Beware of the Sugar Alcohol Maltitol

As food companies try to lower the sugar content of their foods, they’ll try just about anything. In addition to the usual white-flour-to-soy-flour conversion, sugar is often taken out and replaced with a sugar alcohol. The name is a bit misleading as it’s neither a sugar nor an alcohol; rather, its chemical structure is merely similar to sugars and alcohols.

And, food companies generally subtract food alcohols from the “carb count” on the back of the package as they reason that sugar alcohols have a negligible effect on blood sugar levels. But, is that really the case? To find out, I searched for the glycemic values for various sugar alcohols. For those not aware, the Glycemic Index is a measure of a food’s effect on blood sugar levels. The scale is set up so that sugar has a value of 100. But, that’s not to say that foods can’t exceed 100 — potatoes can reach into the 150s, for example.

While a glycemic value of zero would truly represent a food which has “no effect” on blood sugar levels, that’s not to say that any effect is bad. Really, it’s the spikes in blood sugar levels brought on by foods with high glycemic values which cause mischief. Getting back to the sugar alcohols, I discovered that many of them aren’t that low:

  • Maltitol syrup, intermediate: 53
  • Maltitol syrup, regular: 52
  • Maltitol syrup, high: 48
  • Polyglycitol / hydrogenated starch hydrolysate: 39
  • Maltitol syrup, high-polymer: 36
  • Maltitol: 36
  • Xylitol: 13
  • Isomalt: 9
  • Sorbitol: 9
  • Lactitol: 6
  • Erythritol: 0
  • Mannitol: 0
Obviously, maltitol and its variants stick out. But, how bad is it? For comparison, corn syrup (a sugar derived from corn) is around 85-92. Sure, maltitol is lower than that, but it’s not that far off. As a rule of thumb, a glycemic value in the 40s (or below) is considered low. But maltitol syrup (53) is almost at the level of new potatoes (57).

So, which sugar alcohols are used commonly? Speakingly only anecdotally — from my recollections of food labels at my local Target — maltitol seems to be the sugar alcohol of choice for many manufacturers. I think we’d all like to find some double chocolate chip cookies make with erythritol (with its zero glycemic value), but I’ve never actually seen erythritol on any ingredient label :-/.

It may initially seem confusing to have all these sugar alcohols and glycemic values to remember — especially since so many food manufacturers liken all of them to having a minimal effect. But, just keep in mind these two: maltitol (36-53, depending on variant) and polyglycitol (also called “hydrogenated starch hydrolysate”, at 39). If you steer clear of those, the rest shouldn’t be an issue — the next-highest sugar alcohol is xylitol and that only has a glycemic value of 13.

151 thoughts on “Beware of the Sugar Alcohol Maltitol

  1. Oh… boy! Five and a half hours ago I had some guava paste (in Miami, of course!) sweetened with ‘splenda’ and…. Maltitol! Now I’m online trying to figure out how to relieve the horrible pain and bloating and disgusting flatulence. This sugar alcohol needs to be banned by the FDA, people!!!

  2. I’m a diabetic and when I wanna eat sugary things I’m limited to what I can eat…my friend told me that sugar free gummy bears were sold at the pharmacy…so I went to buy some…If I would of known the side effect of eating them I would have saves myself 4.50$ and just eaten 3 week old raw chicken! I can honestly say that NEVER have I felt so sick in my entire life. The warning on the back “excessive consumption may have a laxative effect” IS BULLSHIT! i ate 10 of them and wanted to die! Russell stovers sugar free candies have never had that “effect” on me…MALTITOL SYRUP SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!

  3. Yes, I have fallen victim to maltitol, more than once. I am currently trying to find out if I can tolerate any at all – i.e. if I just ate too much before.

    Anyway, I found a good remedy – I made tea from mint that I picked from my garden. After I had cramps and wind so bad I was thinking of going to hospital, I drank 4 cups of mint tea and it relieved the wind A LOT. I suppose “bought” peppermint tea would work too.
    Hope that helps someone.

  4. Oh, I am so sorry to here all this bad news about Maltilol. I bought a pound 3 years ago and cannot remember why I used it only once. But recently a gallbladder attact put me in ICU for 3 days and glucose was sky high along with enzymes until the third day. Sugar, (American) wheat, corn, oats and soybean avoidance were advised, because of GMO properties. Considered at least part of the sudden gallstone formation. Never-the-less the diet has altered greatly to low sugars/carbs. I dug out the Maltilol and used 1/2 called for in spelt cake and it tastes great, a little gas. I like to bake, but have known for three years to avoid wheat flour, what is best for baking, I don’t use sweetener in anything else.

  5. I am diabetic Type II but now on insulin. I have started getting the most uncomfortable itchy rash and have been analysing my food and drink intake to find the cause. I have recently gone on a no carbs diet to get better control of my blood suger levels and succumbed to the lure of sugar free sweets and sweeteners for my drinks .Thanks to this website I have now established that these are the cause of my discomfort. I have decided the best way is to ‘kill’ the adiction to sweet things and go ‘cold turkey’. Thanks to all for your input

  6. I use maltitol items to relieve constipation. I have been eating the Brownies from Whole Foods. Nothing else but medical drugs give me relief so I rather take a food source as a remedy. Maltitol takes care of it for me and I have no bad symptoms and I look forward to my dessert every night. YUMM in the evening and regularity in the morning.

  7. OH MY GOD. Yesterday I bought some “Double D” sugar free caramel chews (candy from Australia). It said no artifical colours or flavours, like that’s healthy, right? Well, with 55% maltitol syrup I was in for one embarrassing day! I had musicians in a studio & was trying to work with them & had to keep bolting out with EXPLOSIONS, if you get my drift. NEVER AGAIN. Nasty little caramel critters.

  8. OMG.. I completely agree with Kimberley’s comments. I thought I had eaten some bad food, but I remembered that I really did not have anything to eat out of the ordinary. Until I ate these gummies that were 35g per serving on Maltitol. I had bad side effects of Diarrhea and gas. I will never eat anything with this in it again. It is New Year’s Eve and I cannot even go out and enjoy myself because I am running to bathroom every hour. BAN this from food…it is terrible.

  9. I have no intestinal reactions to maltitol but have no fingered it as a culprit in surprise morning high numbers. I suppose I need to experiment with ‘sugar free’ candies using different sugar alcohols but no question last night, i had chocolate covvered soy beans.. tasty.. the ONLY carbohydrate I ate that evening… sooo.. sadly.. a couple more favorite comforts get banned…

  10. I just had a terrible experience with maltitol in protein bars. I knew my abdominal pain was related to the protein bars but could not figure out why–and I stumbled onto this. Had one yesterday, got sick. Another today, even more sick. Both bars contained maltitol. The pain adn bloating today was so severe I nearly went to the hospital–it even hurt to breathe. After throwing up and a few rounds in the bathroom, I feel much better. Never touching that garbage ever again.

  11. What about those of us who have no bad reaction to Maltitol? I eat one Just Deelicious Chocolate mint bar (sold at Hi Health) every day and have had NO problems. It solves my need for a treat and it has 20 grams of protein, plus CLA and white kidney bean in it. Being a vegetarian, this bar is really handy for me! I am not diabetic and weigh 124 pounds at 5 ft 4, so weight isn’t a problem, I just want to avoid sugar for health reasons. Should I really quit eating them if they don’t even give me gas?

  12. Avoid Sugar Alcohols at all costs. They give you diarrhea like none other! Try Agave Nectar or nothing at all!

  13. My mother and I recently decided to try to cut down on the fat foods, but can’t resist our urges for sweets. We came across this sugar free chocolate cream pie from walmart last week; bad idea. It made us so sick. She was sick for two days while I suffered for about four days. We decided, okay, no more sugar free pies. Now yesterday we picked up some sugar free chocolate chip cookies. Again, bad idea. Had some last night, I felt fine, a lil gassy, but my mother felt sick. I decided to try some more today and yeah, the bathroom seems to be my new best friend. Curious we looked at the ingredients and found malitol and sorbitol and a little description and warning for people with diabetes. Never saw that before so I had assumed this was making us sick, looked it up and guess we’re not the only ones. Learned our lesson, I’d rather cheat and have some sugar than eat sugar free and be glued to the bathroom all day. Don’t eat sugar free foods from walmart! x.x

  14. People! just don’t eat a whole pie or box of chocolate bars and you won’t have an issue.

    Maltitol is plant based. It comes from corn and from wheat. The corn based maltitol is usually harsher on your system than the wheat based maltitol.

    Most products are made with the corn based but yo can find some products with the wheat based maltitol.

    Maltitol is like any other plant or fruit… if you eat too much, you’ll probably have some intestinal drama.

    However, as with any other food, maltitol effects different people different ways. Just because fatty patty had some diarrhea after eating 5 pounds of sugar free chocolate, doesnt mean maltitol is bad.

    Just try some for yourself. If it doesnt work for you, than move on. Don’t come on here and trash a product that you don’t even know about.

    I eat chocolate made with maltitol on a frequent basis and have never had an experience like people claim to have on here.

    bottom line… Just because one person has a bad experience with maltitol, doesnt mean everyone else will.

  15. People. Honestly. Glycemic index is totally irrelevant to our line of questioning. GLYCEMIC LOAD is what we care about. The question is not, how fast does maltitol spike blood sugar. The question is, to what extent should maltitol be considered a carbohydrate. Even Atkins bars like to say that grams of maltitol should not be counted as “net carbs” yet they are obviously carbs (as evidenced by the fact that they have a significant glycemic index) and the endgame is that metabolically you will have to deal with a certain load of carbohydrates by pumping out insulin. That is the real concern. Glycemic index is a red herring. Glycemic load is the real concern. Shame on you Atkins corporation.

  16. “bottom lineā€¦ Just because one person has a bad experience with maltitol, doesnt mean everyone else will.”

    Actually, based on people’s accounts here, that should probably be:

    “Just because one person has a GOOD experience with maltitol, doesnt mean everyone else will.”

    1. Agreed! I just spent 8 hours in the emergency room yesterday due to diarrhea so bad it caused bleeding. I have eaten a particular semisweet chocolate with Maltitol for years, but this time it really got to me. I had similar, though not as severe incidents from other brands in the past. I am not a “Fatty Party” ( how rude!), And I didn’t overeat the chocolate either. Also I avoid sorbitol. It is a neurotoxin that has caused me permanent (or at least 3 years now) eye damage.

  17. Wow! I just finished reading everyone’s comments in this blog and it has been a real “eye opener”.

    I’m discouraged, as I have been trying to find a “low sugar” or “sugar free” protein/meal replacement bar / drink for in early morning to get my “motor running” (I am one who has never eaten breakfast since childhood and I do believe that part of my weight problem is due to eating maybe only once per day)… also was hoping to find something like this for a quick “pick-me-up” snack on occasion.

    I just started eating “Think Thin” gluten-free protein bars with No Sugar, 20 Gr Protein and 17 Vitamins & Minerals. I was so pleased, as I have been searching for something similar for years … without sugar (or very little) and without any of the sugar substitutes.

    Now, after reading about maltitol (which these have) I’m hesitant to eat any more of them. I have actually only eaten 1/2 bar each morning for the last 5 days. I do believe my stomach is bloated and I have “more” and “looser” bowel movements each day … not a drastic side effect … no stomach cramping … however … I wonder if I continue with this, will it consistently get worse or possibly I may just adjust to it. Possibly there is not a lot of maltitol in each 1/2 bar, so maybe it won’t cause too much distress.

    This “blog” has been wonderful … it sure did help to make me realize that I’m not the only person who has intolerances … not only to certain foods, but to sugars and other similar additives.

    Thanks to all of you !

    Kathy

  18. I am 14 days past a TOTAL HYSTERECTOMY & stumbled across MALTITOL SYRUP. My husband loving bought me a jar of sugar free imitation honey from HONEYTREE’S. I have never been in so much pain from diarrhea, blouting & burping (except food poisoning). Not a real great time to have this problem. I didn’t figure it out until I started to list what I had eaten over the last two days. The honey is gone as I can’t currently take care of my two kids with stomach problems.

  19. I was just at Costco today and they had “Amber Lyn” chocolate bars there for a few days doing a demo and it was good stuff! (Made with maltitol). I came home to research maltitol and see what it is… not sure that I want to go back and buy any.. I may try the chocoperfection bars recommended on here, I found there website just by doing a quick search. But some of you have asked about other sugar substitutes…. try xagave.com, it is a type of agave nectar that has had the best of the light and the dark agave nectars out together (for best taste, best fiber content, and best calcium content). It is really good and can be used in everything you would use sugar in (baking, drinks, sauces, etc. etc.). I have been using it for over a year now. A but pricey, but everything good for you is, right!
    Good luck!

  20. I am sitting here in the worst pain from horrible gas and cramping. Last night I ate Sugar Free Jelly Bellys and like a moron did not pay attention to the warning label that you should only eat 8 at a time. They were so delicious I counsumed 4 times that. Today at lunchtime I doubled over in pain and have been suffering ever since. I also got total body aches, headache and chills, felt like the flu! Has anyone else experienced this? Now I cant sleeep and I really feel like I was poisoned and my stonmach literally feels bruised from the massive cramps and gas. I will NEVER eat maltitol again! I am just going to treat myself to a tiny bit of real jelly bellys when I need them.

  21. Urgent: Russell Stover “sugar free” chocolate bar contains 23 grams of ALCOHOL SUGAR (whatever that is).

    http://www.russellstover.com/jump.jsp?itemType=CATEGORY&itemID=24

    My 88 year old mother noticed that her so called “sugar free” Russell Stover chocolate bar contained 23 grams of SUGAR ALCOHOL. The nutrition facts listed its dietary fiber (1g), the familiar sugar (0g) and something I have never seen before, sugar alcohol (23g!), for a grand carbohydrate total of 24g.

    This phony come on verges on the criminal considering how much damage that long run much sugar can do to pre diabetes and diabetes 2 persons. It could be imminently deadly to unwary diabetes 1 patients.

  22. They should package this as an alternative to Ex-Lax. I ate a package of malitol sweetened cherry vines – and I bloated up like a puffer fish, and then went to the bathroom for HOURS. I was totally dehydrated. Two of my friends told me they had experienced the same thing. Seriously, Malitol is a laxative.

  23. Thank you to everyone who has written on this blog. I have been obsessed with Think Thin Mixed Nuts with Dark Chocolate bars and can eat 4-5 a day. Easily…. Anyway, lately my stomach has become so distended that I feel stuffed and bloated and I my stomach looks like I’m 4 months pregnant…..it’s so uncomfortable that I was beginning to be convinced I must have stomach or ovarian cancer or congestive heart failure….now instead I’ll stop eating the maltitol-containing bars of my obsession…..oh and mayb look into this yeast thing too….thanks again for the postings.

  24. Interesting posts. I can taste both Splenda and Stevia – not a good taste, so I avoid them. No problems with xylitol. The best approach is to avoid sweet things altogether. Take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM Hope that link works or copy and paste it into your browser. It’s a real eye-opener, and it’s from University of Californa, not some blog or person trying to sell supplements. It’s called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. Really dynamic speaker!

  25. Just found out I’m diabetic, so I ran to the store and bought a handful of “suger-free” sweet things like cookies, pie and chocolate. My stomach has rumbled for the week I have been eating these things, so I started to get concerned about some sort of stomach complication. Last night I ate 10 pieces of sugar-free chocolate, and thought I was going to pass out with stomach pain and gas this morning. Found this website, pulled the candy bag out of the trash, and guess what the first ingredient listed is?

    Maltitol. Thank goodness for this site or I would have continued to unwittingly poison myself.

  26. So comforting to know I’m not alone. My abdomen feels like it has been ripped open and trampled on after (ok greedily) consuming a packet of sugar free double d boiled sweets (Australian sugar free product) yesterday, and I am now 30hrs later just starting to feel normal. I cannot express the level of pain I felt, nevvvvvvvver again, I’d rather down a bucket of sugar than experience the hell of malitol consumption…

  27. I had severe cramps that made me feel like my insides were being ripped apart. I bought the sugar free life savers. I ate like ten pieces and sat down to lay down, thats when I felt the sharp severe pain come in waves of pain ten seconds apart and with each passing time it grew more violent. It was a few hours later that the pain finally went away. One thing for sure I’ll never eat sugar free again especially malitol or sugar alcohol products. Death would be much more welcome than the pain I felt.

  28. I had severe allergic reactions to Isomalt this past week. I had eaten a sugar-free Werther’s candy and had diarhea, severe gas and then vomitting. I also broke out in a terrible rash of whelps all over my body that itched severely and were feverish. I went to my Dr because at that time did not realize what had caused it. He gave me a shot of cortisone and prescription for prednisone and allergra. Two days later, I was chewing gum (that I later found out contained Isomalt) and my lips began swelling and felt numbness increasing in my face. Then, my throat began closing up. I went back to my Dr and got another shot of cortisone and large doses of prednisone. Isomalt if a genetically modified sugar beet. It should have some kind of WARNING on the label of ALL products containing this. I will certainly try to avoid this product as next time I may have to be hospitalized. This was the scariest thing I have had happen to me!!!

  29. I have had a bad taste in my mouth for about a year and unusual heart palpitations. I have been using Truvia, a sweetener made with stevia and erythrotol. I really liked it until I read that the some of the side effects from ingesting Stevia and or truvia were indeed a bad taste in the mouth and heart palpitations. I have quit truvia and I no longer have the bad taste or heart irregularity. Also,drinking Zevia,a carbonated drink made with stevia also caused undesirable reactions as well. I felt as though I had overdosed on sugar and could hardly function for a day. I tried drinking it several times and had the same reaction. Erythrotol has caused me greater intestinal issues than maltitol. Maltitol derived from wheat is less A problem for me than the corn based maltitol which most sugar free candies are made from. So my thought is “To each his own” sweetener and stick with moderation.

  30. Well, dieting and eating a lot of whole grains naturally leads to more farting than I was used to. It comes and goes depending. However, a few months ago I got hooked on those Sugar Free Nips candies. I had a few bouts of excessive gas production but I NEVER associated it with the candy. Once in a while I’ve eaten more than my share… maybe 4-5 of the things, and it JUST NOW occurred to me that this has been the root of my increasingly annoying problems. “It’s the candy, stupid!” I had used nothing but xylitol and splenda up to this point. Wow! Better late than never but it all makes sense. No MORE NIPS! (Meant only in the most politically correct sense of the words)

  31. Hi everybody!
    I am really grateful to you all for such a useful information on sugar free products. Can anybody tell me how about Isomalt? I want to use products made of it. Share your experience, I will be grateful to you.

    Dhananjay

  32. I’ve eaten the Simply Lite “Carb-safe” brand of chocolate carried by Trader Joe’s. It wasn’t until someone warned me about the laxative effect that I even had any concern about the product, since I hadn’t really had any bad symptoms, although intuitively I knew it wasn’t really that good for me compared to better quality chocolates with higher cacao content and ingredients. Now that I monitor it more closely and keep a food journal I have noticed that if I eat more than a serving (3 squares) I do get a more soupy stool. (I haven’t tried experimenting with less squares to see if that still creates the same effect.) I also have some bloating…which may be due to the malitol. It will be interesting to see if it completely subsides after more time being malitol-free.

    It wasn’t until I ran across this blog that I considered my random outbreaks of hives could be related. I always thought it was stress-induced although it never fully explained the scenario either, due to them appearing sometimes when I wasn’t necessary under duress. Sure enough, I woke up in the middle of the night and felt some hives (always in the same spot, on my right bicep.) I had the chocolate the night before. I also was not aware that Malitol is derived from corn or wheat, which are normally not items in my diet. I have omitted these in all other forms completely for 4+ years. I originally started the diet (no sugar, wheat, corn or dairy, except for plain yogurt in the morning) due to the yeast, but found it also resolved my blood sugar problems due to being hypoglycemic. So I’ve stuck with it as a long-term lifestyle change.

    This blog has helped me form a better decision about whether to consume this product. Thanks to all who’ve posted for sharing your experiences. Anything in moderation is not usually harmful, but in one way or another it seems the body is communicating this product is not healthy for us.

  33. Great. If only I’d looked up the nasty MALTITOL prior to buying a bunch of sugar-free chocolates and candy…. and before eating it!!!
    1 hour later(as I write) and I am doubled up with cramps and terrible gas and diharrea.
    It’s not right.
    What is wrong with our government?! Aren’t they supposed to be protecting our wellbeing.
    This is bullshit.

  34. well I had my first experience with Maltitol 4 days ago.
    I’m 49, in perfect health. I have a stomach like a rock and NEVER have bathroom issues. I drink the strongest coffee I can make and never have stomch problems. I have a very,very hi pain tolerance.
    Every once in a while (2-3 times a year) I get a strange craving for gummy bears. I always just get the regular sugar ones. Well, I found some sugar free and thought I would give them a try.
    Holy SH–(literally) 3 hours after consuming,probably about 3 servings, I thought I was going to die. 4 hours of water ass with my intestines feeling like they were being ripped out of my body. I had no idea what was wrong with me. Once I could get off the toilet and stand up enough to get back to bed I decided to look at the back of the package to see if there was something there I didn’t know about. I noticed a small printed warning sign about “consuming excessive amounts can have a laxative effect”
    That is an understatement. I was walking around my house bent over scared to death I was dying,carrying the phone with me everywhere in case I had to call 911.
    I’ve never experience anything remotely close to this. Granted it was labeled but it is a candy that I would imagine kids would be eating. How the hell would a kid have survived this experience is beyond me.
    I have warned everyone I know about this nasty chemical.
    If this stuff can do this to anyones body I would imagine consuming any amount of it is not good for you.
    As I said it was 4 days ago and my guts still do not feel right.
    My definition of sugar alcohols “POISON”

  35. What about people with severe constipation (like me)? I have some gases that are very uncomfortable but I feel good I’m finally going to the bathroom. But for me, everything that causes other people diarhia affects me well. Don’t you think maltitol is goof for people who are both insulin resistent and constipated?
    And where do you happen to live? In my country (Bulgaria) it is mandatory for all the manufacturers to put the label “might have laxative effect” on every product containing maltitol. This label was one of the reasons I bought it.
    How do you think maltitol affects constipation in the long run?

  36. I have found that the “Truvia” brand of Stevia is simply awesome. I’ve turned many of my friends onto Truvia and always get compliments on the product. Truvia can be purchased at all large grocery stores.

    As for Maltitol, here’s my horror story: I love cookies so I began purchasing Vanderveen brand cookies that were sweetened with Maltitol. At the same time, but without making a connection, I started having breakouts of hives, usually on my upper thighs, beltline, and groin. These were very aggrivating. They’d just appeared and usually within an hour or so, they’d go away. My doctor suggested that it was either a food alergy or something in my laundry detergent or dryer sheets (contact dermatitis). In a 6 month period I switched all my laundry products to “neutral” products without any luck. I was watching for a link to the hives reaction. Then, just the other night I ate a couple of Maltitol-containing sugar-free cookies and the hives were all over the tops of my legs within a few minutes. I’m going to stop with the cookies and see if it improves. My daughter gets sick if she eats or drinks artificial sweeteners and that got me to thinking about the Maltitol in my Vanderveen cookies.

  37. I have been eating sugar free candy every day for six months. At first i had small laxative effects. I have lost 63 pounds with no weird diet or exercise. My blood sugar does not spike and has only been high one time in the six months. My doctor said i was diabetic but i no longer have any symptoms. Changing to maltitol has been great for me.

  38. Read all of this with interest. have been eating Balance bars with malt it’ll. looked it up and found this site. to be honest I only have about 5 pieces a day but that will be scaled down till they’ve gone.

    Also gone onto sugar free gum and that too will be going the journey.

    I have always been careful with so called .sugar free. Products. It would appear I was wise to do soo

  39. Very interesting article, I posted a similar article a few days ago.
    Personally, i swear by erythritol, but cannot find many low carb products that actually contain that, without that damn maltitol

  40. Isomalt and maltitol in any substantial amount give me TERRIBLE painful gas lasting over a day.

    To a lesser degree, when I chew too much gum containing sorbitol and mannitol (like Trident or Orbit) in a short time period , I get bad gas that can last a whole day.

    I can eat very large quantities of xylitol without any problem.

  41. IHi. I usually have a sugar and fairy free choc, but have developed an insolence to it, i assume its the sweetness maltitol and lactitol. Do you do, or know of anywhere, i can get some without these ? Id really appreciate help. Many thanks. Alison God bless
    alisonlouisebell@yahoo.co.uk

  42. Ugh! i got a chocolate bar from trader joes, said sugar free so i dumbly thought unsweetened chocolate. I wish. I ate a square or two a day and wondered why having extreme intestinal/stomach noise n rumbling. Diareah. I thought I had an infection or parasites! Its been awful. Tonight watching madmen I ate last two pieces.. Look at package and reading up on maltitol lead me here. Thanks for the information. I feel very deceived like I was given poison instead of food.. Totally disgusting chemicals. Ew! Avoid Trader Joe’s “Simply Lite Dark Chocolate” And spare yourself intestinal problems.

  43. I am an insulin dependent diabetic. I tested Maltitol sweetened chocolate using a standard n=1 process. I waited 5 hours after my last meal and insulin bolus. I then recorded my blood sugar which was 71mg/dl for the start of the test.I ate 12g of Maltitol in a Amberlyn Sugar Free Hazelnut Dark Chocolate and Almond bar. Total carbs are listed as 18g with 3 fiber. I measured my blood sugar every hour for 5 hours. I took no insulin to cover this bar. I also didn’t have anything else to eat for the 5 hours of the test. Normally, 1g of glucose will raise my blood sugar 6mg/dl,so I expected the 3g of carbs advertised on the bar’s label to raise my blood sugar a maximum of 18mg/dl.

    These are the results of my hourly blood tests:
    1hr = 112
    2hr = 153
    3hr = 173
    4hr = 179
    5hr = 177
    So, the result was an increase of 108mg/dl. This is what 18g of pure glucose will raise my blood sugar. Obviously, Maltitol raises my blood sugar equal to glucose and is in no way a good choice for a diabetic (or anyone desiring to avoid high spikes in blood insulin levels). Also, whatever fiber the bar claims to contain is bogus as fiber doesn’t normally raise my blood sugar. I am a diabetic in excellent control (A1c = 5.2) and will avoid Maltitol in the future as I continue to search for the true sugar free sweet.

  44. Thank you for the information. I plan to read some more of your blog. I was already warned about xylitol years ago, or anything that was a sugar alcohol, as I have Crohns Disease. I’ve always noticed that anything with sorbitol is completely off limits, but didn’t start looking for other unnatural ingredients until about a year ago. I will say that I haven’t been as healthy as I have been in the last year since I was 17. At first I thought it was the natural food, water, and working out, until I fell off of that wagon. I’ve come to realize that the only reason I’m not residing in my bathroom, losing unhealthy amounts of weight, and having intolerable abdominal pain all of the time is because I’ve been very careful to avoid any of the sugar alcohols. It makes me wonder how much of what my doctors and I thought were Crohns symptoms were just the nasty side effects of the trojan horse that they’ve snuck into just about every packaged food I used to snack on. Thank you for providing information. Those of us concerned with our health appreciate it.

  45. Yes, all of the sugar alcohols are bad to more than just the digestive system. They can also turn and effect your eyesight and many other systems of your body. Now, some of you have mentioned Mannitol as though it was Maltitol. Maltitol is the one you are referring to here, but Mannitol is a natural sweetener that is good for you. No, you won’t find it in many places, but Mannitol is a good sugar. Just be sure to not confuse it with the Maltitol.

  46. I went on a very popular diet program that features well known female celebrity who is a part of a song and dance duo. I kept wondering why I had so much gas, bloating and diarrhea. I also wondered why I was getting a rapid heart rate and palpitations after eating. Now I know. I am not touching another bit of food from this program. Obviously, I lost weight. But let me tell you it was the hard way. I saw a lot of the inside of my bathroom. I also got revved up from the maltodextrin that was also in this food. I am wondering if other problems I have had recently have to do with this chemical. No more for me, no thanks. Rather eat a small amount of sugar even though I am a diabetic than consume this poison. These chemicals should be boldly marked on whatever food that contain them. Horrible experience. Enough said.

  47. No, maltitol is the WORST and it’s in nearly all sugar free items and I am very sensitive to it – worst stomachache/cramps/gas. Erythritol is much better, much lower on the glycemic index plus less bloating and stomach distress, and I’ve recently observed it seems to be growing in use – Enlightened and Halo Top Ice Creams, and I recently noticed it in a gluten free bark/crispy cookie sort of product in my local grocery.

    Sure wish there were more sugar free products with other calorie-free options much easier on the innards. I suppose it comes down to cheapness. Maybe it’s worth checking out erythritol at the grocery and try making my own sweet treats.

  48. Maltitol flattens me with all of the symptoms listed above. It is my opinion that I have becomes sensitive to it over time. Yesterday I ate dried mangos from Costco. There was no listing of maltitol on the product. I went down for the count. It is now about 24 hours later and I’m still getting over it. I need to be able to test a food for maltitol. Does anyone know of a simple test that can be used? I believe some food products insert maltitol without putting it on the label. This is not the first time I’ve gone through this. This stuff (maltitol) is dangerous and we need to be able to test food first. Any suggestions?

  49. Diabetes runs in my family and finally over middle age, my metabolism gave out as well. I have tried numerous sugar free substitutes, Stevia was the worst for me until I tried Stover’s Sugar Free Jelly Beans with Sugar Alcohol
    . OMG, I about went into convultions. The cramping reminded me of child birth, I even started the fast breathing. What really scared me was when I started bleeding cups of red blood. This product needs to be taken off the market!!!!

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