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Polyols vs Sugar: What's the difference

Polyols vs Sugar: What's the difference

In the modern day we are aware how important it is to take care of our bodies and a big way in which we look after ourselves is through our nutrition. One of the biggest topics in nutrition is sugar and in this blog we will explore the difference between polyols and sugar.

What are polyols

Polyols are an alternative to sugar as they provide the same sweet taste and this is why you often see them included in protein bars. In moving towards a healthier lifestyle, people often move away from sugar where possible and polyols are the alternative that are added to many foods.

Polyols are also known as sugar alcohols and they will give you the sweet taste without the negative effects that you would get with regular sugar.

Polyols are are still classed as a carbohydrate so let's take a look at the carbohydrates in a Crunch Bar (64g) as an example:

Carbohydrates - 24g

of which sugar - 2.3g

of which polyols - 20g

As you can see the carbohydrate content is made up by a small amount of sugar and the rest being polyols. 

Sugar alcohols can be just as sweet as sugar, but they’re lower in calories and don’t have the same negative effects as regular sugar, such as tooth decay and significantly raising blood sugar levels.

It is important to note that polyols aren't the only alcohol sugar that are included in our diets as many different sugar alcohols can also be found. Xylitol, erythritol, and maltitol are the most common ones in food as they taste the most like regular sugar.

Benefits of polyols over sugar

Because polyols have minimal impact on blood sugar levels, they can be a useful sugar replacement for anyone with diabetes. 

Polyols are beneficial for improving dental health as they won't promote tooth decay compared to foods that have a high sugar content. 

A high sugar intake can cause brain fog and leave you feeling fatigue, switching to polyols can help you avoid these negatives. 


Overeating on polyols and other sugar alcohols can cause digestive issues therefore you should look to avoid eating in large amounts. Eating a lot of polyols in a short period of time can also cause bloating, this is only a short term effect.


Polyols are a popular sugar alcohol which are different to your regular sugar. Cutting down on sugar and replacing them with a healthy amount of polyols can provide you with many benefits. Protein bars and other low sugar foods will contain polyols as they provide the sweet taste while reducing the sugar content.
crunch bars health healthy diet healthy lifestyle high protein Lifestyle nutrition nutrition tips polyols protein bars sugar Warrior
Posted 20 Feb 2024