Xylitol a Diabetic Friendly Sweetener

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Xylitol is an all-natural sweetener that is used as a substitute for sugar. The fibers of various fruits & vegetables contain Xylitol. It is made from fruits like pears, strawberries and plums, as well as cornhusks or birch bark. It tastes more similar to sugar than any of the other substitutes that are available today.

Xylitol was discovered in the latter part of the 19th century. It became popular in Europe as a sweetener that was safe for people suffering from diabetes because it did not affect their insulin levels.

A diabetic individual is generally advised to lower their simple carbohydrates and sugar intake. The majority of the experts agree that a small amount of sugar can be included in a diabetic diet. However, replacing sugar with a sweetener can help a diabetic to manage their glucose levels. This is especially useful for people with a ’sweet’ tooth. Xylitol is a great substitute for sugar. One of the greatest qualities is it can take the place of sugar cup by cup. One teaspoon of xylitol only has 10 calories and a GI of 7. Measuring the same as sugar conversion to this sweetener is extremely easy.

The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly a food causes blood glucose levels to rise. A food that has a high glycemic index causes glucose levels to rise more rapidly. White sugar has a GI of 68; while xylitol’s GI is only 7. This means that consuming xylitol will not cause an individual’s blood glucose level to spike.

Here is a list of sweeteners and their Glycemic Index measurements:

*High Fructose Corn Syrup-100
*White Sugar-68
*Blackstrap Molasses-55
*Maple Syrup-54
*Barley Malt Syrup-42
*Agave Nectar-15

Since xylitol is not a carbohydrate its glycemic load (GL) is zero. It is metabolized separately from insulin. The formula GL= (The amount of carbohydrate available x GI)/100 is used to calculate the glycemic load. It measures the quantity and quality of carbohydrates.

Sugar has 40% more calories than xylitol. By using xylitol instead of sugar, a diabetic can reduce their calorie intake to lose weight or control their weight. This is an essential element in managing diabetes. Besides being a sugar substitute for diabetics, it has many other benefits as well.

Benefits of Xylitol

*No horrible aftertaste
*1/3 less calories than white sugar
*Helps reduce the formation of plaque
*Delightfully sweet taste
*Helps increase the flow of saliva aiding in the restoration of damaged enamel on the teeth
*Helps with the reduction of dental cavity development
*Fantastic sugar alternative for people with diabetes

Today, obtaining xylitol products is becoming easier than ever. There are candies, ketchups, honeys and jams. This is just a sampling of the products available. Whether you are diabetic, or just looking to eat healthier without giving up your sweet tooth, xylitol may be just what you need.