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Is Xylitol Natural? Is it a safe alternative? What about Erythritol?

Sweeteners can be a slippery slope, but if you want to add a little here or there, opt for alternatives to straight up white sugar.

I’m not a big fan of xylitol as a sweetener or any of the sugar alcohols.

I do suggest 1 tsp of Xylitol in water when ladies feel a urinary tract infection coming on, however. See my post about UTI here.

My view on the sugar alcohols (often their name ends in -ol) is that we need to limit them and maybe avoid them. They are highly processed hydrogenated sugars.

Sugar Alcohols

These are the substances which are usually, but not always, identifiable by the suffix “-itol”–sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, erythritol, lactitol, maltitol, isomalt and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH).

Weston A Price organization

Sugar alcohols are not metabolized and cause problems.

Sugar alcohols draw water into the bowels.
They can cause digestive issues and have a laxative effect. Sugar alcohols can cause diarrhea, gas, cramping, bloating and stomachaches. It can be harder on children to digest.

Stomach cramping and diarrhea are certainly not as serious as the conditions associated with some of the non-nutritive sweeteners, but the sugar alcohols can cause other more serious problems.

One of these conditions is metabolic acidosis, which can lead to acid reflux and an increased risk of cancer of the larynx.

And diabetics and hypoglycemics should be aware that sugar alcohols do raise blood sugar levels, although not as much as sugar.

Sugar alcohols also promote dehydration and loss of electrolytes, creating feelings of excessive thirst.

This is a potential concern to those who consume a lot of low-carb, energy bar types of foods.

Exercising after consuming these types of products may put one at risk for heat stroke, muscle cramping and cardiovascular problems.

Those who are trying to avoid carbohydrates and burn body fat should also know that sugar alcohols will immediately take the body out of ketosis, the state wherein fat reserves rather than dietary calories are being metabolized. . . assuming that the body was in a state of ketosis to begin with.

Weston A Price organization

The source is very important.

Much of the xylitol on the market is coming from GMO corn. While I don’t recommend using xylitol, if you choose to use it be sure to purchase a brand that claims “birch tree derived” and you’ll avoid that. 

Read more about xylitol here.

Erythritol is highly processed and manufactured from cornstarch, probably GMO corn derived unless the product states otherwise. It is produced by a fermentation process.

Better options


I use Stevia Extract, liquid drops seem to taste better and are a bit less processed that the white powder,

Read more about stevia here.

Raw Honey

Local, raw honey has health benefits, but keep the amount low and buy quality.

FarmersAlmanac website lists the benefits. “Local, raw honey is known to be a powerful antioxidant and contains bee pollen and propolis, substances produced by bees that have been used medicinally by humans since ancient times.”

Four Uses for Raw Honey:

Homemade Electrolyte Drink
  • Quart of filtered water
  • Juice of 1 – 2 lemons
  • 1 – 3 tsp raw honey (for children under age 1 substitute coconut sugar or palm sugar)
  • 1 dropperful of SweetLeaf Stevia
  • ¼ – ½ tsp Redmond’s Real Salt* (Not table salt which has had the minerals removed). 1/4 tsp = 530 mg sodium
Wounds: Apply Topically
  •  Honey is a natural antiseptic.
  • It kills bacteria and disinfects.
  • Raw honey creates an environment where bacteria cannot survive.
  • FarmersAlmanac says, “Eating unfiltered, unheated, raw honey produced within your area, (50-mile radius or less) is like receiving a natural anti-allergy shot! 
  • Quercetin, a component of honey, has been found in studies to reduce inflammation and pollen allergy symptoms. It stabilizes the cell membranes that release histamine, which triggers allergic reactions. Raw honey also contains bee pollen and bee propolis, which boosts the immune system, and builds immunity to allergens.”
Soothe Coughs
  • Add 2-3 teaspoons of raw apple cider vinegar to 8-ounces of water. Blend in a teaspoon of honey. Warming the mixture can help the honey to mix in and it may be more soothing to the throat. Add a few drops of Lemon Vitality to boost the benefits.
  • A side note: for coughs, mix one drop of RC Essential Oil with coconut oil and rub on the chest and the bottoms of her feet.  Cover the feet with socks, and go to bed. This is a great option for children too!

Note: Never feed honey to an infant younger than one year old. 

Luo Han Guo

Luo han guo or monk fruit is an option that I have never used because it is expensive. Pure Monk™  powder claims that it is a 100% pure, all-natural, virtually no-calorie sugar substitute, derived from the goodness of real fruit.

Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup

Salmon with Maple glaze recipe

Black Strap Molasses


  • Antioxidant benefits
  • Helpful for skin, promotes healthy tissues
  • Beneficial for bone health
  • Add to coffee or almond milk, or other recipes calling for honey, maple syrup or sugar
  • Good as an iron supplement
  • B Vitamins and minerals help calm stress and anxiety feelings
  • Buy organic in glass bottle vs. plastic container