On my quest to discover all sweeteners with xylitol available to you in stores,
I found almost 40 products
Click the Try it button of each sweetener to be linked to Amazon
where you can read reviews, labels, Q&As, and price.
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Quick Facts About Xylitol
Synthetic sweetener: Also known as 'birch sugar', xylitol is found naturally in a variety of fruits and vegetables. However, due to being available only in tiny amounts, the store-bought xylitol is a synthetic sweetener produced from the second most abundant polysaccharide in nature, hemicellulose.
From birch wood or corn: Xylitol is converted from xylose, a sugar isolated from hemicellulose. The two most common sources of xylose are birch wood and corn. Xylitol from birch wood and corn are chemically identical. Most xylitol products you are going to find in stores are made from non-GMO corn in China and tend to be less expensive than those from birch wood.
Taste: Xylitol is as sweet as table sugar so it is a 1:1 sugar replacement. Like all polyols, when eaten in powder form, xylitol creates a cooling sensation as it dissolves in the mouth, referred to as a cooling effect. It has the most pronounced cooling effect of all polyols. To minimize this effect, you may find it blended with other sweeteners (inulin, erythritol).
Warning to dog owners: Xylitol is life-threatening to dogs, causing staggering, collapse, and seizures due to rapid decrease in their blood sugar levels. Learn more about it by reading a Food and Drug Administration post here or watch their video Xylitol and Dogs, A Deadly Combination.
Tooth-friendly sweetener: Xylitol is a noncariogenic sweetener as it does not promote cavities. It also has a cariostatic effect, as it staves harmful mouth bacteria, inhibiting their growth and activity. Visit my Tooth Friendly Sweeteners page to explore a variety of cariostatic sugar substitutes. The Food and Drug Administration allows xylitol sweeteners to carry claims on their labels such as "does not promote," "may reduce the risk of," and "useful in not promoting" caries.
What Happens to Xylitol in our Body?
Slowly absorbed & partially digested: Twenty five to fifty percent of the xylitol you eat is slowly absorbed in the small intestine. The remaining unabsorbed amount (half to about 3/4 of the ingested xylitol) reaches the large intestine, where it is fermented by the microbiota (beneficial microbes in the intestinal tract). Because xylitol is only partially digested, it contributes less calories than other carbohydrates such as table sugar. According to the FDA regulation for nutrition labels, the caloric value per gram of xylitol is 2.4 calories; 10 calories per teaspoon (4g); about 500 calories per cup (48 teaspoons).
Warning to you: Adverse effects, consequence of undigested xylitol reaching the large intestine, include a variety of gastrointestinal issues. Bloating, stomach rumble, flatulence, cramps and diarrhea are commonly associated with excessive intake. The uncomfortable digestive effects you might feel are similar to that experienced when having too much high-fiber foods (beans). Xylitol is a FODMAP (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols) carbohydrate and should not be consumed by people with "irritable bowel syndrome" (IBS).
Low glycemic index: Xylitol is slowly absorbed and converted into glucose so it does not cause a sudden increase in blood sugar. It is often promoted by their manufacturers and distributors as a low glycemic index (GI) sweetener. From the University of Sydney Glycemic Index database, xylitol has a GI of 7 and 8.
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