XYLITOL: NATURAL LOWER CALORIE SWEETENER
What is it?
Many fruits and vegetables contain some Xylitol. It is therefore considered natural.
It is similar in appearance and sweetness to ordinary sugar being a white, crystalline powder but lower in calories than sugar.
Xylitol can be processed from trees like birch, but it can also be made with an industrial process that transforms a plant fiber called xylan into xylitol.
Part of the structure of sugar alcohols resembles sugar and part resembles alcohol hence its name. There is however no ethanol in sugar alcohols and thus it is not the same as an alcoholic beverage.
What can it do for me?
Xylitol has 40% less calories than sugar.
Even though sugar alcohols are technically carbohydrates, most of them do not raise blood sugar levels and therefore don’t count as “net” carbs, making them popular sweeteners in low-carb products.
Xylitol contains zero fructose and has negligible effects on blood sugar and insulin.
Those with diabetes, pre-diabetes, obesity or other metabolic problems will appreciate xylitol as an excellent alternative to sugar.
What can I do with it?
You can use xylitol in cooking, baking and beverages as a sugar substitute.
What can I substitute?
Erythritol or any other sugar alcohol may work as a substitute. The properties of erythritol and xylitol are however not identical so don’t assume the results will be identical.
How do I store it?
Keep it in an airtight container away from moisture for a near indefinite shelflife.