Xylitol is one of the natural sugar substitutes as opposed to artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose. It is derived from fruit such as plums, pears and strawberries and birch bark or corn husks with approximately the same sweetness and taste as sugar.
In fact, xylitol tastes really great, more like sugar than any other sugar substitute!. It has been approved for use in foods, oral health products and pharmaceutical products in over 35 countries around the world.
The only known side effect of xylitol is that excessive consumption can cause diarrhea.
Another unique quality of xylitol is that it prevents plaque on the teeth thus helping to prevent tooth decay. It has bactericidal properties and does not create an acid environment in the mouth.
But there’s more, xylitol can help to prevent and cure nasal infections. In a medical study of this remarkable sweetener, using a nasal spray prepared with this sugar substitute, helped to clear up infections in children.
More About Xylitol
Because xylitol is slowly absorbed by the body, it does not cause an excessive rise in blood sugar or insulin response. One of the best qualities of this sweetener is that it can be substituted in many recipes for the same amount of sugar. One teaspoon has only 10 calories with a glycemic index of 7. Such substitutes in reishi mushroom tea helps prevent diabetes.
Of course the results in baked goods will not be exactly the same as with sugar but in most cases, xylitol makes a very good alternative to artificial sugar substitutes for diabetics.