Last Thursday I had nasty symptoms which have lingered, but they are starting to subside today. So I have wondered, as I am not officially diagnosed as IBS, if the low FODMAP approach will really be the answer. And of course your mind can go to all the more serious health problems that have similar symptoms. Then I went to move my container of Truvia, I noticed that the first ingredient is not stevia but erythirtol. Bingo, brain engaged, I remember from the handout I received at the doctor’s office (prepared by Kate Scarlata that sweeteners ending in -ol are no-nos, icky sugar alcohols. So I go to look it up. On Kate’s eliminate list, under polyols and under sweeteners are the following: “sorbitol (420), mannitol (421), isomalt (953), maltitol (965), xylitol (967)” but no erythirtol. Still it has that -ol ending. I have known for ages that sugar alcohols and my digestive system are a match made in h-e-double toothpicks (sugarfree chocolates, sugarfree gum, no way.)
Time to Google (or Bing). Right there at the top is this wiki excerpt:
Erythritol ((2R,3S)-butane-1,2,3,4-tetraol) is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. It has been approved for use as a food additive in the United States and throughout much of the world. In general, erythritol is free of side effects in regular use
Ah, time to search erythiritol and FODMAP. I click Sacha Walsh‘s Aug 17, 2014 blog entry “Is erythritol a Fodmap?” I learned that she had tried Natvia, the name for Truvia outside the U.S., in baking and beverages having read the same wiki info, but she experienced “digestive dramas – nausea, cramps, and constipation.” OK — maybe we are on to something. Let’s keep clicking. Another blog post, this time with the title “Is Erythritol Low FODMAP?‘ It is authored by
I used to think that erythritol was OK for low-FODMAP diets because it is well absorbed compared to other sugar alcohols. But recent studies have shown it interferes with fructose absorption, so I no longer recommend it for the elimination phase of the diet.
Bye, bye to that strawberry sauce/jam I put Truvia into.
Let me add that I had already thrown out the SweetLeaf Stevia Packets from my local Co-Op, Natural Foods store, as they contain inulin (a fructan, clearly mentioned on the “eliminate foods” list) just in case you run across that brand and think “stevia” A-OK. Because, as we have read so many, many times — always, always read the label and the full ingredient list.
Always, always double-check the label and the ingredients list.