Refined sugars are increasingly recognized as being both unhealthy and harmful to the modern diet. Because of this, consumers are looking for healthy, sugar-free alternatives to add to foods, drinks, candies, and gum. Xylitol has become popular for having fewer calories and less of an effect on blood sugar levels than refined sugar. In addition, xylitol also has a number of surprising benefits for oral health.
What is xylitol?
The word xylitol itself comes from the combination of two Greek roots: xylo- which means “wood” and “–itol” mean sugar alcohol. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that is found in many plants, fruits, and vegetables.
How is xylitol created?
Because it naturally occurs in both corn and birch trees, xylitol is not created but is instead sourced. Sourcing xylitol from corn cobs is the preferred method because it is more environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Corn is already being grown for food, meaning farming it does not take up additional space. Likewise, xylitol can be sourced from the corn cobs, a previously unused and typically discarded part of the corn.
What is xylitol used for?
Xylitol is used in a number of ways in both food and medicine. The most common use of xylitol is as a sugar substitute. Xylitol has 40% fewer calories than refined sugar and is lower on the glycemic index, resulting in little to no blood sugar spikes. This makes it an excellent sugar alternative for those suffering from diabetes. Xylitol can also be found in saline nasal sprays and other nasal irrigation products.
Xylitol is an extremely popular ingredient in oral health products, including sugar-free gums and candies, toothpaste, and mouthwash. 6-10 grams of xylitol per day has been found to reduce cavity formation in both children and adults. Many dental professionals recommend using xylitol products after meals and snacks as a way to reduce and prevent tooth decay.
4ever Mints products are created with xylitol, making them a great choice for breath mints and and afternoon pick-me-ups. In addition to giving you fresh breath – and lasting 3+ hours – our mints can help make your mouth healthier. With delicious flavors such as cinnamon, ginger, cola, orange cream, and peppermint, it’s easy to keep your mouth and breath fresh at any time of the day!