Polyols are a collective name for various natural sugar substitutes. Using this as a substitute for sugar has many advantages. These sweeteners contain twice as less calories as sugar. The polyol erythritol even contains no calories at all.
Polyols are natural sugar substitutes. They are non-intense sweeteners. Sweeteners are substances that are added to foods to make them sweeter. Polyols are the collective name for various sweeteners: sorbitols, mannitol, isomalt, polyglycitol syrup, maltitols, lacitol, xylitol and erythritol. The taste of polyols is very similar to that of sugar and they have no aftertaste. Polyols occur in nature and are extracted from various natural fruits. Think of plants and trees, fruit and mushrooms. Another name is sugar alcohols. Yet this has nothing to do with alcohol. It is purely an indication of a chemical composition common to polyols. So sugar alcohols are not chemical.
The natural sugar substitutes have been assessed as safe for consumption by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). That sweeteners are harmful to health is based on wrong conclusions and careless studies. The EFSA has established a maximum permitted level, so that you do not ingest too much of it with normal consumption. According to the Nutrition Center there is no reason to avoid sweeteners from a health point of view. However, excessive use can have a laxative effect. This warning is on products that contain more than 10% added polyols.
Just like sugar, polyols fall under carbohydrates. However, they are not so-called net carbohydrates*. You will find the sugar substitutes on the labels of low-carbohydrate products. The sugar substitute belongs to the indigestible carbohydrates that you subtract from the number of calories you ingest. It leaves our body again through the urine. As a result, they provide much less energy than sugar. Erythritol is the only polyol that has no calorie content. This is beneficial if you are on a diet, but also if you want to watch your blood sugar level.
*Net carbs are total carbs minus polyols. In a diet bar with 14 grams of carbohydrates, of which 6 grams are polyols, the number of net carbohydrates is 8 grams (14-6).
The polyol erythritol has no influence on the metabolism in our body. This makes it a perfect sugar substitute for diabetics. In addition, consumption of erythritol has no effect on blood sugar levels, unlike sugar.
The use of polyols over sugar has many advantages: