I have been using Agave for a while as a natural alternative to sugar. I went to Waitrose to buy some more and they only had a product called Xylitol.
‘Sounds like it’s crystalised in a lab’ I thought, but with nothing else that looked any better for me than actual sugar I thought I’d give it a go.
- It claimed on the packet to look and taste like sugar. It did.
- It claimed on the packet to have a low Glycemic Index. It does.
- It claimed on the packet to be safe for Diabetics and Hypoglycemics. It is.
- It claimed on the packet to have 65% less available carbs than sugar. It does.
As with all such things, I decided it was to good to be true, so I to investigate it further and as usual, amongst other resources, Wikipedia came to the rescue. It’s amazing stuff.
Xylitol is a sugar alternative that’s found in fibrous vegetables, fruits and wood – looks, feels and taste like sugar but contains less than 40% of the calories. It’s effective in fighting Yeast infections (Candida etc), ear infections, respiratory infections, it has general broad spectrum anti bacterial properties and it is recommended during pregnancy. These are only the results from the limited research carried out so far, but the most amazing properties are the oral health properties that this ‘sugar’ has:
- Inhibits plaque and dental cavities by 80%
- Freshens breath
- Retards demineralization of tooth enamel
- Promotes remineralization of tooth enamel
- Reduces infections in the mouth and nasopharynx
- Low decay rates persist for years after clinical trials have been completed
- Produces dental benefits that are long-lasting, maybe even permanent.
- Relieves ‘dry mouth’
- Protects salivary proteins via a protein-stabilizing effect.
I eat no other sweetener now and honestly, if you have a sweet tooth (and want to keep it), neither should you. So far there appears to be no negative indications from responsible consumption.