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 most 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.
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
Most 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.
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.
Erythritol has a glycemic index of zero—it does not spike insulin. It is a byproduct of fermenting corn. Erythritol is keto and low-carb because it is not metabolized by the body. It enters the bloodstream and is mostly excreted by the kidneys. Make sure that the source is non-GMO.
“Erythritol is rapidly absorbed in the upper intestine by a concentration-dependent diffusion process (Schiweck and Ziesenitz, 1996) and has no effect on plasma glucose and insulin (Ishikawa et al., 1996; Bornet et al., 1996a, 1996b).”
Will Erythritol Cause Digestive Concerns?
Keep the amount consumed below 20g, and it is unlikely to cause side effects. Many sugar alcohols cause gastrointestinal distress because they pass through the digestive tract and reach the colon where bacteria there ferment the sugar alcohol, potentially causing gas. Erythritol does not typically have that side effect when consumption is kept low. Be cautious, try a little and see how it effects you. It may cause bloating, gas and/or diarrhea.
Monk Fruit Sweetener
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.
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.”
- 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. Read more about the benefits of non-GMO monk fruit sweeteners.
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
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