Sugar substitutes

Sugar substitutes (polyols) are sugar-free sweeteners. They are carbohydrates yet they are not sugars. Polyols are used mostly in confectionery, food, oral care, pharmaceutical, and industrial applications.

The most widely used sugar substitutes are:

  • erythritol
  • isomalt
  • lactitol
  • maltitol
  • mannitol
  • sorbitol
  • xylitol

Low-calorie, sugar-free polyols have many health advantages compared to sugar:

  • Polyols taste like sugar, but have fewer calories than sugar.
  • Polyols are toothfriendly.
  • Polyols produce a low glycemic response.

Foods that contain sugar substitutes should be consumed in moderate amounts. For some individuals, over consumption of polyol-containing foods (about 50 grams of polyols or more per day) may cause laxative effects similar to prunes, beans or certain high-fibre foods.


More information on sugar substitutes are provided at: