As many of you who follow the I Quit Sugar journey know, my preferred sweetener is rice malt syrup and stevia for a number of reasons, which you can catch up on here. But I’ve also mentioned before that xylitol is one of the very few safe sugar alcohols and works a treat for baking.
Our I Quit Sugar friend Nat Kringoudis is a xylitol fan, and I’ve asked her to share why this is the case, plus a few very pretty sugar-free recipes from her new book Eat Fat Be Thin. Go Nat!
Nut and yoghurt tart, recipe below
Nat is an acupuncturist, herbalist, natural fertility educator, writer, blogger and natural health expert…and mum!… and has often helped us with our I Quit Sugar programs, most recently helping to answer questions on our I Quit Sugar Facebook page program. Nat has been following I Quit Sugar from the start, and also lives sugar free. In her new book, Nat has joined forces with Andi Lew to inspire women of all ages to be healthy by eating plenty of healthy fat.
Nat says: Xylitol is another alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners, and may be used safely in small amounts. Derived from the birch tree:
- it is widely used in chewing gums as it inhibits bacterial growth and reduces the incidence of cavities.
- it tastes exactly like sugar, and is especially good for diabetics and those who are hypoglycaemic.
- it’s safe: a 1986 study verified Xylitol’s safety and it received the highest and safest ADI (acceptable daily intake) rating.
- it can be purchased from health food stores and you can use it as a sweetener in drinks and baked goods.
- it has 40% less calories than sugar.
- it’s also plant-derived, which means it’s natural, unlike aspartame, which has been known to be carcinogenic and affect the digestive system.
Xylitol like anything is really safe in small doses and like with all our recipes, these were created as ‘treats.’ Xylitol in larger doses (more than 50gm per serve) may have a laxative effect, just like many fruits would – so be aware that overdoing may see you visiting the loo more than usual! There are no other reported problems associated with xylitol in healthy doses – and like all foods we encourage our readers to eat a variety of fresh whole foods.
Nat has also shared two xylitol recipes from her Eat Fat Be Thin book.
Nut and Yoghurt Tart