The Scoop: Sugar Alcohols

Oct 4, 2022
This week, we are bringing back the Trash Panda Scoop: Sugar Alcohols edition. Check out our last scoop on artificial sweeteners here. Our mission at Trash Panda App is transparency - making sure everyone understands the ingredients in the foods we eat. So let’s get into the truth about sugar alcohols!

What are Sugar Alcohols?

Sugar alcohols are found in many processed and packaged foods, generally in foods labeled as “sugar-free.” Much like artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols are used as a substitute for sugar, because they contain fewer calories. A lot of the time, sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners are used together, to make food taste sweeter. Sugar alcohols also do not cause cavities like normal sugars can, which is why they are commonly found in toothpaste, mouthwash, and gum as well.

What are some of the most common sugar alcohols?

Some of the most common sugar alcohols are:
Tap the links to learn more about each ingredient!

Where do we find them?

The most common products that sugar alcohols can be in found are; hard candies, cookies, chewing gums, soft drinks, throat lozenges, toothpaste, mouthwash, and many products that claim to be “sugar-free.” You should also be on the lookout for sugar alcohols in foods that are labeled “Keto.” Below we have provided some examples of products where these ingredients can be found!

How to avoid them?

Sugar alcohols are generally found in products that are labeled as sugar-free and Keto. To avoid them, make sure you are using the Trash Panda app to help point out when these ingredients are used in food. It’s typically better to avoid these more highly processed options and eat foods made with real ingredients, even if they contain some sugar.

Why do we flag them?

When it comes to why we flag sugar alcohols, each ingredient has its reasoning. In most of the ingredients that were listed above, we have flagged them because they can cause digestive issues and discomfort such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and stomach pain. People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or an intolerance to FODMAPs should be especially careful when consuming foods containing sugar alcohols and should likely try to avoid them altogether.
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