Patient Education

A Word About Glycerin in Food

Glycerin is becoming one of the most commonly added ingredients in stevia products, even a handful that are made from our preferred brand, SweetLeaf® Stevia. Glycerin in food, in personal care products or in any other form is NOT approved on the SHAPE ReClaimed program.

glycerin in food

What is glycerin?

Also known as glycerol, glycerin is a sugar alcohol that is made from animal or vegetable fat. It also can be produced synthetically. It is a colorless, odorless syrup that has a sweet taste.

Glycerin in food is classified by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a carbohydrate, and it has the same caloric density as sugar, although it has a less dramatic effect on blood sugar. This substance is nontoxic and generally regarded as safe for human consumption in small quantities.

Glycerin is widely used in the cosmetics and personal care industries for its moisturizing effects on skin and hair. It can be found in soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, hair products, lotion, shaving cream and more. In the pharmaceutical industry, it is used as a laxative and, in the form of nitroglycerin, to relieve angina.

Many foods and beverages use glycerin as a solvent, sweetener and/or preservative. It helps thicken foods, control moisture and stabilize emulsions of oil and water. You can find glycerin in food such as processed meats, soybean products, condensed milk, convenience foods, commercially baked goods, beverages, condiments and a range of other processed foods.

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Other product applications include e-cigarette liquid, antifreeze, explosives, pressure gauges, stage fog and even fuel. For a list of commercial products that include glycerin, click here.

So, what’s the big deal?

After years of clinical observation and experience, it became obvious that oil and glycerin-based cosmetic and personal hygiene products had an adverse effect on patient progress, slowing or stalling the release of excess weight. The fat in these products is absorbed through the skin, and the body uses this fat as energy, rather than targeting excess body fat. During Phase I of the SHAPE ReClaimed program, we advise patients to use oil- and glycerin-free body care products.

This is also why we ask SHAPE Warriors to avoid glycerin in food and in products like SweetLeaf® Water Drops and Sweet Drops (the ones in plastic bottles). We simply cannot endorse or approve any product that includes it as an ingredient, even if it’s from a brand that we know and trust.

SHAPE Central will continue to study the health effects of various foods, products and ingredients, which may result in changes to the program from time to time. Please know that we are intentional with our program, and all of our decisions are made with your health and success in mind.

August 6, 2018

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