What Is It? A Look at Strange-Sounding Ingredients in Your Food
What Is Xylitol?
Typically Found In: Sugar-free mints and gums, "special diet" baked goods, toothpastes, saline nasal sprays
What We Discovered: This strange-sounding ingredient is merely a low-cal sweetener. Xylitol, a sugar substitute, occurs naturally in small amounts in fruits and vegetables. It’s absorbed slowly and incompletely, delivering 40 percent fewer calories than sugar but with similar sweetness. Because our bodies use little or no insulin to break down xylitol, it can be helpful in diabetic diets. It’s safe for us, but makes dogs and ferrets ill.
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