Health Benefits of Xylitol
Xylitol is a natural sweetener and sugar substitute that is extracted from plants such as fruits, berries, vegetables and oats. It originated in Finland where it was extracted from birch trees and is still widely used in Finland today.
Xylitol is not a chemical sweetener so is far healthier to use than a lot of other sugar alternatives.
It has a very sweet sugar taste and looks the same as white sugar, it is so sweet that less xylitol can be used in recipes than the amount of sugar that the recipe calls for.
Here are 6 Facts about Xylitol
1. Xylitol is very sweet in taste but is absorbed more slowly making is a low glycemic food. Xylitol has a glycemic index of 7 whereas sugar has a massive glycemic index of 100. This means that xylitol is metabolised slowly and does not cause a glucose levels to rise rapidly (unlike sugar). Therefore xylitol can help in the prevention of diabetes.
2. Researchers in Finland found that xylitol can actually help prevent weakening of the bones and improve bone density. It has potential in treating Osteoporosis.
3. Xylitol increases white blood which helps fight many types of bacteria.
4. Xylitol can help prevent candida unlike sugar which actually promotes candida and yeast problems.
Because xylitol helps prevent candida and yeast problems xylitol will not rise yeast so you can not use it to bake bread unless it is just for sweetening purposes.
5. Xylitol helps to prevent bacteria in your ears and nose. It helps stop bacteria that grows in the tubes that connect your ear and nose together. Xylitol can even be used in a saline solution for nasal irrigation.
6. If you think eating xylitol will rot your teeth then think again, in fact xylitol helps prevent tooth decay. Research even showed that mothers that who chewed xylitol chewing gum from 3 months after giving birth to 2 years had a 70% reduction in tooth cavities. Xylitol is widely promoted as a tooth friendly product.
Cooking with Xylitol
Using xylitol in cooking is very easy. You can use it in replacement of sugar in many recipes.
Xylitol is very sweet tasting so less can normally be used in recipes where it replaces sugar.
Xylitol is great for baking cakes and biscuits and other baking. It is also great to sweeten yogurts or custards with even homemade ice cream.
You will not gain weight using xylitol like you would using sugar so enjoy some guilt free treats.
See my tasty coconut infused Madeira cake recipe that uses xylitol instead of sugar.