Odor Control Products
For Those Who Care!

Diet Resolutions

More than half the population will resolve to go on a diet and will many will choose a high fiber diet. They want to go on a high fiber diet but know it affects their digestion system in a way that others do not like.

A high fiber diet produces more gas than a low fiber diet or a low carbohydrate diet. A high fiber diet has a mixed blessing. It produces a soft stool, protects against colon cancer, and against heart disease and stroke. The downside is that it can produce a lot of gas. The reason behind this is similar to the explanation of excessive gas of a vegetarian. (The fiber or cellulose gets to the colon in an undigested state and the bacteria there feast on it)

Unfortunately, healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes (beans and peas) are often the worst offenders. That's because these foods are high in fiber. Fiber has many health benefits, including keeping your digestive tract in good working order, regulating blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Many will buy sugar-free products that use sugar alcohol as a sweetener and eliminating carbohydrates. There are some claims that sugar alcohols don't have carbs, and therefore don't count; that they can be completely subtracted if listed on the label. This statement is not entirely "false" but it is misleading. Sugar alcohols do have carbs, and approx. 1/2 to 3/4 the calories of regular sugar. They are more slowly and incompletely absorbed from the small intestine than sugar, thus producing a much smaller and slower rise in blood sugar ... and consequently insulin.

Sugar alcohols do have carb calories, and the body will use these as fuel, or store as fat, whether or not insulin is involved. You need to look at the total CALORIES for one serving of the product. Subtract from this total the number of calories from any protein in the product (prot = 4 cal. per gm), then subtract the calories from any FAT in the product (fat = 9 cal. per gm). What's left is the calories from carbohydrate ... divide this remainder by 4 (carbs = 4 cal. per gm). If the number you get is bigger than the number of carbs declared on the label, the product has hidden carbs, and it's most likely the polyol. Calories do not just disappear into thin air!

The "laxative effect" of sugar-free products happens for two reasons. First, because the sugar alcohols are not completely absorbed, they hold on to a lot of water in the bowel. This causes diarrhea. Another consequence is that when undigested carbs reach the colon, the normal bacteria present there go WILD --- resulting in unpleasant gas, and bloating. Sorbitol and mannitol are the worst offenders in this department, maltitol less so. The effect is dose-related -- you would be wise to pay attention to the serving size listed on the product label. Sometimes, overdose will cause addiction.

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