Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol extracted from many fruits and vegetables and is available in many natural sugar-free food products. Many xylitol products, such as xylitol gum, mints and chocolates, boast the benefits of xylitol for the teeth, as some scientific evidence shows it prevents the buildup of bacteria, as opposed to regular sugar. Many xylitol products are safe for diabetics, as long as they are not combined with real sugar, as xylitol has minimal effect of blood sugar levels. Baked goods, such as muffins and cookies, may also contain xylitol, along with a mix of other sugar alcohols such as erythritol and maltitol.
For those with aversions to artificially sweetened beverages and food items, items sweetened with xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar alcohol, are safe alternatives. Xylitol is extracted from many fruits and vegetables, and sweetens many natural food and beverage items. Muffins, cakes and sweet dessert breads can be found with xylitol as their main sweetening agent. Sugar-free, all natural ice cream can also be found sweetened with xylitol as well as stevia, a no-calorie herbal sweetener that doesn't affect blood sugar or insulin levels.
Some soft drinks and sports beverages are made with xylitol for those individuals who desire sodas and flavored bottled waters without the guilt of sugar or taste of chemical sweeteners. Xylitol products including xylitol gum and xylitol toothpaste boast their abilities to keep teeth clean due to their natural components. Since xylitol does not promote the formation of bacteria or plaque on the gums and teeth, as regular table sugar does, xylitol is seen as a beneficial sweetener in the dental industry. Other xylitol products, such as xylitol mouthwash, are used as well to help sweeten natural dental hygiene products.
Xylitol products will not raise blood sugar significantly, so these products can be consumed safely by those with diabetes or those concerned with their weight. Xylitol is often used as a replacement for sugar in many homemade recipes, as its granular form is readily available to consumers. Some xylitol baking products contain a blend of other sugar alcohols, such as erythritol or maltitol, to help sweeten a food or beverage and lower the cost of production. If it is a natural diet product, stevia might also be blended in with the sweeteners to cut calories.