The Low Carb Luxury Newsletter: 
Volume III / Number 03: February 8, 2002: Page 7
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      Answering Mail
[K]entucky [F]ried [C]arbs?

Dear Lora,

I'd like to know the carb content of Kentucky Fried Chicken. If there is a saint of carbs, it will be very low.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Bill Soles



KFC Dear Bill,

Bad news. Guess there's no "saint of low carbs" . KFC uses both white flour and sugar to coat chicken. Here's the breakdown for Breasts. Other pieces are slightly lower (because they're smaller):
  KFC Original Recipe Breast
KFC Triple Crunch Breast
KFC Extra Crispy Breast
KFC Hot & Spicy Breast
Total Carbohydrate:
Total Carbohydrate:
Total Carbohydrate:
Total Carbohydrate:
16 grams
33 grams
17 grams
23 grams

                                                                             Lora


Sugar Alcohols... Yes, or No?

Dear Lora,

If sugar alcohols can cause "bad effects" in people, why do low carb merchants sell products containing them? Are they carbs or aren't they? Are you "against" them or "for" them?

Thanks... I need this information before Valentine's Day.

Thanks,

Stella P.



Dear Stella,

Your question about sugar alcohols is a good one, (and one we've gotten quite a lot) and you'll notice that in many reviews we do on products containing them, I will note that "while the label list these as "XX" carbs discounting sugar alcohols, you'd do well to count them as XX carbs for most of us."

Sugar Alcohols (or polyols) are not a real "black or white" issue... I am not "against" sugar alcohols — they can be valuable in allowing us to have treats or get cooking results we could not otherwise achieve. But it does sometimes bug me that a few manufacturers discount the carb count of them to zero as though they were like fiber. While everyone handles sugar alcohols differently, only in rare cases should they truly be counted as zero for the majority of us. (More on this in a minute.) I have a few rule-of-thumbs with different polyols based on lots of reports from others, independent research, and my own reactions: With sorbitol, I always count it as 2.5 carbs per gram of sorbitol by weight (hence I rarely use sorbitol.) With mannitol, I count 1.6 carbs per gram. With maltitol, it's less than 1 carb per gram of maltitol by weight. I allow 1/2 carb for xylitol and 1/2 carb for isomalt. (Isomalt can be found in "Diabetisweet".) Until recently, I've been using only maltitol, isomalt, and xylitol in cooking but always keep strict track of how much. (The Steel's powdered maltitol is nearly indistinguishable from powdered sugar and is wonderful to use for cookies like my Christmas Pfeffernusse or powdering a design on the top of a low-carb cake.)

Recently, I discovered Erythritol. It's the only polyol that causes no gastic "symptoms" and seems to be truly zero carb (it actually works out to .003 carbs per gram, but it's too little to count.) We'll be reviewing it soon. It's terribly expensive, though. Everytime I buy it I feel like second-mortgaging my house.

sugar free chocolates So basically, I am saying that it's my opinion that they aren't "bad", but don't believe companies that pretend that no amount of them count at ALL. I've never met a truly zero carb commercial candy, and they are not a "free" food. A little is fine, so long as they don't cause you to stall. For example, if you're craving chocolate, a good choice might be to have one Ross Chocolate Bar. Or perhaps two pieces of Low Carb Chef candy. Made with maltitol, we can count each as around 3 to 5 carbs and feel we've been fair with our daily limit and still enjoyed some superior chocolate. Right now, some of our favorite merchants have low-carb sugar free chocolates for Valentine's Day. They're good quality chocolates, most maltitol sweetened. It means you can have that little 'treat' for the special day without feeling guilty. But don't eat an entire box because you think they're zero carb. (Besides, you'll never get outta the bathroom!)

One last word. These counts are AVERAGE for how they effect most people's blood sugar level and how much is used by the body the way a normal carbohydrate would be. If you get LOTS of "bathroom effects" from them, it's actually a good thing. If you are not getting those effects (or very few) it means your body is more readily using them as carbohydrates.

Hope this has helped to clear things up a little.
                                                                             Lora



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