Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Have you ever heard of Xylitol? If you haven't, no worries, my blog today is all about it and its wonderful properties. So what excatly is Xylitol? It is a sugar alcohol that is naturally present in small amounts in various fruits and veggies. It was originally extracted from birch trees in Finland (yea for Finland) but can also be derived from corn. It resembles table sugar in consistency and taste, but has a third fewer calories and is a great sugar alternative for diabetics. By the way, sugar alcohol has nothing to do with regular alcohol so don't let that scare you into not trying Xylitol.
Not only that but Xylitol may also inhibit cavities by denying plaque the fuel (sugar) it needs to erode tooth enamel. Xylitol is mentioned to be the best sweetener for teeth by www.xylitol.org The site also states that
"Studies using xylitol as either a sugar substitute or a small dietary addition have demonstrated a dramatic reduction in new tooth decay, along with arrest and even some reversal of existing dental caries."
So why use Xylitol?Here are the reasons:
@ Good for your teeth
@ It has less calories than the evil sugar
@ It is already present in our bodies as well as fruits and veggies so it's natural
@ It is safe although excessive use can have a laxative effect (We haven't noticed anything and we chew several pieces a day plus use it in our toothpaste)
@ It is convenient. Use it either in gum, toothpaste, mint, sugar, mouthwash etc form.
@ It is enjoyable. My kids love our Xylitol gum and mints, and are always asking for more.
@ It can be used as sugar substitute in recipes
We use Xylitol gum every time we eat something sugary but it works best if you chew a piece each time you eat unless you're going to brush your teeth. There are several flavors available but I like peppermint and spearmint because I've found that the flavors last the longest. I order mine either off of ebay or Vitacost but sometimes if I run out, I have to buy a pack at the Health Market off of Sawdust. Expensive but it'll do in a pinch.
I took a picture of my Xylitol sugar substitute and gum. The sugar substitute I bought at HEB for $9 (YIKES!!!) and the gum came from Vitacost. I'm still scouting for places to buy the powdered form and it looks like Vitacost beats all the prices so far. I'll keep on searching because it is still somewhat expensive at $6.99.