I was browsing through the The Ultimate Lekker Low Carb Dessert Guide available from the Lekker Sweets website on my search for a delightful (and quite angelically harmless) bite of deliciousness.
My interest was piqued by the “sugarless sugar of your choice” that is understandably part of most of the recipes’ ingredient lists. What is out there and which one actually tastes good? I don’t know about you but I find some of these sugar substitutes to taste almost metallic and do not make me reach for another sip of my artificially sweetened coffee – so how much more important to find a good tasting one for a mouth-watering dessert!
I quickly came across sugar alcohol – a bit of a misleading name as it seems to refer to a sweet stiff drink… Sugar alcohol is produced from berries, fruit and other plant products. Then, through a chemical process, the carbs are altered. Sugar alcohols include Xylitol, Isomalt, Sorbitol and Glycerol. These products are commonly labelled assugar free but misleadingly so! The label should be studied to see if there is an amount of sugar alcohol as those carbs should be counted in when on a controlled low carb diet/Diabetic diet. My research has shown me the reality of sugar alcohols in a controlled diet. Sugar alcohol actually only has a 50% impact – meaning that only 50% of the carbs are so significantly reduced to warrant the sugar free/low carb advertising it promotes. So you are still stuck with half of the carbs! And the worst thing is that these are not shown openly on the packaging so if you count the sugar/carbs as zero, your blood sugar levels will be much higher than you had accounted for in your daily meal planning! So in practice, check the label for Total Carbohydrates under which sub headings are found such assugar and sugar alcohol. If you want to work out how your blood sugar will be affected, use this mathematical formula:
Total Carbs – Sugar Alcohol + 50% of the Sugar Alcohol (that you need to add back as in actuality only 50% is no longer present) – Fibre = The Total Impact of the Product.
One last thing that might be worth mentioning is that sugar alcohols are notoriously known for its nasty side effect of sending you to the bathroom…
One star in the sugar alcohol world seems to be Erythritol. It has almost no calories, has a zero glycemic index and does not seem to affect the blood sugar level! Furthermore, it seems to not cause the digestive issues associated with sugar alcohols. Definitely worth trying!
My favourite that I have found so far is Natreen. And, will you believe it, it has 0% calories. No carbs. No stress. Natreen can be found in 3 forms: Tablets, liquids and powder. Personally I love baking with the drops. There are no carbs in the drops! The powder also works effectively but has a small amount of carbs/calories present. And equally as important, the taste is not too far from the good ol’ sugar taste. Friends that have tasted the baked goodness (seriously goodness) did not realise any difference and could not believe how deliciously scrumptious a “diet dessert” could be, if you have to term it.
I’ll blog back soon.