Xylitol is not bad for your health if consumed within limits. So, if you ask us, “Does xylitol cause weight gain?” then we are evidently sure that it doesn’t! Instead, it’ll help you lose your belly fat by helping you completely omit sugar intake.
No official health department has given any verdict on the use of xylitol so far. But people are using it and are satisfied with its offer. The market size for xylitol surpassed $880 million in the year 2019. Since then, the market has only grown substantially with a 2.8% annual growth rate.
We have done practical surveys to add clarity on “is xylitol bad for you”, and we got mixed answers. So, this article is a collective guide to help you learn more about xylitol, its benefits, and xylitol health risks.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a form of sugar alcohol, as experts have stated, its chemical structure is similar to that of both sugar and alcohol. But, it’s neither purely sugar nor alcohol. Instead, it’s a carbohydrate consisting of fiber, which doesn’t digest in our body.
The bacteria in the human digestive system cannot process this crystalline aldose sugar, xylose, and its derivative, xylitol. It’s mostly produced in food labs by processing xylose. But, it’s also present in some fruits & vegetables such as strawberries, pumpkin, plums, and cauliflower.
Xylitol is popularly preferable as an alternative to sugar due to its sweet taste. It doesn’t have any properties of table sugar or cane but still replicates a good portion of similar sweetness, which is healthy.
Xylitol has 40% fewer calories than that regular sugar. Hence, you can limit the health adversities caused by sugar by replacing it with this natural sweetener.
Xylitol has proven to enrich your healthy bodily functions, an expectation from all natural chemicals and compounds we consume. Here are a few of the health benefits that will prove to you what is xylitol good for:
1 – No Spike in Blood Sugar Levels
Unlike sugar, xylitol has a very minimal Glycaemic Index, which means it doesn’t increase the insulin and blood sugar levels in your body. Even though it has carbohydrates, it’s still ideal for diabetic patients to consume.
Moreover, xylitol also has zero fructose, which helps contribute to making it a healthy alternative to sugar. Xylitol doesn’t share any harmful effects with sugar.
2 – Better Dental Health
Xylitol is used by many chewing-gum brands for its good properties for dental health. Dentists prescribe xylitol gums to patients with various dental problems such as toothache, enamel wear, tooth decay, etc.
Sugar is a rich source of glucose, fueling the oral bacteria that cause dental problems. Oral bacteria cannot feed on xylitol, but they still ingest it. After ingesting xylitol, they cannot take up glucose from other food items.
Hence, the oral bacteria will starve and die, saving you from adverse dental problems!
3 – Treats Ear and Yeast Infections
Mouth, nose and ears are interconnected organs in our body. So, the bacteria that grows in your mouth can eventually end up causing infections in your ear. It’s a common condition, mostly in children.
Just like xylitol is effective in killing the plaque-causing bacteria in the mouth, it can also help reduce infectious bacteria levels. A study proved that children consuming xylitol chewing gum got their ear and yeast infection intensity healed by 40%.
4 – Other Health Advantages
Xylitol has undergone tests on the production of collagen, which turned out to be positive. As xylitol increases your collagen production, it’ll help prevent aging effects on your skin.
Apart from that, xylitol also shows positive results against osteoporosis condition and increases volume and mineral content in your bone.
These results are determined after tests on animals. Human trials are still pending to confirm these benefits.
Dangers of Xylitol
Why is xylitol bad for you? Should you keep consuming it? What are the side effects of xylitol? These questions are common as the internet has a mixed review on xylitol. So, here is the fact about it!
Everything natural isn’t meant to be completely healthy for your body. As xylose is a chemical compound, our body sends it directly to the GI tract without scathing it.
If you consume xylitol in a routine and allow your body to get acquainted with it, then this aspect of it won’t hurt your digestive system.
But, if you’re too frequently consuming xylitol, your digestive system might take a negative toll. It happens because sugar alcohols get fermented by the bacteria in your gut. Moreover, it can also pull water from your body directly to the intestine to cause digestive issues.
Due to this action, you might experience bloating, diarrhea, or gastric problems, ranging from mild to severe symptoms. Such problems can be treated with medications and are rare among people.
If you’re scheduling your xylitol intake and are consuming it for the long term, then your body won’t experience any negative effects.
Some people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) must take a doctor’s advice before consuming sugar or alcohol, as it might worsen their symptoms. Doctors will mostly recommend such patients avoid consumption.
How Much Xylitol Is Too Much?
Medical studies by experts have revealed that a human can consume 30 tablespoons or 400 grams of xylitol daily without any negative repercussions.
And, if you’re using xylitol as a replacement for sugar, teas, coffees, and other such recipes, then use the same amount of xylitol as you did for sugar.
Anything beyond 400 grams is not healthy with respect to daily intake. The body will be over-stressed on processing xylitol which might trigger side effects in the long run. Try and stick to the safe limit!
Can Xylitol Suppress Your Appetite?
Xylitol is not at all an appetite suppressant. Instead, xylitol will force you to eat more food than usual.
Usual sugar consumption and rise in blood sugar levels are the natural roadmaps for the body to feel full and prevent you from eating extra food.
But this is not the case with xylitol! You won’t have that feeling of fullness. In short, if you consume xylitol as a sugar substitute, your appetite will go nowhere.
Xylitol is not the only sugar alcohol or natural sweetener, as many other substances share similar properties. Here is a brief idea of a few of them:
Sorbitol is a cheap alternative to xylitol and is used in most sugarless gums. It consists of 1/3rd lesser calories than that of sugar. Sorbitol is proven to have 60% of sweetness, similar to that sugar. It’s found in fruits and berries such as blackberries and apples.
Erythritol shares 60% to 70% sweetness with the usual table sugar. Most of the properties of erythritol are the same as that of xylitol, except for the calorie count. Erythritol has zero calories, whereas xylitol consists of fewer calories in it.
You can check about erythritol weight gain.
Stevia is presumed to be 200 times sweeter than sugar, and only a small amount of it is used to match the sweetness level of sugar.
A standard dosage limit of stevia ensures safe consumption. But overdosing on it might trigger some drawbacks.
Agave Nectar shares 50% sweetness similar to that of table sugar, which makes it a safe substitute for xylitol. It’s extracted from the same plant that is used for preparing tequila.
How To Use Xylitol for Weight Loss?
Omit table sugar completely and switch to xylitol as a substitute for it. Xylitol consists of fewer calories than that sugar.
As a result, the blood sugar levels will be in control, there will be no insulin or leptin resistance, all of which will help you lose weight.
Xylitol is available in various packaged products in the market. You can also buy it loose from designated stores to use in your hot/cold beverages and while baking goods.
You need to give time to your body to adjust to the sugar alcohols as some of you might not have a good first experience with it due to several health issues.
Consume xylitol for the long term in fixed amounts to see visible results. The absence of table sugar in major parts of your diet will help you control your weight gain. And if you’re pairing up your healthy diet with an exercise routine, the weight loss results will be visible even faster.
Does Xylitol Increase Belly Fat?
Yes, xylitol might increase your belly fat! Even with xylitol, if you’re unaware of the quantity of food you consume, then it might result in unwanted weight gain.
Without the properties of table sugar, your brain will not receive the signal that indicates you’re feeling full.
So, it’ll force you to eat much more than you usually should. Hence, that might increase your belly fat.
Which Sweeteners Make You Gain Weight?
The sweeteners such as aspartame, Reb-A, and sucralose contribute to gaining weight.
But, no artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, erythritol, or others, contribute directly to weight gain when consumed in a dietary routine.
Xylitol can be your sugar substitute to maintain the healthiness of your food, and at the same time, it satisfies your taste buds.
What Are the Effects of Xylitol?
There are both positive and mildly negative effects of xylitol on humans. In positive aspects, xylitol helps in maintaining & losing weight, helps improve dental health, heals infections in the ears, and improves skin health.
In the worst-case scenario, if the daily/monthly consumption of xylitol is way more than what is suggested by medical experts, you might experience diarrhea, bloating, gastric problems, and other digestive issues.
Next time, if you come across the question, “Does xylitol cause weight gain?” you have the factual and evidential answers. This article is intended to help you clear out the myths about xylitol and update you with the real facts about it.
Xylitol is a good option as a sweetener. Some studies show that xylitol has some health advantages. It doesn’t increase blood sugar, improves dental health, and helps improve digestive system.
In this way, you’ll be able to omit sugar consumption and take a leap toward living a healthy life.
You can try our product Optima Healthy Gut Solution that is a proactive supplement to keep your digestive system healthy and improve the body’s capability to absorb nutrients.