I recently received a pack of Xyla (Xylitol Canada ) products including sweetener, Mountain Berry jam , mints and candies. The fact that many people in my family including my father and mother in law are diabetic made me curious to know more about these products.I had read of Xylitol as an ingredient in sugar free gums but never paid much attention to it until now. Xyla brand xylitol is a natural sweetener with no additives and is extracted from North American grown hardwood trees unlike the many other xylitols in the market which are derived from corn, made in China and often finished with additives.
Xylitol is diabetic safe and is approved by the American Diabetes Association. It is a natural insulin stabilizer; therefore it does not cause a spike in blood sugar. It is 7 on the glycemic index whereas sugar is 68. It also has 40% fewer calories and 75% fewer carbs than sugar. It is also said to have dental benefits.
I was glad to see the colorful lollipops in the package. My heart goes out to young kids battling diabetes. While I have seen several sugar free chocolates in stores this was the first time I came across sugar free lollipops. Now for the taste test. I handed one to my five year old to get her opinion and her reaction was “It doesn’t really have a taste” which probably meant it was less sweet than regular candies but it didn’t stop her from finishing it off. I liked the mints except for the fact that they dissolved a bit too quickly in the mouth.
I used Xyla instead of sugar in my morning tea in a one-to-one ratio and could hardly tell the difference in taste. I have noticed that many sugar substitutes leave a bitter aftertaste which Xyla did not. I also used it in my Quinoa porridge and did not notice any significant difference.
Xyla brand xylitol can also be used one to one in any baking recipe requiring sugar. Sugar alcohols do not react with yeast so they won’t help bread rise. Also, xylitol does not caramelize when baking so finished baked goods may seem dryer. An easy solution is to add more liquid, lecithin, butter, or even xanthan gum to the recipe to retain moisture.
Now to the downside of this product. Xylitol may cause digestive discomfort if consumed in excessive amounts. How much xylitol can be safely consumed per day is debatable and would vary from person to person but the Xylitol Canada website advises to start with no more than 8 grams per day. Also, while the FDA declares xylitol to be non toxic for humans, it can be toxic for pets.
In conclusion, I would say that while I would still prefer honey or maple syrup as a healthier sugar substitute for my family, I think xylitol might be a good sugar substitute for diabetics to sweeten up their food once in a while.
Do you use any sugar substitutes ? Do let me know what do you think of it.
Disclosure: I received free samples of the product. However, I was not under any obligation to write a review or post it on my blog. All views and opinions expressed are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for my views.