Sorbitol is a type of sugar replacement; it has no calories and is often used as a sweetener because sorbitol is undetectable by humans at low concentrations. Sounds too good to be true right, well there are several things you should know about sorbitol before you make it your table sugar replacement of choice. So whether you decide to consume sorbitol or not learn the secrets of sorbitol here first.
What is Sorbitol? What Foods Contain Sorbitol?
Sorbitol occurs naturally in many types of fruit and can be used as a sugar substitute. Many processed food products also contain sorbitol. In fact, sorbitol foods are one of the most common among industrially processed foods and diet drinks.
What Does Sorbitol Taste Like?
You can find sorbitol in products like sugar-free chewing gum, sorbitol drinks, sorbitol candies, sorbitol cookies, sorbitol jams, and jellies. Sorbitol is about 1/2 as sweet as sugar but it has 1/3 of the calories, which means it makes food much sweeter on a per calorie basis than sugar!
Why do Packaged Foods Companies Like Foods High In Sorbitol?
It’s a lower-calorie option for people who crave sweets, but that’s not all. Since it’s not sugar, foods that contain it are still “sugar free” which means they are more attractive as they do not cause cavities or produce the high blood sugar levels that table sugar does.
It’s also sold on its own as a laxative because it absorbs water during digestion. This water absorption promotes bowel movements and can be used to fight constipation.
Is Sorbitol Safe?
Yes, the FDA has approved sorbitol for consumption along with eight other sugar alcohols;
- hydrogenated starch hydrolysates
What are the Negative Effects of Sorbitol? Irritable Bowel Syndrome?!
Sorbitol is a water-soluble fermentable carbohydrate, commonly known as a polyol (notice most of the other sugar alcohols end in -ol). Sorbitol may cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal difficulties if consumed in excess.
As mentioned before, sorbitol can also be used as a laxative. This is why products containing high amounts of sorbitol carry warnings to this effect. While useful to fight constipation it should be used carefully.
How Much Sorbitol is Too Much?
Sorbitol is an approved food additive and has been designated as safe to consume by the FDA and other health agencies around the world. However, studies have noted some people with a sorbitol intolerance experience the negative symptoms of sorbitol consumption at doses as low as 10 g/day
The FDA requires food labels on sorbitol-containing foods that might cause you to consume more than 50 g of sorbitol in one day.
Is Sorbitol OK If I’m Dieting?
Sorbitol is allowed on most diets, however, if you are following the Low FODMAP Diet, (Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides And Polyols) diet, food sources of sorbitol are monitored because sorbitol is a type of polyol. The Low FODMAP diet is usually for people avoiding IBS, but if you’re not overly concerned about that and haven’t had any problems before sorbitol should be fine in everyday amounts.
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that can be natural, or synthetic. Sorbitol is half as sweet as sugar but has far fewer calories, so it’s a popular sugar substitute. Sorbitol is safe, but too much can produce a laxative effect or lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Hope you learned something new today about sorbitol. Comment and share if you found it interesting, or know someone who might!