A Look Into Sugar-Free Sensitivities

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Breaking Down Sugar Alternatives

Isn’t it great that we’ve now come into a world where we can enjoy our guilty pleasure snacks, guilt-free? Many products these days are touting zero calorie alternatives to our original goal busting options. From coke zero to sugar-free options of our favourite candy, it seems we can now enjoy treats without blowing our diet.

Some people may not be as lucky, though. It seems like many people are experiencing sensitivities to many commonly used artificial sweeteners. We were scrolling Amazon the other day when a sugar-free candy alternative caught our eye. Many reviewers raved about these candies stating:

"They taste just like the original!"

"So soft and fresh!"

Yum. And then… dun dun dun. Scroll down a little bit further and a different truth comes out:

"Doubles as an effective colon cleanse. You will almost certainly have explosive diarrhea if you eat more than a serving or two. Thinking about going for a run after a delicious snack? Don't."

"DO. NOT. BUY. ! I’ve been unable to move off the toilet for 24 hours."

So, maybe not-so sweet then?

While the reviews gave us a chuckle – we’re laughing with these reviewers, not at them. We wanted to do some research as to what could cause such gastric distress. Which is when we learned that different sweeteners affect your digestive tract differently.

Mostly Gut Friendly Sweeteners

These sweeteners are touted for being the easiest on the vast majority of tummies and are most easily absorbed into our digestive tracts.

  • Glucose
  • Sucrose (white sugar, table sugar, cane syrup, maple syrup)
  • Maltose (brown rice syrup)
  • Stevia
  • Monkfruit extract
  • Aspartame
Potentially Triggering
  • Sorbitol
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Xylitol
  • Lactitol
  • Maltodextrin

Alrighty then! These sweeteners, often simply labelled as “sugar alcohols” may wreak havoc on our digestive system because they are difficult for our guts to absorb. The reason they are used so readily today is because they are a low-calorie option to sugar – if we can’t absorb them, then we can’t access their calories. The larger quantity you’re consuming the more likely you are to realize the negative impacts.

If you’re on a low-carbohydrate diet or looking to cut back on sugar then reading the ingredient list can go a long way to making sure you’re maximizing taste and minimizing trips to the bathroom.

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