Monday, October 31, 2011

Sugar Free Candy - Pros and Cons

 If you're wondering whether sugar free candy is an option for you, here are a few points to ponder:

  • Sugar free candy will provide fewer carbs and calories than regular candy, although sometimes just slightly fewer. So if you're watching carbs or calories, you still need to be mindful not to overdo it. Read the nutrition label in order to keep track of how many total carbs and calories you take in.
  •  Sugar alcohols (like maltitol) are often used in sugar free candy. While sugar alcohols are great for lowering the carbohydrates and calories in a food -- they contain 1-4x less calories than sugar -- they also have some possible negatives. The most common negative side effect is bloating and diarrhea. The American Diabetes Association claims that sugar alcohols are acceptable in a moderate amount, but should not be eaten in excess. So, it really depends on how well you tolerate them as to whether or not you can eat them.
  • Sugar free doesn't mean fat free. Sugar free chocolate candies in particular may be high in saturated fat, which is found in cocoa butter. So be especially mindful when eating sugar free chocolates if you have heart disease, are overweight, have diabetes, or have any other reason to be careful about your fat intake. 
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