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From Houston, Texas, USA:

Is sorbitol "healthier" than sugar? In other words, how is sorbitol metabolized as opposed to sugar -- is sorbitol fattening? Or, is sorbitol a sweetener for weight control?


Sorbitol is not "healthier" than sugar, nor is it necessarily "fattening." Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol which is not completely absorbed by the body so it won't add as many calories as sugar will. About one half the calories from sorbitol will be absorbed. Both sugar and sorbitol are sources of carbohydrates, which is metabolized differently than fat. However, any food consumed in excess can lead to weight gain and sorbitol consumed in excess can lead to diarrhea. So, everything in moderation is the key, as usual.


Original posting 27 Jan 97


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