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Are Sugar Alcohols Safe?

What You Need to Know

Sugar alcohols have been used for years. After careful review, scientists have concluded that they are safe for human consumption. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies some sugar alcohols as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and others are approved as "food additives."

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to pregnancy and children. Women with gestational diabetes, diabetes mellitus, or insulin resistance related to other medical conditions should limit their intake of nutritive sweeteners like sugar alcohols. Likewise, because sugar alcohols may bypass initial steps in digestion (similarly to fiber), excess intake may trigger gas production or a laxative effect and can even cause diarrhea-especially in children.

Whether or not you will experience problems will depend on your individual sensitivity level and the other foods you consume at the same time. It is best to find your individual tolerance level when using these food ingredients, and to avoid them if they cause discomfort.
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About The Author

Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. She teaches prenatal classes and counsels individuals, helping women eat right and stay fit before, during and after their pregnancies.
Becky Hand

Member Comments

KAT7777
Ms. Hand,
The "Comments" option was not available for your article on HFCS highlighted today on SparkPeople. As this article is nearly nine years old, please consider updating it to incorporate more research. In particular, since this is a controversial topic, it would be appropriate to mention the research against HFCS. Please do not assume that the AMA is completely objective and unbiased; they too have their outside influences. Consider reviewing the work by Dr. Robert Lustig, Pediatric Endocrinologist at UCSF.
Sugar the Bitter Truth: https://www.youtu
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v=dBnniua6-oM&t=525s
Updated: https://www.youtu
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Respectfully, K Report