If you are like me, you probably can’t imagine drinking your morning coffee or tea without spoon or two of sugar. Adding sugar makes your coffee more tasty and more enjoyable to drink. But, there is one major problem here – the health issues sugar can cause to our body. Thanks to the nature and technology improvements, there are healthier versions of sweeteners that have very small amount of calories and taste almost the same like sugar. They give us the chance to enjoy all sweet things we love in a healthier way. One such popular and commonly used sweetener is Xylitol. Before opt for this sugar substitute, find out what is Xylitol and what are it’s pros and cons.
Xylitol sugar substitute is made from fermented plant pulp and it tastes almost the same like sugar. At first, this substitute was made from birch bark and now is most often made from husks, cobs and stalks. Xylitol is also present in the vegetables and fruits but in very low concentrations. It also can be extracted from oats, corn, mushrooms, raspberries and sugar cane fiber. Xylitol sugar substitute is widely available and can be measured cup for cup just as same like sugar. It has 2/3 the calories of regular sugar and a cooling taste, which makes it very popular sweetener used in production process of toothpaste, mints and chewing gums.
Pros Of Xylitol:
- Low blood sugar levels. Xylitol doesn’t increase the sugar in your blood as much as regular sugar.
- Improved dental health. Because it can’t be metabolized by plaque bacteria, Xylitol does not cause tooth cavities. Also, according to the latest studies, Xylitol have been found helpful in remineralization.
- Lower in calories. Compared to regular sugar, Xylitol is 34% lower in calories.
- Convenient. Just like the regular sugar, Xylitol sugar substitute can also be measured cup for cup.
- Organic. Xylitol sugar substitute made from organic corn is environmentally friendly and relatively renewable.
- Cooling flavor. The cooling taste of this sugar substitute is pleasing in lemony, mint, candies and fruity desserts.
Cons of Xylitol:
- Gastric distress. Consuming more than 60 grams of Xylitol sugar substitute may cause gastric bloating or even diarrhea. This is individual, as it depends from the intestinal flora.
- Most Xylitol products available on the market are made from GMO corn. Because this is the cheapest source, but extremely damaging to the environment.
- Xylitol made from birch isn’t environmentally friendly. Stripping the bark kills the birch tree, after which the tree needs nearly 15 years to grow again to harvest size.
- Available in two grades. Pharmaceutical grade and food grade.
- Xylitol is toxic for dogs.
- It has a glycemic component. You can expect small blood sugar rush, but this will not help you completely break your sugar habit.