Peeps Sugar-Free Marshmallow Chicks

For my first candy tests, I selected Peeps brand sugar free marshmallow chicks from Just Born, Inc. I have fond memories of eating the sugar-laden version of these before I became diabetic; they were my favorite Easter treat. Available only before Easter, I felt obligated review the sugar-free version (introduced in 2007) for Low Carbohydrate Review before they were taken off the shelves.

Peeps marshmallow chicks are really cute! What could be more innocent?

Sugar-free marshmallow peeps are made from maltitol, isomalt, polyglycitol syrup, gelatin and a few lesser ingredients. All 23g carbs are sugar alcohols.

The Peeps package includes the following warning: “EXCESSIVE CONSUMPTION OF POLYOLS MAY CAUSE STOMACH DISCOMFORT AND/OR A MILD LAXATIVE EFFECT”. OK, so what constitutes excessive consumption? I decided to find out.

I tried a single serving of 3 marshmallow chicks. This is what happened:

4:18 PM Tested blood glucose (104 mg/dl) and began to eat 3 Peeps marshmallow chicks
4:20 PM Finished eating 3 chicks.
5:21 PM tested blood glucose (128 mg/dl)
6:26 PM 1st fart


Toilet 3½ hours after eating Peeps

7:06 PM 2nd fart – wife began complaining
7:15 PM Stomach upset and gurgling.
7:19 PM BG 107
7:31 PM 3rd fart
7:33 PM 4th fart – wife said this is “gross”
7:47 PM stomach cramps began
7:53 PM 1st diarrhea
8:20 PM 2nd diarrhea – wife said this is “disgusting”
8:21 PM BG 103
8:24 PM 5th fart
8:31 PM 6th fart
8:32 PM 7th fart
8:33 PM 8th fart
8:44 PM 9th fart
Farts & complaints from wife continued till around 10 PM

I conducted just three tests of marshmallow peeps; my wife forbid me from doing any more. She apparently lacks my dedication to science and public health. Anyway, my blood glucose results after eating Peeps marshmallow chicks weren’t bad – the average increase in blood glucose an hour after eating was 1 mg/dl (the test shown in the list above was by far the worst). However, the gastric distress caused by a single serving was pretty severe in all three tests.

Maltitol, the top ingredient in sugar-free marshmallow Peeps, is a particularly nasty sugar alcohol. Laura Dolson of Low Carb Diets implores us to Just Say No to Maltitol, and I strongly agree. There are better alternatives.

I implore manufacturers to stop using Maltitol and find better formulations for their products. My message to Just Born, Inc., the manufacturer of Peeps: Thanks for making sugar-free Peeps, it’s a step in the right direction – but PLEASE reformulate this product. Help me indulge my childhood memories without having to worry about BG spikes or gastric distress – I’ll buy a lot more Peeps!

Consumers need to stop buying products with this stuff in it. If enough of us stop buying this crap and select only products that do not cause problems for us, manufacturers will eventually get the message and make the necessary changes.

One Response to Candy

  1. Randy Little

    Xylitol does that to me but maltitol doesn’t(unless I eat too much). It really depends on the person when using recommended servings. Too much and everyone will poop and fart like crazy.

    Some Maltitol’s are okish. Some have over 50 GI.


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