Protein bars with low sugar content: let's look at polyols or sugar alcohols
At a time of fierce competition in the sports nutrition and active lifestyle aids sector, along with the growing number of people who deliberately choose a healthy lifestyle, brands must offer consumers dietary supplements and snacks that have not only excellent taste, but also nutritional value.
Polyols are one of the ingredients that are increasingly used in the production of protein bars. But what are these polyols? These are hydrogenated carbohydrates, which are used as a substitute for sugar, which can be naturally found in fruits and berries.
Polyols are sugar-free sweeteners. Polyols are carbohydrates, but not sugars. They are used in exactly the same quantities as sugars, unlike acesulfame potassium, aspartame, saccharin and sucralose, which are used in very small quantities in production.
Sugar substitutes (polyols) contain fewer calories per gram than sugar, do not cause tooth decay and sudden increases in blood glucose levels. Since they give a really good taste, people can diversify a healthy diet without excluding the sweet taste from the daily diet.
Advantages of products containing polyols over products containing sugar:
- Does not promote the formation of caries (dental health-friendly);
- Low glycemic index (important for people with diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular diseases);
- Low energy value (especially important for your diet, reducing calorie intake);
- Slowly soluble carbohydrates.
However, since polyols are classified as slow-soluble carbohydrates, it is recommended to use no more than 40-50 g of polyol-containing products per day for adults, or 30 g of polyols per day, to avoid discomfort in the stomach-intestinal tract.
Symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort, if any, are usually mild and temporary. If a person's digestive system is more sensitive, it should consume a smaller amount of polyol-containing products. Most people usually adapt within a few days, similar to eating fiber-rich products. People who have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to doctors' instructions, should include in their diet a very small amount of low-fat foods containing polyols and gradually increase their amount.
The use of polyols in food development seems to be becoming increasingly common with the aim of reducing sugar and thus attracting more consumers. For athletes who consume large amounts of energy during the day, consuming snacks with more sugar will definitely not mean the end of the world, but will help restore muscle fibers as well as reserves of strength and energy. However, consumers should bear in mind the side effects of a large amount of polyols in the diet.
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