What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is one of eight sugar alcohols and occur naturally in some fruits and vegetables. It is a low-calorie
sugar substitute that contains 2.4 calories per gram compared to four calories per gram of sugar. Xylitol
sweetener is a good option for individuals trying to control their blood sugar. For example, its glycemic
index (GI) is only seven compared to sugar’s 60-70. GI measures how rapidly blood sugar rises after eating
foods. Using sugar substitutes may provide other benefits as well, such as assisting with weight loss and
supporting oral health. Many sugar-free gums, mints, and toothpaste use xylitol sweeteners.
What Are Sugar Alcohols?
Sugar alcohols are food additives that have a similar sweetness to sugar but with far fewer calories. People
can use them to sweeten foods and beverages without experiencing a blood sugar spike. Like fiber, sugar
alcohols are low-digestible carbs. It also acts as a fuel source for good gut bacteria. Xylitol is one of
the most common sugar substitutes as its flavor is very similar to standard sugar.
Potential Xylitol Benefits
Xylitol and Weight Loss
Xylitol is a weight loss-friendly sugar substitute as it contains about 40% fewer calories. Using xylitol
sweeteners in place of sugar in recipes and beverages dramatically reduces the number of calories consumed.
The intestines can’t fully absorb xylitol as they can sugar. In addition to fewer calories, xylitol’s
effects on blood sugar and insulin are negligible, making it a good option for individuals watching their
Xylitol for Teeth
Unlike sugar, xylitol doesn’t contribute to tooth decay, and many oral hygiene products use it for that
reason. Some studies report that xylitol is effective at preventing tooth decay. Plaque bacteria are one of
the leading causes of tooth decay. They rely on glucose as a fuel source but will consume xylitol if glucose
isn’t available. One the bacteria ingest xylitol, they can no longer consume glucose. They can’t use xylitol
for energy and eventually die, thus reducing the bad bacteria levels in the mouth. Once study noted that
participants chewing gum with xylitol experienced a 27-75% reduction in bad bacteria. Xylitol can also
starve other bacteria, such as those that cause ear and yeast infections.
Potential Xylitol Side Effects
Xylitol is one of the most common sugar substitutes used in sugar-free products, and most individuals
tolerate it well. However, sugar alcohols pull water into the intestines, and consuming too much at once may
cause mild gastrointestinal side effects, such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
What is the Best Sugar Substitute?
Individuals looking for the best sugar substitute have several options. Which they prefer comes down to their
preferred tastes. Some sugar substitutes are sweeter than others. They all have slightly different flavor
profiles, too. Xylitol is one of the closest in flavor to standard sugar. However, PureBulk carries several
other substitutes, including:
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