Xylitol is a naturally occurring 5-carbon sugar polyalcohol that is derived from plants such as oats, beetroot, mushrooms and some fruits and vegetables. It can also be extracted from the bark of a birch tree and the fiber of cornhusks. Xylitol is described as a sugar-free substance, nevertheless, this does not mean that it is not sweet. It is actually sweeter than regular sugar. Xylitol is often used as a natural sweetener because it does not cause tooth cavities and decays.
Benefits of Using Xylitol for Baking
Whether you are baking cookies, cakes or muffins, Xylitol may be the best sweetener for baking. It does not only add flavor to baking, but it also provides some great health benefits. According to research, Xylitol is effective in stabilizing blood-sugar levels, and it can contribute significantly to weight loss. It can also restore hormonal balance, increase bone density and lower insulin levels in diabetics.
Xylitol is an alkaline, and it is responsible for preserving the pH levels of the human body. It is advisable that high-blood pressure sufferers consume products that have Xylitol, as it helps to stabilize blood pressure. Xylitol is also beneficial to female reproductive health. It reduces the risks of fibroids, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pregnancy-related depression, endometriosis, hot flashes and menstrual problems.
Xylitol is appropriate for baking because it inhibits the growth of bacteria, pathogens and other microorganisms. The antibacterial properties of Xylitol can help to maintain the freshness of a baked product. In fact, it is very good for oral hygiene when it is used as an ingredient for a baked food product.
Side Effects of Xylitol
Side effects associated with Xylitol are very rare. The effects often manifest themselves in sensitive people, but they are not fatal or dangerous in any way. Most sensitive people experience short bouts of mild diarrhea or stomach discomfort after eating foods that contain Xylitol. Nevertheless, these symptoms take only a short time to subdue, as the body will ultimately adjust to the effects of Xylitol. Research shows that Xylitol is actually safe in unlimited quantities. The only precaution that you should take is to ensure that your dog or other pet does not consume it, as Xylitol can be fatal if it is eaten by animals.