Sugar free chocolate and the “laxative effect”

Pieces of chocolate
From flickr timsackton

Yes, I know. Giving up chocolate or even severely cutting-back is a really hard thing for a hypoglycemic.

But now that there’s sugar free chocolate, you can eat all you want, right???  Not so fast. You need to be VERY aware of what we hypoglycemics like to call the “laxative effect.”

Candy makers have to still make sugar-free chocolate  minus the sugar still taste good. So, they use mannitol, sorbitol and/or xylitol, which are sugar alcohols that the human body cannot digest.  So, yep, if you eat too much of it, you are going to get sick.  And this goes for all kinds of sugar free products including baked goods.

So how much can you eat? I found this statement on many websites (but was unable to verify it on the American Dietetic Association’s website): The American Dietetic Association advises that more than 50 grams of sorbitol or 20 grams of mannitol per day can cause diarrhea.

For me, it’s just a rule of thumb not to eat more than two small pieces of the sugar free chocolate or to only have a very small piece of cake/baked good that is sugar free.

Also, don’t forget that sugar free doesn’t mean calorie free or fat free. You can still gain weight by eating sugar free products.

 

For more information, I recommend this article: 

The Dieter’s (and Diabetic Person’s) Guide to Buying Chocolate

 

You might also be interested in: 

Pillsbury Sugar Free Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix review

Black Bean Brownies

Outline of a hypoglycemic diet

Travel tips for hypoglycemics and healthy eaters

How I lost the weight (and keep it off)!

 

Up-to-date information on hypoglycemia

This blog reflects my journey of learning and understanding hypoglycemia. This means that some of my older posts may have information that is out-of-date as I’ve learned more or research has changed. For the most updated macro-level information on living with hypoglycemia, please visit Up-to-date info on hypoglycemia (start here) page.

If you’re curious if the information in a particular post is still accurate, please feel free to leave a comment on the post asking and I’ll respond letting you know if there is any updated information.

Thanks for reading!

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Laura says:

    I’ve had a similar reaction to sucralose (Splenda) causing cramping and nausea. I’m sticking to dextrose/saccharin in Sweet N Low for flavoring my tea and aspartame for diet drinks.

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