The average American eats 152 lbs. of sugar annually, compared to 20 lbs. a century ago. That’s 750 calories daily, from refined sugar–which is half an adult woman’s daily calorie requirements! Some doctors have predicted that since Americans are eating 100 times more sugar than the human pancreas can process, in 20 years, every single one of us will be diabetic.
Americans think everything has to be syrupy-sweet. We have to find a way out of the disaster course we are on.
The CEO of Xlear, Blaine Yates, was next to me on the plane as we both returned to Utah from a SoCal speaking tour, and a one-day stop at natural-products Expo West recently. Xlear is a local company and a leading manufacturer of xylitol products, and it turns out he lives just up the road from me.
He went to check out GreenSmoothieGirl.com when he got home, and I have now taken the opportunity to learn more about birch and coconut shell and corncob-derived xylitol, too.
Quite a few readers have written asking my opinion of this alternative sweetener. It’s plant based and non-GMO. It’s not a whole food. As I recommend it here and review the basics of what is known about xylitol, please don’t assume I’m saying it’s a superfood. It isn’t.
But neither is stevia a whole food or a superfood, which I recommend. Both are vastly better than sugar or chemical sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, or Splenda, and it has no aftertaste. You can use it in a baking recipe nearly 1:1. (Blaine recommends using 7/8 of a cup of XyloSweet xylitol for 1 cup of sugar in a recipe.)
Sugar is a six-carbon molecule, and Xylitol, a sugar alcohol, is a five-carbon molecule that is not easily ingested and metabolized by cavity-causing bacteria, like sugar is. So when you eat xylitol, bacteria does not stick to the teeth, and the pH of the mouth does not become acidic, leading to tooth decay.
I knew that xylitol gums and toothpastes are often recommended by dentists because of documented positive effects on the teeth, specifically, that it prevents decay, plaque, and cavities. Regular xylitol gum chewers have up to 80 percent less tooth decay. In Finland, studies show a positive effect on upper respiratory infections in children, using xylitol chewing gum.
So Xlear developed a nasal spray of xylitol mixed with saline, a natural and effective way to clear sinus infections. It not only makes the nasal climate inhospitable to bacteria, but it also hydrates the sinuses and helps the body rinse away infection-causing bacteria. It is preventative for ear and sinus infections. It is preventative of biofilms, as well, a topic I’ve been studying lately. You can read more about the university research on xylitol at xylitol.org. Some doctors even use a xylitol wash in the operating room.
Xylitol as a sweetener is also safe for diabetics and hypoglycemics, with its negligible effect on blood sugar and insulin release, and 40 percent fewer calories.
Again, xylitol is not a raw food or a whole food or a superfood. Don’t get it mixed up with things like greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Those are our STAPLES.
It is, however, a good option for a person with a sweet tooth, and it has a number of benefits. No other sweetener has any health benefits (besides some minerals in coconut sugar and molasses and maple syrup). And most of them cause, rather than prevent, dental decay. I am going to start using the mouth rinse since I come from a big family of soft teeth and lots of cavities! While I’ve had no cavities in the past 10 years, the cavities of my childhood are now haunting me, and I’ve had two oral surgeries in the past year, related to tooth decay from my years of the Standard American Diet.
The giveaway package today is the Xlear Sinus Care System, xylitol gum, xylitol toothpaste, a package of XyloSweet xylitol sweetener, a book on healing respiratory infection with this substance, and much more–see the photo for everything the winners get!
Write firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address, and the first three to write will be selected as the winners and shipped all the freebies. (We can’t write back to everyone, so we’ll write only the first three.) Watch the blog for the winners and their hometown.
Xylitol is derived from birch trees, and non-GMO corn cobs and stalks. Some companies use some harsh chemicals to process their product, but Xlear does not. Buy Xlear products at your health food store–find a store locator HERE. And if you don’t win, don’t despair–get products HERE using the coupon code: smoothie, for a 20% discount off of all products for the month of April!
Tomorrow I’ll share a banana bread recipe using xylitol!