help you with the amount of carbohydrate
you should consume. Below is a link for more information:
Sugar and Diabetes Article
Christine Carlson, MS, RD, BC-ADM, CDE
GlucoMenu® Nutrition Director
Christine Carlson, Registered Dietitian &
Certified Diabetes Educator