Sugar alcohol/calorie question

Ask and answer questions, discuss research and applications

Moderators: Ironman, Jungledoc, parth, stuward

Post Reply
Veteren Member
Veteren Member
Posts: 2003
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 6:40 am
Location: Texas

Sugar alcohol/calorie question

Post by hoosegow » Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:51 pm

I have noticed that the 4 calories per gram of protein and carbohydrates and 9 calories per gram of fat holds pretty true. I have the following question. Worldwide Sport Nutrition Supplements, Inc. has a Pure Protein bar (Country Blueberry Pie that is REAL good), that is broken down as follows:
Calories: 290
Total Carbs: 29g
Total Proteing: 30g
Total Fat: 8 g

Doing the math, I come up with a total of 308 expected calories.

It advertizes only 5g of net carbs. It has no fiber and 17 g of sugar alcohol. That, to me, means that there should be 12 g of net carbs which is besides the point.

So, if I back track and do the math of 12 g of carbs (29 g - 17 g of sugar alcohol), 30 g of protein, and 8 g of fat that gives me 240 calories. Does that mean that sugar alcohols have a value of 2.94 calories per gram?

If so, knowing the sugar alcohol has no significant impact on blood sugar, where do those calories go? Is it like regular methyl alcohol in that it is nothing but empty calories providing nothing of value to the body? Methyl alcohol is essential to one's mental well being, though.

Where am I going wrong in my train of thought and what happened to the other 12 g of carbs?

User avatar
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3991
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:40 am

Post by Ironman » Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:19 am

2.6 on average but it does vary. It sounds like it does have 12 net carbs. I have a feeling it does not list the sugars in the carb breakdown and it says 5 grams net SUGAR carbs rather then just 5 grams net carbs. Look in the ingredients and see if there is sugar, dextrose, maltodextrin or any syrup or word that ends in "ose" except sucralose.

Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:55 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Post by strathmeyer » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:54 am

This is just rounding error. The calories are rounded to tens and everything else to the whole digit. Food-packaging nutrition information rarely adds up.

User avatar
In Memoriam: TimD
In Memoriam: TimD
Posts: 3129
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 8:04 am
Location: Va Beach, Va

Post by TimD » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:19 am

Hi Hoosegow. I've heard various things on sugar alcohols, so I looked them up.
Like Strathmeyer said though, the manufacturer's can get away with a lot when listing nutrient info. I've noticed that a lot of these "no fat" items actually have some, they are just low enough, per serving, for the FDA to allow them to package it as no fat. Also, forget about relying on any of these % claims. Chances are, they are listing %'s of grams of P,C and F, and not %'s of the actual calorie content

Post Reply