Often used as an alternative to sugar, the similarly named sugar alcohols are types of sweet carbohydrates. Sugar alcohols are lower in calories and have less negative health impacts although they look and taste like sugar. Despite the word “alcohol” in the name, they do not contain any ethanol – the compound that gets you drunk, and studies show that they may even promote health benefits. There are many common types that differ in taste and health value. Xylitol, with its minty flavor, is most common and can be found in chewing gum, mints and toothpaste. With 70% sweetness and only 5% of the calories as sugar, erythritol is the main ingredient in sweeteners like Truvia and Stevia. Sorbitol is often found in sugar-free foods and drinks and although it has little impact on blood sugar, it may cause digestive issues. Maltitol has half the calories of sugar, yet it does cause spikes in blood sugar. When consumed in large amounts, many sugar alcohols can lead to digestive distress but this depends on the person and type of sugar alcohol. However, of all the sugar alcohols, erythritol seems to be the best option, as it contains almost no calories and is also good for your teeth.