So you recently started the Nutrisystem Diet Meal Plan and are feeling some discomfort. You’ve got, the Nutritoots. Whether it mild, or severe, it’s not just you, but it is avoidable.
Nutrisystem uses Maltitol, a sugar alcohol used as a sugar substitute, and other sugar alcohols in their snacks and some other products. A known side effects of maltitol include a variety of digestive problems including diarrhea, gas, and abdominal discomfort. Why don’t they use a non-gas-producing sweetener? Well, maltitol has nearly identical properties as regular sugar, with quite a bit fewer calories. Aspartame or saccharin are artificial sweeteners that you see in restaurants in little packets. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Interects with sweet-sensing taste buds like regular sugar, but also interacts with taste buds that send bitter signals to the brain. Leaving a bad aftertaste.
Aspartame (NutraSweet® and Equal®)
- Does not like heat. So you won’t see aspartame used in baked products like cookies or cakes.
- Degrades with time and loses its sweetness, causing expiration dates.
Sugar alcohols do have calories, a measly 2.5 calories per gram vs. 4 calories per gram for sugar. This makes it a good choice for diet foods. They also won’t cause cavities, and are safe for diabetic people. One down side is that, for many people, sugar alcohols like Maltitol and Xylitol act like a laxative when consumed in larger quantities.
So with your next order of Nutrisystem, now you know what to avoid. Keep in mind that although these foods may be hurting you, there is a reason. Nutrisystem food scientists did not want to load your food with artificial sweeteners or over-do the sugar. Because they care.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below, sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t already, and read some of our other health and wellness articles.