Sugar-free does not mean carb-free

0e6d33e5-2649-11df-9d36-0017a4aa266a 71594caa-2649-11df-9d36-0017a4aa266a 2f7a1e5a-2647-11df-b61e-0017a4aa266a A food label that says “sugar-free” does not mean it is also carbohydrate-free and calorie-free. Always check the nutrition facts label to find out the total carbohydrates and calories that should be figured into your meal plan.

A few popular sugar substitutes include:


  • Aspartame. Also called NutraSweet or Equal (Merisant).
  • Sucralose. Sold under the tradename Splenda, this sweetener has no carbohydrates and no calories.
  • Sugar alcohols. Also called polyols, these aren’t completely absorbed during digestion and therefore may cause less of a rise in blood glucose levels. They can also have a laxative effect for many people, so should be taken in small doses.

Reviewed by Francine Kaufman, MD. 4/08

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Last Modified Date: November 28, 2012

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