Tag Archives: xylitol

Xylitol – What Is It and Why Do I Use It??

Xylitol is an alternative sweetener used to replace sugar.  It has roughly 40% less calories and is almost as sweet as regular sugar.  It is all natural and safe for diabetics and measures 7 on the glycemic index while glucose measures at 100.

Health Garden Birch Xylitol 5

Xylitol is used in homemade and natural toothpastes along with Bentonite Clay to help re-mineralize your tooth enamel.  It also actively fights plaque by neutralizing plaque acids.  Also, it lowers the occurrence of cavities because it does not have any 6-carbon sugars which is needed to help bacterial growth and reproduction of cavity causing bacteria.

Health-Garden-Birch-Xylitol-Nutritionals

Also studies have shown that it has been used to help reduce incidence of acute middle ear infections in normally healthy children.  Not really sure how that was found to be but thought it was an interesting point.

Two things to be aware of are it also has a laxative effect if too much is consumed because Xylitol’s sugar alcohols are not fully broken down during digestion which can cause diarrhea, bloating, and flatulence.  This typically takes several weeks to months to materialize and occur with normal digestion.   And also xylitol can be very toxic to dogs, so keep out of reach of your animals.

Also keep in mind that while it is a good alternative for sugar, when baking, do not combine it with any recipes that call for yeast.  The xylitol and yeast do not like each other chemically and will cause your yeast to die.  So good for cookies and cakes, not good for breads and rolls.

So, now what’s the big debate on where xylitol comes from??

Xylitol is extracted from hardwoods, mainly birch but can come from some beach trees.  But it is also commonly made from corncobs.  Xylitol does have a stigma for being expensive, which it is, but the corncob xylitol is made cheaply from corncobs typically by companies overseas, namely China.

I’m not knocking on anything Chinese made, they made lots of good products, but they also make lots of cheap knockoffs.  So when you look at corncob xylitol there is a good chance it’s not organic and is probably genetically modified.  I for one am not a big fan of GMOs so I try to stay away from them, but that’s another debate in itself and I’m not going there today.  Also cheap knockoffs can be cut with sorbitol which is a sugar alternative as well, but it contains all the same sugar related characteristics, which is the main reason I use xylitol in the first place.

So in conclusion, I use only birch xylitol.  I want my package to say All-Natural or GMO free.  It needs to say “Made from Birch” or something of that nature on the package.   And it needs to be 100% sugar free, so you know there are no additives .  When you receive the package, your xylitol should be in granules larger than normal sugar and it should not have any traces of powder.   That would indicate an additive.

I buy the brand Health Garden brand off of Amazon Prime in the five pound bag for the best price.  There will be a link below as well as a link on my blog page that bring you to the brand I buy and recommend.  It costs $36.49 for five pounds with Amazon Prime free 2-day shipping.  This is the best price I have found by far for Bitch Xylitol.  Make sure you carefully check out the package and ad page for the product if you buy something else.

If you found it cheaper than I did from somewhere, please let me know in the comments below.

I hope you learned  something and check out my link for Homemade toothpaste that contains xylitol.

 

How To: Homemade Toothpaste – Why Make It and How much Money Can it Save You?

I make my homemade toothpaste to ditch the ingredients I do not like in commercial brand toothpaste.  Not to mention it helps remineralize your teeth to rebuild cavities and soft spots, fights plaque, naturally whitens, and is great for treating sensitive teeth.

The ingredients I look out for and that are found in almost every store bought brand of toothpaste are:

Sodium fluoride

o   Listed as a toxic ingredient for ingestion and inhalation.  It can affect the heart and              circulatory systems in high doses.  I know there is a lot of debate on the subject and            whether or not it is beneficial for your oral health but I stay away from it if I can.

o   Yes it is said to aid in the mineralization of your teeth, but I can do that with my                  toothpaste with natural, not chemical ingredients.

Glycerin

o   There are many different types of glycerin.  You may not know what kind is in your            toothpaste, because the type is never stated, and some may be natural and same may        be chemically created.

o   I do use vegetable glycerin all the time in shampoos and soaps, but I don’t recommend      for toothpaste.

o   The debate on glycerin is that it prevents minerals from coming in contact with your            teeth.  Glycerin actually coats them with a thin layer that prevents minerals you put in        your mouth throughout the day to interact with your teeth.  It is extremely hard to              rinse off.

o   So if you want glycerin on your teeth or in your toothpaste, use it after you use this            toothpaste

Also, I use coconut oil, xylitol, and bentonite clay in my homemade toothpaste recipe, so check out those blogs on why these are beneficial products that all help with certain areas of your oral health.

Recipe:

  • Baking Soda                                        1.5 cups
  • Coconut Oil                                         1 cup
  • Distilled or Boiled Water                    1/2 cup
  • Xylitol                                                   1/2 – 1 cup
  • Salt – Sea Salt                                       3/4 tsp
  • Essential Oils                                       25-40 drops
  • Bentonite Clay                                    4 T.

Mix first six ingredients up until incorporated, then add in your bentonite clay at 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency you may end up using more or less depending on your preference.  Store in a glass container for up to 6 months, DO NOT use metal containers they can corrode from the baking soda.  To brush your teeth, just scoop out of container and brush as normal, use same amount you are accustomed to.  Makes about 32 oz by volume of toothpaste.

If you are used to normal, commercial brand toothpastes, the taste and texture can be a little displeasing at first, but it is a taste that can be aquired after about a week or so.

Cost Savings:

Below is a MS  Excel spreadsheet I created to show the cost savings of making your own toothpaste.  I compared making the 32 oz batch recipe above to purchasing Colgate brand bulk pack I found cheapest at Sam’s Club.  This shows that you can save minimally $1.17 per 8oz tube if you make your own. If you purchase a more expensive brand for sensitive teeth and whitening, this will save you a lot more per tube, upwards of $8.70 over Sensodyne.

Excel Sheet I created to show cost savings8