A common question that’s asked is, Xylitol vs Stevia? What should you choose for a sugar alternative?
What is Stevia?
Stevia comes from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, which is native to Paraguay, but can now be found around the world. The sweetener is mainly produced from the leaves of the plant. Stevia is intensely sweet and 1 teaspoon of it is equivalent to 1 cup of sugar. It can be anywhere from 200 to 350 times sweeter than sugar.
Stevia has been popular in Japan for over 40 years but was approved as a food additive in the US since 2008. Since then it has grown in popularity by about 400% globally.
What are the Benefits of Stevia?
Stevia sweeteners usually have zero or few calories per serving. Stevia is a good option for those with diabetes because it stevia doesn’t contribute calories or carbs to the diet, which affect the blood glucose levels. This also makes it a good option for weight control.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol, like stevia, comes from plants. It’s found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables like cornhusks and berries. It’s even found in small amounts in the human body.
Xylitol is naturally sweet and can be used in a 1:1 ratio for sugar, which makes it more convenient than stevia for cooking and baking. When substituting xylitol, you won’t have to figure out the conversion, just substitute the same amount.
What are the Benefits of Xylitol?
Xylitol has very minimal effect on blood sugar, so it’s good for diabetics. Xylitol, when used regularly has dental benefits as well. Getting five grams of xylitol per day can help improve oral health, making it difficult for bacteria to stick to the teeth and cause cavities and dental decay.
Xylitol is also a prebiotic, which means it helps encourage good gut bacteria. Sugar, however, encourages the growth of unhealthy bacteria and yeast. Xylitol is beneficial because unlike some sweeteners, it doesn’t encourage the growth of yeast in the gut.
So Xylitol vs Stevia, Which Should You Choose?
It’s really a personal choice, and we would recommend talking to your doctor about which fits into your diet better. We obviously love xylitol due to its varying health benefits and its easy 1:1 substitution in cooking and baking. Visit our products page to find out the best xylitol sweeteners and where to find them.
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