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What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a natural, sugar-free, low calorie and low-glycemic sweetener.
Xylitol is a pure and naturally occurring white substance that looks and tastes just like sugar. However, this wonderful sugar substitute does not have any of the negative effects of sugar yet has the same sweet taste.
- Xylitol has only 2.4 calories per gram – 40% less than normal sugar ( 4 calories)
- Xylitol is the best sweetener for teeth, reducing rates of tooth decay. Sugar-free chewing gums and sweets made with xylitol have received official endorsement from many national dental associations
Xylitol is found in the fibres of many fruits and vegetables, including various berries, corn husks, oats and mushrooms. It is extracted for commercial consumption from corn fibre, birch, raspberries and plums. So even if you hadn’t heard of Xylitol until now, it’s almost certain you will have eaten it! Our Xylitol always comes from renewable sources.
Xylitol belongs to the family of sweeteners called sugar alcohols (named because of their chemistry and nothing to do with the alcohol found in wine or beer!) Other sugars include orbitol, maltitol, and manitol. It has the same degree of sweetness as sucrose.
It is metabolised independently of insulin and has therefore become a popular sweetener for a diabetic diet. In addition, its low calorie count makes it even better for people with diabetes, for whom weight control is very important. Of note, many commercial confectionaries that are labelled “diabetic” contain Xylitol but are often high in saturated fat and calories – why not buy our Xylitol and make your own cakes and sweets and be assured of delicious goodness!
Xylitol is not an artificial sweetener. Artificial sweeteners such as saccharine are detrimental to health. Xylitol is suitable for anyone seeking a healthier life.
Xylitol has many surprising benefits
Xylitol is good for your teeth
- Xylitol promotes healthy teeth and gums. Unlike sugar, Xylitol is actually good for your teeth. It reduces tooth decay, arrests and sometimes reverses dental caries. It neutralizes plaque acids, and stimulates remineralization of tooth enamel. Find out more
- Xylitol also inhibits the growth of Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria most responsible for causing dental cavities. So Xylitol helps prevent fillings. This is why Xylitol is used extensively in chewing-gum and toothpastes. Find out more
Xylitol reduces infections
- Xylitol inhibits the growth of Streptococcus, and has been shown to have a positive effect on ear and upper respiratory infections, reducing the need for antibiotics. Find out more, and more here.
- Consuming simple carbodydrate sugars such as glucose and sucrose increases your risk of oral candida (thrush in your mouth). However, evidence shows that Xylitol does not feed candida.
Xylitol is easy to use and suitable for all
- Xylitol looks, tastes and feels just like ordinary sugar with no aftertaste, and can be used just like sugar and in equal quantities in hot and cold drinks, on desserts and cereals, and in home baking. (However, you cannot use it in breadmaking or brewing). Give it a try today and we are sure you’ll be thrilled with just how versatile it is.
- Xylitol is a 100% sugar-free natural sweetener. It is not an artificial sweetener. Artificial sweeteners such as saccharine, aspartame, aculsefame etc. are all detrimental to health.
- Xylitol has a very low Glycaemic Index (GI = 7) so can be used by people on Low-GI Diets.
- Xylitol is very well tolerated. Although individuals vary in their tolerance of sugar alcohols, most adults can tolerate about 40 grams per day, without enduring the main side effect: diarrhoea. Only 15 grams per day is necessary to prevent tooth decay and 10 grams to prevent upper respiratory tract infections.
Other health benefits
- Xylitol is suitable for people with Diabetes, as it does not need insulin to be metabolised and does not effect your blood sugar as much as the same amount of other carbohydrates.
- Xylitol may have potential in the management of osteoporosis. A group of Finnish researchers has found that dietary Xylitol prevents weakening of bones in laboratory rats, and actually improves bone density. Dietary Xylitol supplementation increases bone calcium and phosphorus concentrations in healthy rats, as well as protects against the decrease of bone minerals and bone density during experimental osteoporosis, find out more.
- Xylitol is used by many parents of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) where they have found ordinary sugar aggravates the condition
Important Xylitol facts
Xylitol ~ in cooking
Xylitol is unique compared to other alternative sweeteners in that it has the same sweetness as sugar. A cup of Xylitol is equal to a cup of sugar in cooking. This makes Xylitol ideal for people who want to replace the sugar in existing recipes with Xylitol.
However, you may need to add a little more liquid to recipes like cookies. Xylitol doesn't caramelize and will tend to make some recipes drier. Please share your Xylitol recipes with us in our forum.
But do remember that you cannot use it in bread making or brewing, as it does not ferment with yeast. Of course, this makes Xylitol ideal for anyone concerned about candida albicans.
Xylitol ~ the laxative effect
Xylitol works like fibre in the diet. It is not well digested. Taking Xylitol in excess can lead to a laxative effect. For adults, it is not recommended to exceed 40 grams per day, or 12 grams per meal. In children this needs to be monitored more strictly. Their lower body weight makes them more susceptible to diarrhoea.
Xylitol is not safe for Pets
Xylitol is not considered safe for animals. In the same way that chocolate is safe for humans but potentially lethal to dogs, Xylitol may cause hypoglycaemic shock in animals as they handle sugar differently. You can be assured, however, that the FDA has deemed xylitol perfectly safe for human consumption.