THE BEGINNERS GUIDE TO
THE MOST EXTENSIVE AND COMPREHENSIVE INTRODUCTION TO XYLITOL THAT YOU’LL FIND ANYWHERE
XYLITOL AS A SWEETENER
Like we said before, xylitol is most commonly known as a sugar alternative. It’s a great option for diabetics because it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels.
Xylitol is most often found in chewing gum, mints, candies, and diabetic foods. It’s a great sugar alternative because it looks and tastes like sugar, but has 40% fewer calories. Table sugar has four calories per gram, where xylitol only has 2.4 calories per gram. This makes it a great option for anyone who is trying to live a low calorie or sugar free lifestyle, but still wants to be able to enjoy sweets.
While xylitol has fewer calories than sugar, they are considered empty calories, meaning it doesn’t contain any vitamins, minerals, or protein. While sugar alcohols are technically carbohydrates, most don’t raise blood sugar levels, and therefore do not count as “net carbs.” Spiking blood sugar and insulin levels is one of the many negative effects of sugar, and sugar is pretty much in everything.
Sugar falls between 60-70 on the glycemic index, where xylitol only falls at a 7. The glycemic index measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar. It rates food on a scale of 0 to 100, and those that rank 0-55 are considered low, where foods that rank between 56-69 are considered medium, and those 70 or greater are considered high on the glycemic index.
Xylitol is an excellent alternative to sugar. It works just like sugar to sweeten tea, coffee, or any other drinks. It can be cooked with and baked with just the same as sugar, so you can enjoy all your favorite desserts and treats guilt free.
There are very few places that xylitol shouldn’t be used. For instance, xylitol doesn’t caramelize or “hard crack” so it shouldn’t be used for the topping of a crème brûlée. And since yeast cannot metabolize xylitol, it shouldn’t be used as a sugar replacement in any kind of breads that rise.