Xylitol is a natural sweetener that looks and tastes like sugar.
Unlike artificial sweeteners devised in a lab, this sugar alcohol (polyol) grows in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables and is even produced by the human body.
Commercially it is extracted from organic corn husks or sometimes hardwoods. It is not GMO.
Thousands of studies have confirmed the safety and efficacy of this sugar substitute. It may even increase bone density.
One drawback is the potential for diarrhea when taken in large quantities, which is true for any sugar alcohol. The sweetener is also not safe for dogs or ferrets.
Use as a sugar substitute to sweeten coffee or tea and in all your cooking and baking. One teaspoon tastes about the same as one teaspoon sugar.
You may notice a crunchier texture when sprinkling directly on cold raw food such as fresh strawberries and a bit less sweetness in hot beverages, but no aftertaste.
Many health-related products are available, including toothpaste, mints, chewing gum, and nasal spray. Candy, jams, and condiments can also be enjoyed.
To experience health benefits, aim for at least five tiny servings a day, especially after meals. The total dose is not what matters but how often the sweetener is used.
The goal is to create an environment that starves and disables the bacteria responsible for gum disease, dental caries, and ear and sinus infections.
It can be as simple as using toothpaste morning and evening and enjoying a mint or piece of chewing gum after each meal. Just be sure the products contain no other sweeteners.
A side benefit is avoiding the harmful sweeteners many of these products contain, like aspartame (NutraSweet). And you avoid a sugar aftertaste.
You'll find the mints and chewing gum freshen breath much better than sugar products. Healing your mouth at the same time just sweetens the deal.
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