Can I Really Ignore Sugar Alcohol!
If you buy a low carb snack, such as those marketed under the Atkins name, you’ll often see something like “Only 3g Net Carbs” prominently displayed on the packaging. Based on your low carb diet plan restrictions, which can be as low as 20 grams of carbs per day, this is a good deal! Or is it? What I’d like to do here is reveal the pros and cons of this “net carbs calculation”, which includes the mysterious ingredient, Alcohol Sugar. Regardless of which of the fine diets you choose, this is a topic you may well want to understand.
First of all, the net carbs calculation is done by starting off with the total carbs which is then reduced by the grams of fiber and sugar alcohols. In some cases, an explicit count of the grams of sugar is then added back in. The final result is a much lower “net carbs” count than the full total carbs count. There is little controversy over subtracting off fiber, because any fiber in the carb count truly doesn’t get metabolized into any form of glucose. The sugar alcohol, however, does eventually become glucose in your body, but this occurs so slowly that the impact of this has little to no impact on insulin levels. In other words, it does count as calories, but it won’t jack up your insulin, which is a key goal with a low carb diet plan. So sugar alcohols are kind of a kinder/gentler form of sugar and may help you get through the day on a low carb diet. As noted in the video above, you need to use these in moderation because of their side effects. The speaker on the video is Kent Altena, one of my favorite authorities on the Atkins Diet. You can find him at his website at this article on the same subject : Kent on the Net Carbs Issue on the Diet Geek Blog.
As Kent wisely warned in his video, look into removing snacks and supposedly carb-free foods that use alcohol sugars if you find that you have stalled on your low carb weight loss progress.
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Tagged with: Kent Altena
Filed under: Blood Sugar & High Fructose Corn Syrup
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