Xylitol: The Natural Sweetener With Many Health Benefits
“Sugar is sugar.” Every time I see that deceptive commercial, I wonder how the actor must feel getting paid to tell a total lie: sugar IS NOT sugar, and most people know this by now, I hope.
High-fructose corn syrup is not the same as cane sugar, honey, or molasses.
Making Sense of Sugar and Sweeteners
I’ve recently been looking into all kinds of sweetener options — sugar, artificial sweeteners, and syrups.
I already wrote about agave nectar not being a good sweetener alternative, because agave syrup is as bad as high-fructose corn syrup.
In my research, I read posts like “Is Sugar Toxic?,” “Chemical Cuisine – Learn about Food Additives,” HealthyChild.org’s “Which Is Worse: Aspartame Or High-Fructose Corn Syrup?“and watched Robert Lustig’s lecture “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” that has been watched over 5,500,000+ times on YouTube.
I like organic raw honey because it has many minerals and helps with a sore throat and cough just as well as commercial, food-dyed cough medicine.
But the winner of all natural sweeteners is: Xylitol.
Move over, sugar, there is a much better alternative: xylitol is the best option to sweeten food and drinks.
Don’t know what xylitol is?
It’s not just another word I can use to teach my preschooler the letter x.
Xylitol is a natural substance found in fibrous vegetables and fruit, corn cobs and various hardwood trees like birch. It is a natural, intermediate product that regularly occurs in our glucose metabolism.
While sugar wreaks havoc on the body, xylitol heals and repairs. It also builds immunity, protects against chronic degenerative disease, and has anti-aging benefits.
Xylitol has 40% less calories than sugar and can replace sugar in cooking, baking or as a sweetener for beverages.
Xylitol also dramatically reduces the incidents of middle ear infections (if kids chew xylitol-flavored chewing gum), it is a perfect sweetener for people with diabetes, and increases your bone density and fights osteoporosis.
My favorite aspect of xylitol is that is helps with tooth decay since my son is prone to cavities. It helps to restore a proper alkaline/acid balance in the mouth and reverses destructive effects of sugar on oral health. It even has the ability to enhance the mineralization of the enamel and can stabilize cavities.
With so many health benefits, xylitol is clearly the winner when it comes to sweeteners.
I suspects we will see it appear in many more products very soon, hopefully replacing chemical, artificial sweeteners for good.
One important note: you can get xylitol in bulk for not much money by now, but that xylitol is processed from corn husks, which could be genetically modified (GMO) and is most likely not organic.
Make sure the xylitol you buy is real birch sugar — search for “birch xylitol.”
I buy non-GMO birch Xyla Xylitol made in the US. I’ve bought their xylitol packs, jams, lollipops, and gum.
Caution: xylitol is fatal for dogs, so make sure that everyone in your household knows that and doesn’t feed the dog the cookies you just made with it.