Xylitol is one of the most popular natural sugar alternatives. So what is it and why is it good for you? Xylitol comes from several fruits and vegetables hence being considered as natural. When extracted, it looks like sugar and it tastes like it as well. It is the most common sugar alternative with much more benefits than actual sugar since it does not increase sugar levels when consumed.
Xylitol is categorised as a sugar alcohol - this carbohydrate does not actually contain alcohol. It occurs naturally in small quantities in some fruits and vegetables as well as the human body. It is used in a variety of products ranging from chewing gum through to table sweeteners. It has a similar level of sweetness to table sugar but contains far fewer calories.
Xylitol is also produced by an industrial process that turns a plant fiber called xylan into this sugar alternative. It is has a white and crystalline appearance much like normal sugar.
One of its most important benefits asides from not raising sugar levels; it is found that xylitol can actually prevent dental problems such as tooth cavities.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring substance in many plants. It is produced commercially in one of several days. The world’s largest producer of xylitol is China where they make use of the hand harvested corn cobs to extract xylitol.
During World War 2 , xylitol was produced extensively using the bark of birch trees. This practice is still carried out today, although the process is not regarded as being as cost effective as extracting xylitol from corn cobs.
Xylitol is also extracted from hardwood by the Dupont chemical company. While there is no difference n the end product, it would appear that xylitol produced from corn or birch bark represents a more economically sustainable and ecologically responsible option than using hardwood
This is a common question asked when people are looking for sugar substitutes. The good news is that both xylitol and stevia are much better options than sugar from a dental perspective. Which one is better will ultimately come down to personal choice as they do taste a little different.
Xylitol looks and tastes a lot like sugar although it does not quite match its sweetness. On the other hand Stevia can lead to a licorice aftertaste which may or may not suit individual taste buds.
Introduce xylitol into your daily diet and take advantage of the many health benefits it can provide. Why stick to sugar and all its negative effects it causes when you can easily use xylitol instead?
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