What is xylitol?
Xylitol is a natural substance found in fruits and vegetables, and it also naturally occurs in our bodies. With an equal sweetness, taste, and volume to sugar, it can be used in many of the same ways. It also has 40 percent fewer calories than sugar, according to the Life Extension Foundation.
High daily intake may result in diarrhea due to its laxative properties. Take note that xylitol is toxic to dogs so be careful not to share any xylitol-containing food with your pets.
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Health benefits of xylitol
Xylitol for diabetes
Xylitol may help people achieve more stable blood sugar levels, according to the Journal of Medicinal Food. It may also be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, according to a study by the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and NutritionTrusted Source.
Xylitol for oral health
Regular use of xylitol causes cavity-forming bacteria to starve and die off by almost 75 percent, according to a study in the Iranian Journal of MicrobiologyTrusted Source. It also increases the flow of saliva and creates a more alkaline environment. According to the Journal of Dental ResearchTrusted Source, the number of times that you are exposed to xylitol throughout the day matters the most. To prevent cavities, the California Dental Association (CDA) recommends the use of xylitol-containing products three to five times daily, for a total intake of five grams.
Xylitol for ear and upper respiratory infections
Xylitol inhibits the growth of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. This bacteria is a major cause of middle ear infections and sinusitis. An analysis by the Cochrane CollaborationTrusted Source shows that children who consumed xylitol in gum, syrup, or lozenges twice a day reduced their risk of ear infections by 25 percent.
No long-term safety data exists for xylitol. But xylitol has been approved for safety by a number of agencies. These include the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives, and the European Union’s Scientific Committee for Food.
What is erythritol?
This sweetener occurs naturally in many fruits. It’s also found in mushrooms and foods derived from fermentation, like wine, cheese, and soy sauce. It’s commonly used as a bulk sweetener in reduced-calorie foods, and it has no aftertaste.
What sets it apart is that it has no calories and doesn’t seem to cause the same digestive problems as other sugar alcohols. But consuming it may lead to acid reflux and promote dehydration and a loss of electrolytes.
Health benefits of erythritol
Erythritol for diabetes
A study in Acta Diabetologica suggested that erythritol might be a preferred sugar substitute for people with diabetes.
Erythritol for oral health
Like other sugar alcohols, erythritol doesn’t lead to tooth decay.
Erythritol as an antioxidant
Researchers in a study in Nutrition found erythritol to act as a strong antioxidant with a favorable effect on blood vessels.
|Calorie Comparison to sugar||Xylitol contains 40% less calories than sugar.||Erythritol has the lowest calorie content of any natural sweetener at 0.2 calories per gram.|
This means it contains 95% less calories than sugar.
|Taste Profile||Of all natural sugar alternatives, Xylitol provides the closest taste and texture to sugar.|
Xylitol doesn’t have an after taste like stevia that is present in many sugar alternative blends.
|Depending on your application, you may notice Erythritol to have a “cooling effect”/menthol sensation.|
This is reduced upon baking - however if you are adding to tea or coffee it may be noticeable.
Apart from the “cooling effect” Erythritol doesn’t have an after taste like stevia, that is present in many sugar alternative blends.
|Benefits||Being a sugar alternative, Xylitol matches the sweetness of sugar whilst containing 40% less calories - great for weight management.|
Xylitol is perfect for those that are sensitive to changes in their blood sugars such as diabetics or those that are reducing their carbohydrate intake without wanting to sacrifice sweet treats.
Regular consumption of xylitol can also cause cavity-forming bacteria to starve and die off by almost 75 percent, as well as increasing the flow of saliva and creating a more alkaline environment - which is great news for our teeth and preventing tooth decay.
|Erythritol suppresses the growth of oral bacteria, such as Streptococcus, which form a biofilm on your teeth and cause tooth decay. Inhibition of microbial growth leads to a reduction in the acid produced by your gut. This way, the teeth don’t develop caries and plaques.|
Erythritol is perfect for those that are sensitive to changes in their blood sugars such as diabetics or those that are reducing their carbohydrate intake without wanting to sacrifice sweet treats.
Erythritol is easily digested in your gut. It also has a very low glycemic index.
This is why you have lesser acidity and flatulence when you choose erythritol over other sugar substitutes.
|Sweetness level compared to sugar||Xylitol has equal sweetness, taste, and volume to sugar, and can be used in many of the same ways.||Erythritol is only about 70% as sweet as sugar, compared to Xylitol which has equal sweetness to sugar. In most Low Carb Baking, you can still convert 1:1 (from sugar listed in the recipe) as the volume is the same, however it will just be slightly less sweet.|
|Where does it come from?||Xylitol is naturally found in a variety of fruits & vegetables such as berries, plums, strawberries, pumpkin & even cauliflower! It is also naturally occurring in our bodies.|
Xylitol that is sold commercially now comes from raw plant materials such birch wood & corn cobs.
|Erythritol originally came from a variety of plant sources such as fruits (eg: pears, grapes & melons), vegetables & fermented food products (eg sake and wine).|
Erythritol is now made from maize based products.
|Other considerations.||Xylitol is toxic to dogs - We suggest if you do own dogs that you opt for Erythritol instead, however, if dogs are not a consideration for you, our preference is always Xylitol.||No - Erythritol is not poisonous to dogs.|
It has been researched that Erythritol is better in terms of:
preferred sugar substitute for people with diabetes,
promotes oral health and doesn’t lead to tooth decay, and xylitol also aids in the prevention of cavities and reduces plaque formation.
Causes less digestive distress. (unlike Xylitol has gastrointestinal side effects from xylitol, such as gas, bloating and diarrhea, and digestive stress)
Erythritol has a Lower GI than Xylitol
Xylitol contains 2.4 calories per gram while Erythritol contains 0.2 calories per gram.
Xylitol is 100% as sweet as sugar. Erythritol is 70% as sweet as sugar
Although they are both naturally found in fruits and plants, they go through different processes when they’re commercially produced for use as sweeteners. Erythritol is usually produced by fermenting another natural sugar, glucose, while xylitol is extracted from corncobs or trees
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