Question: Dear Luise: How can Maltitol be legal when it makes people so sick? I am not a diabetic but I have always had terrible sugar cravings. So I’m always trying to find sugar-free treats. Most of them contain a sugar substitute called Maltitol. The packages always warn that eating too much will cause diarrhea but my experience has been that eating any of it does that. I can’t understand how something that makes you sick and says so on the package can get approved by the FDA and be used regularly in Russell Stover’s candies. Those of us who crave sweets have an awful time trying to walk the straight and narrow. Do you know anything about this? Thank you, Marcy
Answer: Dear Marcy: I was only able to find one source on the web about Maltitol Diarrhea but I’ve got to tell you that the data there was an eye-opener. Go to www.turkeymonkey.com and read the discussion there and the testimonials of people who have been seriously ill from it. It sounds horrible!
Your problem is one that has been written about pretty consistently over the years. I remember reading the book Sugar Blues a long time ago. I think those who can take sweets or leave them don’t have much of an idea what you are up against or the lengths you will go to find a way around it.
My guess is that your only safe bet is going to be Stevia, a sweetener the FDA has tried unsuccessfully to ban. It’s a natural sugar substitute that has been used for centuries in South American and Japan. Many think its relative obscurity in the U.S. has been arranged by those in high places and has been paid for by the artificial sweetener producers. I have no idea but it’s a thought. I sure find it interesting that something like Maltitol, that makes people so sick, is OKed by the FDA …and something so practical and harmless as Stevia, isn’t. It’s a wacky world.
Since Stevia is not in a lot of commercial baked goods and candies, you can find out about how to make your own sugar-free treats by going to www.cookingwithstevia.com . I know it’s in the protein shake powder sold by nutritionist Ann Louise Gilltleman on her website at www.annlouise.com because I happen to use that.
Don’t give up. There’s got to be life beyond Maltitol. You just need to figure out how to have your cake and eat it, too. Blessings, Luise