Initial Posting: 8/2/2015    Last Update: 8/2/2017
Answer: Maltitol, lactitol, and other sugar alcohols like erythritol, glycerol, sorbitol and xylitol are a common ingredient in nutrition bars because they add sweetness, but have fewer calories than sugar and less of an impact on blood sugar. They can also help to improve the texture of bars and help to retain moisture. However, they may also cause gas and bloating, or have other unwanted effects.
Be aware that unless a bar is labeled as "sugar free," manufacturers are not required to list exactly how much sugar alcohol it contains on the label. For this reason, ConsumerLab.com determines the amount of sugar alcohol in each bar it reviews, and identified bars with low and/or high levels. For more information about sugar alcohols and amounts found in popular bars, see the Nutrition Bar Review >>