Xylitol, whether you've heard of it or not, here are 6 facts that you might not know about this magical little ingredient.
1. It's sourced from trees and plants
It was originally sourced from birch trees, but can also be found in beech trees and starchy vegetables like green beans, which is where we like to get ours from.
2. It was originally discovered in Finland
During World War II Finland experienced a major shortage of cane sugar due to the lack of shipping. With their large birch forests they had a great source for an alternative: xylitol and after this, consumption became very widespread.
3. It's proven to be great for your teeth
It wasn't until the 70's that scientists started to learn that xylitol was good for teeth. Now, lots of research has been done to show that xylitol actively promotes good oral health. It works by clearing away the bacteria in the mouth, preventing acid attacks and contributing to tooth remineralisation.
4. It has 40% fewer calories than sugar
It's low calorie, making it a great sugar alternative for popping in your tea or coffee.
5. It has a low GI
The Glycemic Index of xylitol is just 7, so it won't raise your insulin levels. Good news for diabetics.
6. You can bake with it
Last, but definitely not least, you can swap out sugar for xylitol when baking cakes and cookies. In fact, you can use it in loads of recipes which you can find here.