Glycerin, glycerine, glycerol -- what do you think?

Did y’all know about this?

"Is glycerin a carbohydrate? No, according to the manufacturers of several nutrition bars. Yes, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Who would you believe?..

…several companies that make nutrition bars haven’t been counting their glycerin. One half of the 30 nutrition bars that just tested exceeded their claimed levels of carbohydrates, often by large amounts. This organization, based in White Plains, New York, provides independent test results and information to help consumers and healthcare professionals evaluate health, wellness, and nutrition products.

‘One product, which described itself as a low carbohydrate diet bar, claimed only 2 grams of carbohydrates, but was found to actually contain 22 grams,’ the ConsumerLab site says. ‘A clue as to why this discrepancy existed was a statement written in small type on the product’s label indicating that it contained glycerin but that the manufacturer was not counting glycerin as a carbohydrate.’ "


(Thanks, Gerri for sending me on a Google hunt for glycerin.)

This article is old (2000) and I couldn’t find a more-recent articles about the outcome of this…um, food fight between the FDA and manufacturers.

Do you eat things with glycerine in them? How does it impact your BG?

This is why you have to test every food with your meter. The same with sugar alcohols. They are never counted in the net carbs but they do spike many of us. I used to eat energy bars but recently have given up all processed chemicals and I feel so much better and my bgs are better, too.

Sure you want to thank me for sending you on a wild goose chase? I rarely trust nutritional labels. I mentioned on another discussion that I had a link to a calculator that assessed hidden carbs from label info.

Sure, Dr. G – knowledge is power.

If you hadn’t mentioned glycerine, I would never have known it might be an issue.

I hate the idea that nutrition labels might be inaccurate, but forewarned is forearmed, right?


Interesting question. Glycerol is C3H8O3. A carbohydrate, by definition, has to have a ratio of 2:1 H:O. So, as a scientist, I guess I could not classify it as a carbohydrate.

But that doesn’t matter, I guess. If the FDA says it’s a carb for dietary purposes then it’s a carb and needs to be labeled as such. And, as a diabetic, I’d agree. Glycerol is a substrate for gluconeogenesis. Although it’s probably more often encountered as part of fat (the backbone of triglycerides and the only portion of fat that > glucose), it is sometimes used directly. So for bolusing, I’d call it a “carb” like I do for protein and would similarly use a square wave for it.

I don’t typically eat these bars, and can’t think of anything off the top of my head with a lot of glycerol in it? So I guess I can’t be that helpful after all…

Glycerin is a common ingredient in soaps and lotions. I find that these soaps and lotionscause false highs in blood sugar tests. I’ll make no futher comment on the use of soap ingredients in food.

Tries to make a crack about ways of getting glycerin on ones hands… while keeping it family friendly
Another instance where a false high is really not a good idea…


Watch out or someone is going to wash your mouth out with a protein bar.

I used to occasionally eat MetRX bars… talk about chalk/cardboard… that would be a punishment…
It was like eating a tire…


There is only one brand and flavor of protein bar that I can stand. I keep them in the freezer for emergencies. The rest are like licking an aspirin. Gah.