Is maltitol considered a diabetes-friendly ingredient?
Maltitol is part of a group of reduced-calorie sweeteners called “sugar alcohols”. Sugar alcohols do not actually have any alcohol in them. They are often substituted in foods for regular sugar. Sometimes they are called low- or reduced-calorie sweeteners. Maltitol is used to sweeten some desserts and chewing gum.
Even though sugar alcohols are made from different types of sugar and starch, they usually have about half the calories. So, they may be helpful in weight management if someone is trying to cut down on calories. They also have a much smaller effect on blood glucose levels so they may help with diabetes management when they replace sugar or starch.
See our page on sugar alcohols to learn more about how to adjust carbohydrate counting when a food product has more than 5 grams of sugar alcohols listed on the label.
Remember, products that have maltitol or other sugar alcohols in them should not be considered “free foods”. You should still check labels carefully for the amount of total carbohydrates and calories.
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