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Sugar-free isn't always best

Bookmark and Share If you think choosing sugar-free foods automatically means you're eating healthy, think again. Lurking in many foods labeled sugar-free are hidden carbohydrates that impact your health and can spoil your diet. Ingredients like sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and isomalt are sugar alcohols that add bulk and sweetness, as well as carbs and calories. "Foods with one or more of these ingredients may have less sugar, but they can still raise blood-sugar levels or cause weight gain," says Lois Gerst, RN, a Virtua certified diabetes educator and coordinator of outpatient nutrition services. "This is a problem for those who monitor their sugar for serious health conditions like diabetes as well as dieters." The registered dietitians at Virtua can help you develop a customized nutrition program. To arrange one-on-one nutritional counseling, call 1-888-Virtua-3.