Aug. 31, 2004

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.

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No Responses to “Beware of the Sugar Alcohol Maltitol”
  1. Ashleigh says:

    Very helpful information! Insightful and simple. Also worth mentioning that I feel really sick when I eat maltitol and I naturally have opted for other sugar alcohols (e.g. sucralose, mannitol) becuase they seem to have fewer negative effects. Thank you for posting the info!

  2. g snyder says:

    Interesting. what about Xylitol. It’s now in chewing gum ghs

  3. keegan says:

    I don’t believe the glycemic value of Maltitol is the only, or most important, consideration when evaluating the effect on blood sugars. The absorbtion rate is equally important. Though maltitol glycemic value can be as high as 52 or 53 because of the size of the molecule, it is absorbed much more slowly. It is the polyol that behaves most like sugar when used in recipes and has a slower absorption rate than all the others. This slow absorbtion rate avoids the spikes you spoke of. Naturally, you must monitor your daily intake of any sugar alchohol or sugar but your warning is exaggerated.

  4. Joj says:

    Carb slim products use Erythritol exclusively in its products and Erythritol doesn’t give you the farts like maltitol

  5. Chriss says:

    I found the glycemic value extremely important, especially being on the South Beach Diet. Being compared to equal amounts of white bread, Maltitol has an extreme effect on blood sugar levels, leading to a spike in insulin, and further cravings. The whole point of these sugar-substitutes is to satisfy cravings without raising blood sugars, not to continue the cycle. In fact, the large molecule size could actually be more problematic than helpful. If the molecule is of a size difficult for insulin to pick up, then the molecule stays in the blood longer, forcing the pancreas to release more insulin, and eventually inducing severe cravings to compensate the extra insulin floating around. These negative effects are usually first reflected in the GV, so thank you for posting this very helpful site!

  6. Adriana says:

    I was wondering if anyone had any more information to offer about food that can satisfy my sweet tooth, without giving me the ‘sugar blues’. I’ve pretty much eliminated sugar from my diet. I tried Maltitol and I’m definately all set with that (I’m sure you know what I mean!). I am not familiar with the other substitutes spoken of, and would just like some product names or suggestions of other ingredients to look for. I’m thinking of just using non-sweetened sugar (grated over nuts and raisens), but I am not the biggest fan of chocolate. I usually just want cookies. Thanks.

  7. Adriana says:

    I meant non-sweetened chocolate in the last posting.

  8. Justin says:

    Try Stevia. It’s made by grinding up tea leaves and has been used by the natives of Paraguay (or possibly Uraguay, I forget) for centuries. It has no impact at all on blood sugar levels. If you use too much of it, it tastes somewhat bitter.

    In the 80’s the big US sugar companies an chemical companies who make dangerous sugar alternatives (like aspartame) lobbied the FDA to treat stevia like a drug and sieze it as it was imported for no reason whatsoever because they were afraid of the competition from a sweetener that has no ill side effects. It’s legal now though. I reccomend the ‘SweetLeaf’ brand. You can find stevia cookbooks at Amazon.com.

  9. Koorosh says:

    Are there any other brands besides carb slim that don’t use any Maltitol or Xylitol. Why do these companies use Maltitol at all? Is it cheaper or something?

    Great advise and thanks for the info

  10. Crystal says:

    LowCarb Specialties manufactures sugar-free gourmet chocolate bars (milk and dark)that taste excellent and are sweetened with erythritol and oligofructose (inulin… a natural fiber)…. the 2 ounce bars have 2 or 3 grams of carbs and 16 grams of fiber due to the oligofructose. Free samples of the bars, which actually taste better than most chocolate bars made with sugar, are available by completing the guest book at:
    http://www.lowcarbspecialties.com
    Just request a free sample and the company will send one to you along with a copy of The Chocolate Lover’s Diet… a low carb, anti-candida eating plan with unlimited ChocoPerfection…. definitely the way to lose weight!

  11. Nick Dangerous says:

    Justin is right on! Stevia ROCKS. I use the liquid extract in everything… especially tea. Amazing, wonderful, healthy stuff. World’s #1 sweetner!

  12. lynn says:

    does sugar alchohol spike insulin levels? I thought it was o.k. but i don’t know…thanks lynn chmtnbliss@cs.com

  13. Nicky says:

    As far as I know, xylitol and erythritol occur naturally in some fruits and fungi (mushrooms), so I suppose they could be said to be “natural”. Personally I try to avoid any of the other sugar alcohols. Unless you are diabetic, just eat the regular stuff, less of it, exercise more to sort out your insulin metabolism, and sugar cravings should go away. I try to eat meals that have all three food components in them: protein, carbohydrates and some fats. It works for me – no more desire for bars of chocolate or bowls of ice-cream!

    Stevia is wonderful stuff!!! The drug companies and those that manufacture the artificial sweeteners are putting out a lot of negative press about Stevia because they no doubt see it as a very real threat. It is an extract obtained from the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana. If you were a real purist, you could put a chopped up leaf in your tea in place of a spoonful of sugar – it is that simple!!!

    Last thing: PLEASE avoid aspartame and sucralose – I have researched many horror stories about these. Saccharin seems OK, but as I said above, unless you are diabetic, you are better off eating regular stuff.

    Nicky

  14. Dan Kubik says:

    I am a borderline diabetic and have opted for sugar substitutes, some with maltitol. Unfortunately, maltitol also gives me bad diarhea as well as gas. Also unfortunately, most sugar free products contain maltitol. I have currently tried to avoid it completely.

  15. choc lover says:

    I don’t understand why anyone would use malitol. The effects of it are very unpleasant. I am trying to stay sugar free, but I love chocolate. I like Estee Sugar Free Chocolate. It does not use malitol, but it is hard to find.

  16. D.B.Yak says:

    Maltitol and some similar combinations, can tie your stomach in knots and make you wish you never ate it. I tryed it in chocolates and learned my lesson. Then someone gave me some sugar free Pecan pie from Wal-Mart. I did not know it had Maltitol in it, had two pieces, and suffered for two days. They should take it off the market.

  17. Julia says:

    Can eating maltitol cause hair loss? I began a sugar free diet with products that mostly had maltitol as an ingredient. Less than a week later I find i’m suffering from rather extreme hair loss. Is there any relation between the two?

  18. Nick says:

    If you live in North Idaho, go to Rocky Mountain Low Carb Foods and Specialty Store. (Hayden, ID) They have products of all sorts. Some made with Malitol, but they also carry stuff with xylitol and erythritol. They also carry the bags of this stuff so that you can use it in recipes. It works great! The one thing that I can’t get enough of is the Chocoperfection bars that they have. They have milk or dark chocolate. They have 14 and 16 grams of fiber in them which is great for me. It dosen’t hurt me like the malitol. It works more like you ate enough ruffage. My son also gets constipated, so I give him about a half of a bar once in a while, and it works beautifully. Check it out!!!

  19. Nick says:

    If you want some great sugar free chocolate, without the bad effects of malitol, try chocoperfection bars. They are delicious.

  20. Jonie says:

    What about honey? All of the other sugar substitutes cause problems. Are there any problems with honey?

  21. Alex says:

    Hi Jonie. There’re no known problems with Splenda, tagatose or stevia. Honey, on the other hand, is just about pure sugar — I’d avoid it.

  22. marc says:

    I am familiar with the process of oil hydrogenation and its negative effects.Can the same principle be applied to maltitol(being the hydrogenated form of maltol)?

  23. gail says:

    Having come thru chemo and cancer free for two years, I still don’t want to use sugar substitutes, so just picked up gum to get rid of garlic smell and it was ….(QUICK read label, ..oh, it was Wrigley’s eclipse. Looked it over quickly, DID NOT SEE that it was sugar free. ) I do not take sugar free products. ONE hour later I was sick as a dog from both ends, and in the middle of my 60 hour work week of real estate, while doing an open house. I looked at the back label of the gum after going to my car and saw it was maltitol. I have already had been effected by maltitol before and knew to stay away from it. Look for things with real sugar in gum etc. if I need a quick mouth freshener. Well sugar is bad for cancer survivors but didn’t think gum would make such a reaction. But sugarless never made a reaction UNTIL they put in MALTITOL. IF the label was clearer. The words SUGAR FREE did not stand out enough. …..there were no warnings. I had four pieces because of the garlic. WHAT IF I WERE A CHILD and chewed this. THIS STUFF IS DANGEROUS and NOT labeled correctly. SUGUAR FREE I thought always had to be a distinct label. WHY ARE THEY HIDING THE SUGAR FREE wording to match the color of the background?? Why not make it BLACK to stand out, so allergic people like myself could see it.

    Well I’m going to get my food products only from the health food store and made of stevia, if i ever use sugar again.

    I worry that there may be people that don’t think gum can cause such a reaction. Don’t count that as a food that could have caused a reaction.

    But the lingering in the mouth of gum, works more quickly than food to gets the maltitol into your body perhaps more quickly. Because it stays in the mouth.

    I remember when labeling was distinct and sugar and sugar free were visible. Why hide the sugar free label?? Some of us are highly allergic to sugar free products now that maltitol is part of it.

    Thanks for listening. But why isn’t the FDA protecting us??? Why ??

  24. AJ says:

    I have had no problem with maltitol. What I see is that this research does not have much to back it up. There is always some “new” study coming out to ward you of something… and who knows who is really behind this one anyway. I see companines, like the one that manufactures the “Glucerna” shakes and products, specifically for people with diabetes who need (stress the word need) to lose weight and they use maltitol in their products. I am sure their testing is far more extensive than this “study”. Maltitol is listed on everything it is in, that is the law. If you have bad reactions to it, then don’t eat it. Enough with the self-serving covert junk science “studies”. Give me REAL proof, REAL experiements and REAL results.

  25. Deirdre Mckay says:

    Thank you Justin, Nick and everybody else who re commended stevia. I tried maltitol thinking that it was a natural whole food sweetner with miminal processing, well I couldn’t have been more wrong! I read about stevia before and how it was a unprocessed natural sweetner and as I don’t want to die of cancer or an heart attack, its the only sweetner I’m having from now on.

  26. Ryk says:

    I use stevia but find that it adds a liquorish taste to hot beverages. I have tried two different brands and get the same flavour. I researched this and it seems that products which have this aftertaste are not ‘pure’ leaf extract. Does anyone have any suggestions as to which products out there is the genuine product?

  27. Jezebel says:

    You have to weigh the costs with the benefits when it comes to sweeteners. I am prone to cavities so I stopped eating sugar products and white flour. That wasn’t enough so I had to start chewing Xylitol gum. I chew like 4-5 pieces a day and it helps remineralize my teeth. When I tried using it in tea, the side effects were more obvious. There was stomach upset, cracked skin on my lips, and an erruption of eczema on my hands.

    I scaled back to just gum. If you have a real medical reason (diabetes or tooth decay) to take Xylitol or Maltitol then you’ll manage the negative side effects, because your illness is more damaging to your body. These sweeteners should be judged like chemo or antibiotics, which make you sick as well. If you aren’t sick and are just trying to lose 20 pounds rather than 200, don’t take these products!!

  28. Adi says:

    Can I use Maltitol on Anti Candida Diet?

  29. Allison Beach says:

    I am every health conscious and have been eating a low carb soy bar daily for several months. It has caused extreme gas in me and I just found out that it has maltitol in it. When I called the company and told them of my problem, they said that several other people had called in to say it had the same effect on them. The woman I talked to said that maltitol often causes this. Needless to say, I have stopped eating this low carb soy bar and have switched to the regular one with real sugar in it. This bar also has splenda in it…another artificial sweetener.

  30. stacey says:

    I just got my shipment of the chocoperfection bars they are the BEST!!. I’ve had gastric bypass surgery 3 years ago. I can eat this chocolate and I don’t give the sugar rush that would make me sick to my stomach. I also got the sweet perfection which is in the same catagory as Stevia and it works great. Im not having the high or low blood sugar using these products, which is great since Im hypoglycemic.I enjoyed reading all the posts gave me a lot of info on the other sweetners and the gas problem was thinking is was me and the bypass surgery.
    thanks again for all the useful info

  31. Jane says:

    Like Adi over here, i to want to know if Maltitol can be used in a anti candida diet..?
    I Have this chocolatebar here that i’m just dying to eat, but don’t want to destroy the hole diet…….

  32. Misty says:

    will someone answer….IS MALTITOL OK ON THE ANTI CANDIDA DIET??
    i am reeaally wanting to know if i should stop eating the low carb bars i have. am i continuing to feed the yeast by consuming the maltitol that is in the bars??
    thank u to anyone who responds. lots a love

  33. BeLeBored says:

    I’m quite fond of Shugr (erythritol, tagatose, and stuff)

    Xylitol isn’t as sweet. I’m hoping there’s a sweetener less costly than gold powder than contains erythritol, tagatose, and xylitol.

    is there?

  34. SB says:

    A thought for AJ. Do you think the US government funded studies are real research? If so, then how do you account for so many drugs being recalled from the market and law suits against drug companies. I’m sorry I don’t trust any government research because the bottom line it is about big business, the almighty dollar and not about your health. They don’t care that people die of cancer when they make billions of dollars every year on chemotherapy drugs. What makes you think that the research done on this blog that was posted by Alex has less credence then research funded by the FDA?
    Alex I read that the glycemic index of xylitol is seven. I guess it depends on where you get your information. I also have read that xyletol has many health benefits such as strenghtening bones and teeth. I vote for xylitol or Stevia. Stay away from Aspartame as the government has used the American public as Guinea pigs and we now have found that Aspartame crosses the blood brain barrier and causes brain damage.

  35. Linda says:

    re: Maltitol and Candida – I just looked up on the yeast connection website and here is the link I found – hope it is helpful
    http://yeastconnection.com/archive/try_this_main_01_05.html

    p.s. I have not found a low-carb bar that *is* ok on the anti-candida diet

  36. Sandra says:

    Hi all, We’ve just been thrown into the no sugar, no white flour world as my boyfriend has been diagnosed as dibetic, and has been very diligent about losing weight and not consuming sugar.
    We were all excited about all of these “no sugar added” chocolate/snack bars in the local health food stores only to be truly surprised that the advice in the diabetic course was AGAINST consumption of ANY sweetener ending in “itol”, period.
    What a shock, as I so often directly link doctors with drugs, and manufactured substitutes etc.
    I have read extensively about stevia, and from all the information I can find, the ONLY reason it is not in sugar free food is money and market control. The companies making these other substitutes do not have control of stevia, and until they do, they will continue to do everything in their power to keep it out of the market place as a viable alternative.
    From what I have found with a little reading, is, that the FDA was even pressured so far as to almost force one company to BURN their literature on stevia (so I have read here on the great information highway).
    You have to ask yourself: If maltitol, lactitol, anything”itol” is so great, why would our doctor tell us not to eat it?
    Everything I can find on stevia has indicated that not only is it not harmful to the body, it has MANY beneficial side effects as well.
    Go figure, a natural product, unaltered by a massive conglomerate that’s good for you.
    If anyone out there has more info or could direct us to further information that would contradict the information I have talked about here, I would truly appreciate it, as I said this is new territory for us, and it feels like there are many roadblocks on the road to the truth….

  37. Nimish Taterh of India says:

    Stevia..n nothin else.It is natural,lowest calorie,no side effects,Pleasent taste,not so costly,no change in taste at high temprature.Try Stevia..Green or refined white.

  38. Sapna Taterh says:

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    Pranayam is a breathing technik which not only gaurantee control on diabetes,but also has cure for it.

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  39. Richard says:

    Wow! Nodoby has anything good to say about Maltitol. I don’t know anything about the molecules and the what-nots but I am glad for Maltitol.

    I have been a diabetic for 22 years and have had to do without a lot of the things I really love. One in particular is chocolate. Maltitol has had side effects on me (poops and poots) but that seemed to be only when I first started eating stuff sweetend with it and now only when I over-do it.

    I recently have been eating Russel Stover Sugar-free Chocolates. They have peanutbutter cups, carmel-filled, mint… I love em. If I eat the whole dam bag – yep it’ll stir up a poop-storm but I can eat 3 or 4 individual wrapped candies while at work and they will have no effect on me. It may be that my body has adjusted somewhat but I ok with that many.

    Another suger-free candy that is pretty new is the Sugar-free Mentos. And yes, the first day I saw them I ate two boxes and it caused a riot in my stomache. But after a day or so I bought some more and just had a few and was oK. I love those sugar-free Mentos but you gotta just work your way into them.

    I have a bag of Nestle Sugar-free Turtles I am eating right now. They don’t taste as good as the Russel Stover but I’ve three turtles and no side effects yet. I also just bought a bag of Sweet’N Low Coconut Clusters that I haven’t tried yet. I typically only like Sweet’N low in drinks.
    Lifesavers has a few different flavors of sugar-free candies also: Mint, wintergreen, toffee, fruit… I’ve had the fruit and the toffee and they both see ok. I have up to ten of those pieces with no effects. They are small pieces just like regular LifeSavers.

    Jelly Belly makes some sugar free jelly beans that are really good also. The first time I ate those, I ate too many it flipped my stomache. So the next time around I ate half as many and I was ok.

    All the gas and diarrhea may be caused by eating too much too soon. If your not a diabetic you should just stay away from it. If you are a diabetic, try it again and slowly work into it.

  40. Betty says:

    Hi everyone! Im not diabetic, but I am Insulin resistant, so during my treatment of Metformin, I eat like a Diabetic. anything that has even looked at sugar gives me the worst headaches…but I just wanted to let all the gum chewers know that Dentyne Ice (the soft kind) uses mannitol, and it hasnt had an effect on me yet!

    Betty

  41. Mila says:

    A horrid experience that’s not over yet!
    Last week I bought a pretty glass container of Aloe Vera sugar-free chewing gum from an Asian grocery. Xylitol was on the front label but then I also noticed it contained Maltitol on the ingredients list. I wondered about that for a moment but… not for too long since I never had too much of it to have a bad reaction. The taste was very pleasant and I just kept chewing, probably 40 pieces out of 60 within two days, getting sicker & sicker and blaming it on everything else I ate the day before. Just couldn’t make a connection. Stomach pain & diarrhea worth of a hospital stay. On day three when I had “nothing left to loose” I felt somewhat better but after taking another piece of gum the whole process was set in motion again. Then I did make a connection. Today is Monday and I had that last piece on Saturday, yet I’m still feeling out of sorts and my stomach is still not back to normal.
    Does anyone know how long it takes for this vile stuff to leave your system?

  42. Jackie says:

    I have been trying the South Beach diet. I had no clue about maltitol and boy am I sorry!! I had a couple pieces of Russell Stover toffee squares today and I feel horrible. How long does it take most of you to get over the effects of this?

  43. Herb says:

    I agree about the stevia, it is the only sweetener I trust, and the one that has been around the longest. I grow a stevia plant and love eating a leaf when I have a sweet craving. Doctors in South America use the stevia leaf to balance glucose levels in Diabetics so it must be doing something right. As for the artificial and extremely processed fake sugars, no way, not in my body! It seems most cravings are due to addictions and once you understand why you crave something you can do something about it.
    SweetLeaf stevia is by far my favorite, I love the added fiber in the steviaplus, and the fact that they do not add glycerine or an alcohol in their liquid stevias like a lot of the other stevia companies do. Oh for all you candida diets steviaplus’s FOS inulin fiber ia amazing for helping your “good bacteria” Bifoda bactertia, in the body to over grow the BAD bacteria, to take control of your candida over growth.
    There is always a natural remedy it just takes some searching to find what is right for your body!”Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food”….they really knew what they were talking about way back then:)

  44. Linda says:

    I have been eating low carb for over 3 years now. About 6 months into it I discovered products made with sugar alcohols. I thought I was in heaven! The thing is, that during the first 6 months my sweet tooth was all but gone…but after snacking on low-carb sweets, it came back but good. That was not the worst of it. I seem to be allergic to it.

    If I eat much, I break out in hives, or what I think are hives. It will start with a feeling that a bug is biting me, a sting, then I will scratch, and the itching gets unbearable from that point on, swelling into multiple bumps if it is a bad case.

    For the first year or more I did not put it all together. I thought it was soap, then laundry detergent, then peanut butter…maybe stress…but what I finally determined was that it is the low carb foods containing the sugar alcohols. It has only been the last 6 months that I knew for sure. I am still determining if the different types, maltitol, sorbitol or xylitol make me react any differently.

    Now I will occassionally splurge a little and have something because I love sweets, but I pay the price.

  45. Barb says:

    I just recently bought some Stevia and would love a good cookie recipe to use it in. Does anyone have one, pretty please???
    Thanks!
    Barb :-)

  46. Sheila says:

    I have been diagnosed with diabetes and I am still learning what I can and cannot eat. I have been eating the “sugar free” chocolates because it is very hard for me to leave the chocolate behind. My doctor has been monitoring my blood tests closely because I cannot get my triglycerides to come down. Does anyone know if the “sugar alcolhol” can cause a persons triglyceride level to spike? Thank you, Sheila

  47. Teresa says:

    Just an added note on the product Stevia. I started looking into it about 12 years ago and have found a company out of Eugene, Oregon, that markets the best tasting stevia so far, called NuStevia. It comes in bulk or small purse-size packets so you can have it on hand at all times. This NuStevia has the lowest aftertaste of all the stevia products I’ve tried, can be sprinkled directly on foods, added in hot or cold drinks, and used in various recipes. The phone number for ordering this product is 1-800-753-4372 and their website is: http://www.nunaturals.com.

    Personally, I have found that a combination of three different sugar substitutes, NuStevia, xylitol and maltitol works best for us. This way you can avoid tasting any aftertaste from the stevia (which is almost none from NuStevia), can be free from any negative side effects from the maltitol, and it also cuts down on the cost of using xylitol, which is very expensive to use by itself.

    And at all costs, avoid using Splenda. It’s processed with chlorine (poinsonous gas) and can have some very negative side effects. Time magazine did an article on it a while back, and it’s not an option!

    For more information about health and nutrition, feel free to visit our website:

    http://www.NewCreationHealthUnlimited.com

  48. Carole says:

    I am prediabetic and do long distance walking. I wanted something that was high in protein and low in suger for energy. I tried Trim Protein bars. However I noticed they have Maltitol in them. I have a lot of energy for my walks but started noticing, problems with my colan, ulcers in my mouth, heartburn, and inflamation in other areas. I went off the bars and all my symptoms went away after a week. I even saw a Gastrointerologist my symptoms were so severe. I use Stevia all the time anyway. It is a wonderful sweetener. I cannot find anything that taste as good as the protein bars but had to give them up.Many people will not even think that Maltitol would be causing their symptoms. I am glad I recognized it. It also caused me to have a yeast flareup.

  49. Jenny says:

    Hi there! It has been more than a year since i started committing myself to a eating-better-low-carb lifestyle. Eating low-carb is easy if only for the sweet tooth … I am still searching for the ultimate ‘best’ sweetener. It would have to have the least negative effects possible on our system, short and long term. I believe that Stevia is the best there is right now, because it is naturally derived and has been used for years around the world with no known effects on human. And with the whole controversy against this product, i think the sugar industry really fears Stevia. There are many artificial sweeteners out there, and one affects each individual differently. I have found this webpage to be extremely helpful. I hope it will be helpful to all of you as well.

    http://www.sugarlessshop.com/2000/sweetenerinfo.htm

  50. Sandy says:

    I ate about a half a cup of sugar free gummy bears made with maltitol syrup last night and have been ill since then. (It’s 1:20 the next afternoon.) I have had diarrhea and severe gas all night. I will never eat that stuff again! I have no problems with Splenda or Xylitol. I never got this sick from an additive before….

  51. JD says:

    Well I’m a little nervous now as I just ate 2 pieces of pumpkin pie made with malitol and wasn’t aware of the side effects..!

  52. maya says:

    CANDIDA SUFFERERS: Steevia is accceptable for the candida diet.

    Anything sweet (sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, sorbitol, Splenda), alcoholic beverages—none of these will work for candida sufferes because they will feed the candida which thrive on sugar.
    I have not learned enough about erythritol, but I don’t think that it would be allowed on the candida diet beacuse it is a fermented product. All fermented foods are forbidden on the candida diet. Must see website which includes diet, recipes, and testimonies: http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/4966/index.html

  53. maya says:

    What about Polydextrose?

  54. Chris says:

    I started a diet where the food is pre-packaged and noticed when I had some of the items I’d get sick with bad gas. I’d feel really bad for about four hours. I traced it back to maltitol. In addition, the medical journal I receive recently had an article about sucralose being a possible trigger for migraines and if you do a net search for sucralose side effects (people’s testimonials), it’s jaw-dropping. I won’t touch the stuff. Other people don’t seem to be bothered.

  55. Amanda Fisk says:

    Thanks for the post! I had no idea. I’ve heard of xylitol. It’s in Trident or Orbit gum, one of those…
    I will bookmark this page.

  56. Bram says:

    I’ve been on the low carb diet for a few months now. Yesterday I bought a bag of the sugar/carb free Russell Stovers candy and within an hour I had horrible gas. At first I didn’t relate it to the candy so I took some over the counter gas pills and if it didn’t help one bit. My gas problem lasted all evening long. My 16 year old daughter came home from work and said she’d had bad gas/diarrhea stomach gurgle etc… I asked her if she ate any of the sugar free candy and she said “yes.” This has to be without a doubt the worse case of gas I’ve ever had in my life. I was miserable!

  57. Cyrilla says:

    These articles are quite interesting. But I was reading through hoping to find out why I get a coarse or sore throat after chewing gum. Is there some harsh ingridient that i should be aware of?

  58. elizabeth says:

    can somebody tell why the hell maltitol, sorbitol, manitol etc could feed yeast when it’s not sugar??!! I know it’s not healthy and it’s bad for candida/yeast in the sense that these sweetners cause gas and unrest in the intestines but do they actually feed yeast and if so how?? Do they feed yeast less than natural sugars? And Pls don’t recommomed stevia. I think it’s highly overrated and expensive you can’t find any real goodies (eg. chocolate) sweetened with it.

  59. Jen says:

    I was told by my doctor to have a very low carbohydrate diet due to a very severe exacerbation of Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome/Fibromyalgia from chronic yeast sinusitis (there is an advisory panel of experts that have recommended changing CFIDS/FMS name to Myalgic Encephalopathy due to the extreme and often debilitating symptoms that affect the entire body). This week on two occasions, I ate a dark chocolate bar sold at Trader Joes that contained Maltitol. I had such severe abdominal cramping from near my heart that I thought I was having a heart attack. I then had severe and painful cramping throughout my entire abdomen and the absolute worst gas I have ever had in my entire life. I will NEVER use Maltitol again. The FDA has a responsibility to the public and not just BIG business to take this off the market!! Like most on this site, I too have a sweet tooth. I am going to make my own “sweet” chocolate using unsweetened chocolate, cream or milk and stevia. I have been using stevia all week in my coffee and tea and it is terrific. My doctors and many experts researching my illness recommend stevia (without the benefit of any profit to themselves).

  60. Jen says:

    Elizabeth asked why a sugar alcohol could feed yeast when it’s not a sugar. Anything that breaks down into sugar, bread, pretzels, fruit, though not classified as a “sugar” can have significantly medium or high glycemic indices (such as Maltitol) which means that they break down into sugar at a medium to high rate. Therefore, sugar alcohols can feasibly feed yeast because they turn into sugar after eating it. If I had known this a week ago, there would not have been the previous and consecutive post. I mistakenly thought Maltitol had zero carb impact (0 Glycemic Index), but apparently that is not the case.

  61. Nimish says:

    Stop thinking all day n night about what to eat will take u far away from diabetes.Chew on NEEM leaves & Tulsi.

  62. Lonnie says:

    FYI-The Center for Science in the Public Interest is currently petetioning the FDA to require warning labels concerning the GI effects of Sorbitol. In the conclusion of the petetion they also include mannitol and maltitol, amoung others. Sources that I trust tell me that the FDA is changing on a daily basis, this, in order to better protect the public food supply after 9/11. Sorbitol and Mannitol products are required to carry the warning “Excessive consumption may have a laxative effect” if they provide more than 50g and 20g to a daily diet, respectively. The petetion above seeks the same for Maltitol. Check the labeling for gram content and don’t over do it. As mentioned above start small and allow your body to adjust, the side effects may diminish with time and a building of tolerance. If not stop eating it. The labels, if the petition is acted upon, will require a description of the GI side effects and include that children should not consume the products.

  63. Elise says:

    What affect if any does this have on children? Sugar itself can affect childrens behavior. As a result I am attempting to remove sugar from my 11 year olds diet. But I am finding it very challenging. Has there been any studies done on sugar alchohol effect on the behavior of children?

  64. Mike says:

    Because of cancer, I am supposed to stay away from sugar. I thought I had found something I could eat, because it is labeled as having Zero grams of sugar. But, I noticed on the label that it has “sugar alchohol,” and I didn’t know what that was. The product I am referring to is a dark chocolate made by a company named “Carb Safe,” and sold at Trader Joe’s market. One 3 piece serving is listed as having 13 grams of Maltitol. Is that good, or bad in my case? Is it the same as eating sugar?

  65. Frankie says:

    I tried some chocolate bars containing maltitol and my wife threw mw out of the house.
    Gas??? I would win any fart contest in any part of the world.

  66. blane says:

    You should read the label closer. I believe you are talking about MALITOL not MALTITOL. malitol is a chemicaly induced and malTitol is a natural malt sugar alcohol…

  67. Langston says:

    Agave Nectar (can be found at Whole Foods or other health food stores) is a lot better than Stevia because it doesn’t have the strong “licorice” taste that Stevia does but it has the same benefits

  68. Steve says:

    Just ate a lot of sugar free cookies with sorbitol. Gave me farts, and now diarrhea. This is criminal. The damn packaging didn’t even warn me of that.

  69. hairyasian says:

    Thank you very much for this post. I’ve been trying to watch my diet and thought that getting sugar free candy would substitute. The problem is I travel all the time and i’d eat a handful of the candies.. later it felt like World War II in my stomach and you know what happened next. I thought i just had some kind of problem or some stomach flu. I know what the problem is now so thank you very much.

  70. Buffy says:

    Okay here are a couple of my stories having to do with sugar-free items…

    I first started off with sugar free nuts/nut clusters at the store because they didn’t have aspartame in them, so I thought “wow” but had no idea of the “itols” and what they do.

    I would get severe diarrhea, gas, cramps, etc. and then would finally come to realize it was the sugar free chocolates and chocolate covered raisins.

    So after more “experimenting” with the stuff, over the years I find that almost anything sugar free or low carb in it has a “itol” in it which makes me sick to know that people eat it. My mom insists it does nothing to her.

    One time I ate the Sugar Free Safeway brand icecream, a chocolatey one (not realizing to look at the label for an itol in it) and It had SORBITOL in it…well I had to take 5, yes I said 5 anti-diarrhea pills to get my stomach to stop what it was doing and I couldn’t go anywhere I was doubled over in pain. I seriously wanted to sue that company for not warning people…it was horrible and painful and ruined my few days I was on vacation.

    Government needs to make companies have warnings against the “itols” on the front. I’m starting to notice some companies doing it probably b/c they got a few complaints.

    so any sugar free chocolate, chocolate bars, fondues/syrups are out of the question for me and it’s SAD. Even Suzanne somers promotes her Stevia that she makes and her chocolate bars also have “itols” in them causing severe stomach and intestinal distress!

    It would be nice if there was a company that could care less about costs and have some yummy chocolate bars, fudge sauces, etc made with purely splenda or stevia, but not any of the “itols”.

    I usually get my choco fix from 100% dark cocoa powder mixed with stevia or splenda.

    My suggestion to people who get diarrhea, cramps, gas, bloat, etc. and have a reaction to write your govenor about labeling and write the company saying exactly what it did to you and that there was no warning label. I assume this “itol” trend is going to get “caught on” soon and it’ll be out of the market b/c nobody wants to double over in pain.

    Now don’t even get me started about how cheap soy filler is in everything in our grocery stores…

  71. Buffy says:

    Forgot to write:
    Sorbitol gives everyone I know severe diarrhea, cramps, gas and bloat (the whole works) but the main thing is diarrhea.

    Maltitol gives everyone I know gas, from mild to painful. All of the other “itols” usually fall int his zone.

  72. anna says:

    i bought some gum containing erythritol and xylitol the other day. And i only chewed two peices in two days and the past two days i have been breaking out in hives i thought it might be soap. but no it hink it may be the gum. Im still not really sure. all the websites say that allergic reactions to these sugar subs are really rare. I just want to find out what im allergic to!

  73. n says:

    NO KNOWN PROBLEMS WITH SPLENDA??? Give me a break. try looking that crap up, if you like eating bleach then go ahead. I heard that erythritol is a mix of spenda and maltitol. I’ve had no problems with Maltitol, but i guess i’m lucky. i’m not going to keep eating it though because i’m skeptical of all sugar substitutes except for stevia which i think tastes like poop. i can’t stand the taste. still looking…

  74. n says:

    Agave nectar is DISGUSTING!!! Gross! tastes like poison. still looking…

  75. Dee says:

    I have been trying to cut down on my sugar intake.And found Some Imitation Honey made with Malitol Syrup. They should put labels on these products to warn about the reactions that it can cause.
    I have had severe pains & gas . All day & night . I went over the things that I ate that day .All were normal things that I have eaten many times before with no problems.Except the honey. So, I started reading the label on the honey & here i am .
    It should be labled properly !

  76. Nancy says:

    Wow, so glad I found this website/blog! Today I had the worst gas of my life! As you might guess, I ingested ta dah….. MALTILOL! I am at high risk for Type II Diabetes (labs wnl but at top of normal, had labs yesterday and don’t know results yet)and decided yesterday to take the diabetes risk more seriously and to make changes in my diet. I bought more “DandyBlend” (instant roasted dandylion root and chicory which tastes very coffee-like and is naturally pretty sweet especially if made with rice milk; good also with cinnamon). However, visiting my favorite coffe shop which has organic fair-traded coffee,I learned that there aren’t many sugar-free alternatives. (my favorite coffee drinks are white chocolate mochas or almond lattes and also love sweetened creamy chai tea) They suggested two syrups that they had which were sugar-free. I looked at the ingredients and wrote down MALTITOL SYRUP, Monin Gourmet brand syrup because I wasn’t sure what that was and want to avoid aspartame. The mocha tasted great and very chocolately and sweet. A few hours later I started having an uncomfortable stomach, growling and rumbling very loudly then proceeded to have hours of horrific gas- I am not exaggerating- it was so loud, sometimes awful smelling and here it is over 12 hours later and I am still having gas although it is just starting to “quiet-down”. Thank God I didn’t have to work today or go to any events- I don’t think I could have stayed at work- it would have been so embarrassing and unbearable. Plus I was having to go to the bathroom frequently for BM’s some of which were diarrhea-like. (ARE ANY MANUFACTURERS OF MALTITOL OR FDA TYPES READING THIS- I HOPE SO- THERE SHOULD AT LEAST BE A WARNING AND THIS PRODUCT SHOULD PROBABLY BE TAKEN OFF THE MARKET!) I decided to check out maltitol online as I remembered reading about increased gas, etc. with mannitol, xylitol, etc. There’s more to this story: I had a little friend of my daughter’s over today and she was farting away at dinner. Later I asked her if she had gum and she said “yes, I chewed Extra”; I looked that up just now- it has some of the “itol” ingredients. Then I remembered that my older daughter was very uncomfortable last night- stomach ache and headache and also farting- then we remembered she had two pieces of Eclipse gum, she also had some gas and was bad enought last night that I gave her some ?BioK drink to help calm her stomach. In the meantime, my 7 year old started talking about how much she was farting and yes, she also had Eclipse gum.
    Moral of the story,never drink any maltilol products and avoid gum!I have been using stevia (Trader Joes brand)and I like it in tea, chai tea, etc. No licorice taste, it’s pure stevia powder.

  77. Nancy says:

    Update from Nancy: At 4:00 a.m. I was awakened by terrible stomach cramps and called in sick to my workplace. Now it is 11:00 a.m., over 24 hours from initial maltilol ingestion and I still have occasional gas, my stomach is not right and my mouth tastes awful. I called the coffee shop to let them know what happened. They said that almost no one uses the syrup- one woman ordered a drink with it and never requested it again. (I wonder why?) They will probably take it off their shelf of coffee items.

  78. Talla says:

    Hi my name is Talla I am a cancer survivor and did it mainly with changing my lifestyle and diet. I have not had sweetners (except for fruit) for the last year and a half. While I don’t miss it one bit now, I do miss being able to have an apple pie or bannana bread etc. Well I found a cook book that is titled “Sweet and Sugarfree” An All-Natural Fruit-Sweetened Dessert Cookbook, so far I have only made the bannana bread but it is really good. I have learned in the course of my journey that sugar has the addictive properties of cocaine and that if it has sugar in it or sweetners people buy and the big companies make money off of that “legal” addiction. When I broke myself of the addiction it took 10 weeks, herbal medication to help me detox and lots of prayer. It was the hardest thing I have ever done but I am cancer free and I am healthier than I have ever been in my life. I also dropped eighty pounds without dieting or exerise! (and not from the cancer either.) I know its hard but my recommendation is to stop looking for a sugar substitute and break the addiction your body will evetually thank you for it. This has been an enlightening and amazing journey for me and I will never eat sugar again.

  79. Tim says:

    Just to note that Stevia and it’s derivitives are not permitted in the UK or EU due to the fact that they have been classed as unsafe.

  80. George Fox says:

    Four of us ate sugar free birthday cake sweetened with maltitol. Two of us have diabetes.
    One person had a mild case of diarrhea, one was so sick from diarrhea she was unable to work the next day, I had the same problem and with my stomach being upset for 4 or 5 days. The 4th person didn’t eat much and was not bothered.
    I have diabetes and from now on, I’m staying away from such sugar free products.

  81. Randy says:

    Had Protein Plus protein bar that has Maltitol and noticed that I get unbearable gas pains after I eat it. My stomach feels like it’s going to explode. My farts are lethal. DO NOT COMSUME!!!

  82. Monika says:

    I’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes so decided to try and get off the sugar. Very hard since I have such an addiction. To start with I purchased Stevia for coffee and tea. Apparently one packet equals 2 tsp of sugar. Not so. I put in another and another and another. My coffee was barely sweet. Does anyone know whether Stevia loses it’s potency in hot liquids or could it be the brand I bought? I finally gave up and used Sugar Twin.

    PS: It also states on the Stevia box not to use more than 20 packets a day and to consult a physician if you are taking high blood pressure medication. Also there is the potential of gastrointestinal upset, headache and dizziness. I seems everything has risks.

  83. sarah says:

    wow, so interesting guys. I had sugar free gummy bears several times now and every time I got sick from them, so I googled the main ingredient (maltitol) and landed on this page. I am going to pay more attention to the ingredients now and stay away from it. Something that gives you such severe gas and cramps cannot be good for you.

  84. Adriana II says:

    I now live in Europe. Here some maltitol products packages say you should eat small amounts only as maltitol causes discomfort in the digestive system. Whenever I eat a medium sized bar of chocolate with maltitol (because I cannot control my craving, even if I know too much is bad) I feel dizzy and have stomach discomfort (although no diarrhea or gas). However a small amount does not have much of an effect on me. Unfortunately Stevia does not stop my cravings. It’s not a sugar substitute for me, sigh!
    Regarding honey – eat RAW, unheated honey. There are some US websites that sell good raw honey. I used to order it when I lived in the US. Raw honey is safe for type II diabetes. Its glucose is in a form that gets absorbed by the body instantly without staying in the blood. In addition good honey has anti-cancer effects. If you can get the honeycomb caps (mix of wax, honey, propolis, pollen and, yes, an occasional piece of insect), get it, it’s very beneficial and has anti-cancer properties.
    A cheaper alternative will probably be to just find beekepers and make sure you get the honey in the raw and unfiltered. You also need to make sure they never feed the bees sugar It is best to get honey from colder climates, since heat destroys some of the health benefits.
    Honey bought in stores is pasteurized, filtered – dead.Stay away from it!

  85. Gayle says:

    Maltitol = The devil’s sweetener. I made the mistake of eating some sugar-free jelly beans made with maltitol a few hours ago. What a mistake!! I have had servere gas, diarrhea and cramping within the hour of consuming the maltitol. I couldn’t imagine having to be on a plane, in a meeting or working under these conditions. My stomach is rumbling something terrible. The diarrhea is of an uncontrollable nature. Stay away from this stuff, unless you know how to handle it. I will be throwing the rest of my sugar-free candy stash out. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

  86. Colorado says:

    I have eaten many products with Manitol, and I have had no adversere reactions. Just because a food may cause some people, or even many people, degrees of distress does not mean it is a dangerous product of a corporate/government conspiracy to poison the public. Some people can react poorly to virtually any food on the market. Learn your tolerances, and act accordingly.

  87. JJ says:

    can diabetes use fructose?
    will it raise cholestrol?

  88. Karen says:

    I had some sugar free jelly bellys I bought at the airport just last week. I was sick as I have ever been on that plane…severe cramping, bloating and vomiting. I normally have a very tolerant stomach and a strong constitution, so Maltitol must be bad. I agree with some of the others here…it can’t be good, is even dangerous, and it really should be taken off the market.

    So I’m sorry, “Colorado,” but fresh foods don’t normally make people sick like that. We shouldn’t have to test eat products to see if they will make us sick before consuming them. BTW, there was no warning on the bag whatsoever that it could cause stomach distress.

  89. Kath says:

    Has anyone ever had maltitol linger in their teeth? I ate some Nips parfaits many days ago & have a lingering sweetness in my teeth that becomes more pronounced whenever I eat. ecch

    Does this stuff not break down or digest?

  90. kristy says:

    Maltitol is nothing but crap. Supposedly it won’t affect you unless you eat “excessive amounts”, and yet I had the worst stomach cramping/pain of my entire life after eating only TEN (I counted) sugar-free chocolate covered raisins. I’m also pissed that the company that manufactures them didn’t even put a warning label that stands out on the container. It’s at the very bottom of the ingredient list in tiny print you can hardly read….no bold font or anything, it doesn’t stand out whatsoever. Unfortunately I have heard of sorbitol and malitol, just not MALTitol. I’m never eating anything with ingredients that end in -itol ever again.

  91. Pam says:

    Wow is all I have to say. I am a food science major who worked with maltitol all summer and to think that consumers are this clueless is apalling to me. I was aware that most people have no idea what functions particular ingredients perform in food items, but this was eye opening. Are the manufacturers supposed to put in big letters-MAY HAvE A LAXATIVE EFFECT. Can’t consumers take some responsibility and have the initiative to research additives on their own? This one little, one sided article produced all this fuss and gained all this response how? just wow……wow

  92. Billy says:

    Maltitol is not good for me.
    You might try “Just like Sugar”. This is all natural and the GI index very low. It has no side effects. I am a diabetic and it works. Check out the web site for just like sugar.

  93. Barb D'Angelo says:

    I can eat anything but mangoes (give me a skin rash) but 20 minutes after eating a blueberry pie from whole foods with maltitol (I didn’t know it was a sugar free item), my face and throat began to swell, resulting is slurred speech and a novacaine-like feeling in my face. The local emergency room tried to admit me, but I finally found an urgent care office open. (That saved about $4000 dollars because I have no health insurance.) I don’t know if it was maltitol, but everything else I ate were leftovers from T-giving, and I had eaten them uneventfully the day before. Two days later, my face is still puffy and I feel some nausea (maybe from taking 5 benadryls to stop the allergic reaction.

  94. Robin Bray says:

    I wasn’t sure if Misty’s question about Maltitol and candida diet was every really answered, but because it takes longer to absorb into the bloodstream it ferments in the gut which cause all the gastric effects. Anything that is either fermented or becomes fermented is just another meal for the yeastie beasties…..I didn’t know that erythritol was a fermented product until I read it here. It makes sense though, sorry to say. I think we need to stick to Stevia and hope that someone comes up with a way to market something for our sweetooth. In the meantime, using cocoa and stevia is one way to satisfy the chocolate cravings….I hope that this helps a little, but unfortunately not great news for all of us who are trying to fight the yeast and the sweet cravings at the same time! I have been purchasing books with Stevia dessert recipes like crazy! I hope this info will help someone to avoid making the mistake I made with maltitol. I triggered a gastitis attack that lasted months and couldn’t eat a thing because of the pain…. God Bless everyone who is trying to erradicate the yeast from their bodies! It’s a hard road, but it can be done. Hang in there and have faith. A new you will emerge and you will feel better than you ever thought possible. You will find that the yeast has been living inside of you for alot longer than you ever realized!I even stopped having panic attacks as the yeast died off. Most of all, know that you aren’t alone and so many of us are in this together! Love to all of you that are fighting the yeast war…..

  95. stevea says:

    Learn some organic chemistry or stop spouting off in ignorance. Maltitol, xylitol, etc *ARE* a sugar alcohols.

    Yes they all give me diahrrea after only 15-30 grams.

  96. daenmgoenl says:

    I agree with you completely, stevea. Mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt, maltitol, erythritol are all sugar alcohols and for me, any of these are as deadly as they are for you.

    What makes me so angry is that anyone who calls herself/himself a doctor on the Internet all use the words “excessive consumption.” Just what is considered excessive consumption? — 3 or 4 pieces of hard candy give me diarrhea, stomach pains and gas. I am an avid label reader and stay away from anything ending in “tol” and isomalt

  97. Tess says:

    This is my first pregnancy and I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and so have to do insulin shots and test my blood sugar after each meal. I have done well on a low carb diet but one day when I was on the road and was tempted by a chocolate shop, I stopped in for some ‘sugar-free’ chocolate. It had maltitol and I wasn’t aware of the side effects such as diarrhea.

    Anyway, the sad part is, is that when it came time to test my blood sugar after my meal, it was surprisingly high! When I went in to my doctor and dietician, they told me that maltitol has a delayed effect on blood sugar levels and is usually reveals just as bad as regular sugar.

    I have been sticking to sucralose and aspartame after that which have worked well.

  98. Blah Blah Black Sheep says:

    Stick with Stevia. Folks who have sugar cravings usually have diabetic tendancies, yeast infections (either beginnings or acute), altered brain chemistry (EG: not producing enough seratonin) or others things that won’t do well by adding more sugar to the issue (even if it’s sugar alcohols).

    There’s starting to be some products showing up using Stevia as the main sweetner. You have to go to your local yuppy/hippy health store to find them, though.

    “Zevia” is a diet soda that uses stevia as the sweetner. It’s expensive, but tasty. It works well for a “sugar hit”.

    Beware of “low carb” foods that are starting to tout using Splenda as their sweetner … most still use sugar alcohols as their primary sweetner with just a little Splenda added in for advertising purposes.

    If you get the farts or scoots from eating sugar alcohol foods, it’s a good sign you have some bowel issues, like either yeast overgrowth or bacterial dysbiosis. You should cut out the carbs, and eat a 50% mean/fat + 50% green veggie diet. If you really want to crash-course, go on a week long green-veggie-only diet. Just stock up on a bunch of microwaveable froze broccoli, green beans, etc and eat them morning, noon and night. This will run your system “clean”, and you’ll feel the difference. It’s good to do a week long veggie diet every 6 months or so just to clean things out.

    The glycemic index is a useful tool, but not by itself. As others have mentioned, a foods nutritional content is ignored in the glycemic index (EG: white potatoes have lots of nutrition even though they index at 150), and eating the foods with other things slows digestion.

    Each person needs their own diet, but general rules of thumb should be…

    If you gain weight easily, don’t mix carbs and fats at the same meal. (Eat carbs at meals by themself, and stick to just 1 carb meal a day, the other 2 being protein + fats. Eat green veggies at each meal.) “Hard Losers” have over-active insulin. Carbs ramp up your insulin, and any fat in the meal will get stored immediately into your fat cells. If you eat too many carb meals, too, your muscle & organ glycogen stores (the storage form of carbs for quick energy) don’t have time to deplete, so excess carbs just jack up blood sugar into danger levels, get converted to triglycerides and stored off into fat cells. Triglycerides require LDL cholesterol to get transported (where as protein requires HDL). That’s why “hard losers” who pork up on high carb, high fat diets always have high triglycerides and LDL levels … they go hand in hand (along with hardened arteries, since too much LDL cholesterol can damage the arteries, and the platelettes trying to heal them clog up the arteries). By sticking to just one carb meal a day, you give your glycogen stores plenty of time to deplete so a high carb meal (very low in fat & protein) will convert and get stored as glycogen, not fat. Unfortunately, most folks want to eat fat with their carbs (pasta, donuts, cake, cookies), but those are the exact combinations that cause “Hard Losers” to gain weight … fat + carbs at the same meal for a “Hard Loser” is a death sentence. You should cut out the sugars for carbs, since sugars break down to mostly replenish liver glycogen stores (and the liver can only hold the equivilent of 2 pieces of fruit of glycogen), where as the muscles hold 80% of glycogen, but primarily get fueled up from complex carbs turning into glycogen. Stick with nutritionally dense carbs, like beans, and avoid grains since grains offer less nutrition for the calories, and wheat especially (wheat gluten) screws with insulin metabolism.

    If you have a hard time gaining weight, eat carbs and fats (and protein) at the same meal. The carbs will ramp up your insuling into a “normal” zone where you’ll burn both the carbs and fat as energy while using the protein for building instead of energy. “Hard Gainers” need more carbs to keep up their insulin, since it doesn’t respond as wildly as a “Hard Losers”. “Hard Gainers” should try to avoid ketogenic diets, unless they’re eating a lot of fat along with the protein in order to spare muscle protein from being metabolized as energy. Unfortunately, “Hard Losers” probably can’t meet the fat requirements to be able to do a protein+fat diet alone, thus they need to keep some carbs in their diet. “Hard Gainers” are almost like diabetics, except that instead of their body not producing or responding to their insulin, their body just doesn’t produce much insulin or is just very efficient at using what it has. That’s why these folks are the “eat anything they want” skinny folks. But if they eat crap food (fast food, junk food, etc), while they don’t gain weight they will usually have some other nasty side-effect, like horrible acne, seizures, etc. You should eat carbs, but cut out the sugar and focus on the more nutritionally dense carbs, like beans and potatoes (no, french fries don’t count).

    Last but not least, everyone should just say “no” to artifical sweeteners like Aspartame, Splenda, Saccharine, etc. They screw with your endocrine system, causing more hunger and addiction withdrawal symptoms (not to sound conspiracy theorist, but that’s exactly why the product companies like using them … so you’ll keep on being hooked on their diet soda or what not … and keep on porking up on other foods since the fake sweetners cause hunger cravings and binge eating, which keeps you fat, which keeps you consuming diet foods in an attempt to reduce calories in other areas of your life to make up for the uncontrollable binge eating. It’s a vicious cycle.)

  99. Blah Blah Black Sheep says:

    Side note … in the paragraph that talks about “Hard Losers” … any time I said “Hard Gainer” I actually meant “Hard Loser” … that whole pargraph was about Hard Losers themselves.

  100. Helen says:

    I have candida and have been searching for a sugar free cookie to eat. I found some and thought they were fabulous – however, I am starting to have a terrible reaction and researched the ingredients and realized that maltitol may be causing the bloating, swelling, pain and overall rock-like feeling in my gut!

    If you have a yeast allergey or intolerance you would best be served to stay away from anything with this ingredient in it!

  101. Jen says:

    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!!!

  102. andrea says:

    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!

  103. Diane says:

    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.

  104. Lou Ella says:

    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.

  105. Eleanor says:

    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

  106. fran says:

    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.

  107. Kimberley says:

    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.

  108. Yolanda says:

    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.

  109. Kent J says:

    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…

  110. Jen says:

    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.

  111. chrissy says:

    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?

  112. Naybe says:

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

  113. jena says:

    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

  114. billy says:

    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.

  115. MG says:

    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.

  116. Shannon says:

    “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.”

  117. Kathy says:

    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

  118. Sandra says:

    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.

  119. Laura says:

    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!

  120. Freeda says:

    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.

  121. Denis Drew says:

    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.

  122. Sue says:

    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.

  123. Locke says:

    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.

  124. Bookworm says:

    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!

  125. Christine says:

    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.

  126. Francis says:

    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…

  127. Tommy G says:

    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.

  128. Karen Bradshaw says:

    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!!!

  129. Terri says:

    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.

  130. Steve says:

    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)

  131. Dhananjay says:

    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

  132. Leslie says:

    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.

  133. S says:

    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.

  134. Heather says:

    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”

  135. Rumi says:

    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?

  136. Ted says:

    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.

  137. darrell says:

    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.

  138. Lissa Lyon says:

    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

  139. Sabine says:

    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

  140. JohnZimmerman says:

    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.

  141. alison says:

    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

  142. sam says:

    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.

  143. John Parker says:

    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.

  144. Katie says:

    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.

  145. Char13 says:

    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.

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