Q: Why do sugar-free and low-sugar foods give me gas, cramps, and diarrhea?

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A: In place of sugar, these products use sugar alcohols-maltitol, sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, lactitol, and erythritol. Inside your body, sugar alcohols are digested by intestinal bacteria instead of sugar digesting enzymes. Your bacteria may be more flatulent than average, so limiting yourself to only one or two servings a day of these products may relieve your distress.

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By Gloria McVeigh

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