Xylitol is undoubtedly the most used sweetener at the moment. But what, after all, are its peculiarities? Is it really healthy and a good option to replace sugar?
Nutritionist Juliana Pizzocolo explains that xylitol is a natural sweetener found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, such as plums, raspberries, corn and some species of mushrooms.
Raquel Segobia, nutritionist from the same program, adds that xylitol is a substance obtained through the hydrogenation (reduction) of xylose (sugar). “It has even been used for a long time in the dental field, for example, to sweeten children’s toothpaste”, she says.
Find out why this natural sweetener is a good option and how to use it on a daily basis:
5 Benefits of Xylitol You May Not Know
Juliana explains that, today, the use of xylitol has increased significantly, especially because its sweetening power is similar to that of sugar. “However, each gram of it contains approximately 40% fewer calories compared to sugar,” she says.
Raquel adds that, in addition to the low caloric amount, xylitol is pleasing because it has a sweet taste, but less residual when compared to other sweeteners.
But does not stop there! In general, nutritionists highlight the following as the main benefits of using xylitol:
- It has low calories;
- It sweetens significantly and without (or, depending on the palate, little) aftertaste;
- Inhibits the formation of cavities;
- It has a low glycemic index, that is, it is well tolerated by diabetics;
- It helps with weight loss (since it is a good option to replace sugar).
Nutritionist Juliana recalls that, given that its function is to sweeten, xylitol has no nutritional value, that is, it has minimal amounts of vitamins, minerals and proteins.
Is xylitol the best option to replace sugar?
Nutritionist Raquel highlights that, due to its low caloric content and having little influence on blood glucose changes, xylitol is an interesting option for people who want to exclude or reduce their daily consumption of sugar. “However, just like sugar, it also goes through industrial processes and, therefore, consumption should not be free demand”, she says.
Juliana adds that xylitol is not the only recommended sweetener. “Stevia has similar properties and can also be consumed by diabetics, hypertensive patients and individuals who want to lose weight,” she explains.
where to buy xylitol
Currently, xylitol can be easily found on sale: in restricted food sections in most supermarkets, in health food stores or even on the internet.
The sweetener can be purchased in bulk or in ready-made packaging from some brands of natural products and/or supplements. It can also be found in liquid or powdered versions. To know which is the best option of the product to buy, the ideal is to consult your nutritionist.
Contraindications and warnings about consumption
Juliana points out that the consumption of xylitol (in large quantities) is not recommended for individuals who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome or digestive problems, due to natural fermentation. In addition, it is considered toxic to dogs.
It is worth mentioning that, despite being healthier than sugar, xylitol should not be consumed in excess. “Your recommended daily consumption is up to 2 packets (or 10 drops). Always remembering that the ideal is to accustom the palate to the natural flavor of food and/or drinks, that is, prefer to consume them without sweetening”, concludes Juliana.
Remember, then, that xylitol is an effective natural sweetener to help reduce sugar consumption on a daily basis, thus being a good ally of the diet. The best way to consume it and enjoy its benefits is by following the guidelines of your nutritionist.
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.
Journalist graduated in 2009 (58808/SP), freelance writer since 2013, totally adept at working from home. Communicative, always full of topics to talk about and inspiration to write. Responsible at work and outside of it; dedicated to commitments and the people with whom she lives; in love with family, dogs, home, the sea, moments of tranquility and also excitement.
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