Added sugar may be the only unhealthy ingredient in your keto diet. For this reason, sugar-free sweeteners like xylitol have become popular on the market – but Is Xylitol Keto Friendly?
Xylitol tastes like regular sugar but has fewer calories and does not raise blood sugar levels.
Several studies indicate that xylitol has various important benefits, including improving Dental Health.
Find out here the health benefits and side effects of xylitol – xylitol nutritional and calorie facts – along with the most popular keto friendly sweeteners for your low-carb diet.
What Is Xylitol?
Xylitol is classified as an alcoholic sugar – because it has a similar chemical structure to both sugars and alcohol.
However, this is not technically the case, as it is actually an easily digestible type of carbohydrate that contains fiber.
Xylitol is found in small amounts in many vegetables and fruits and is therefore considered natural. Humans even produce small quantities of it via Normal Metabolism.
You can find xylitol tastes sweet as table sugar (sucrose), with a lower glycemic index (GI = 7) -> compared to (100 for glucose) and (65 for sucrose) [*].
It’s a sweetener with 60% fewer calories than regular sugar.
The most common uses for xylitol
Xylitol has a sweetness level similar to sugar but with fewer calories. It’s a popular ingredient in a variety of products, including:
- sugar-free chewing gum and mints
- ice cream
- hard sucking candies
- baked goods/desserts
- table syrups
- jams and jellies
- cough syrup and some vitamins
- nut butters
- powder/granulated sugar substitutes
- some supplements and nasal sprays
- toothpastes and mouthwashes
Is Xylitol Safe To Use?
Xylitol is generally considered safe, as it has been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a food or sweetener additive.
But when it comes to xylitol on the keto diet, is xylitol considered keto friendly? We will discover the answer later …
How Much Xylitol Is Safe?
In humans, a single dose of 20-45 Grams of Xylitol is generally well-tolerated, but some people are sensitive to the side effects of Xylitol listed below.
Also, xylitol is safe to take during pregnancy but in moderate amounts. But you should speak with your Doctor before adding it to your diet [*].
The potential benefits of xylitol
The use of xylitol has some health benefits and is still better than some other sugar substitutes such as coconut sugar, agave, saccharin, or sucralose.
Here are the main benefits of xylitol you should know before using it if you are on a low-carb diet like keto.
1. Low glycemic index
Xylitol has a low glycemic index (GI). This means that eating it does not cause a spike in blood glucose or insulin levels in the body – for this reason, xylitol is a good alternative to sugar especially for people with diabetes.
It was determined in an animal study that xylitol is a more effective sugar substitute than sucralose when it comes to managing symptoms of diabetes.
Xylitol can also be considered a weight-loss-friendly sweetener because it contains 40% fewer calories than sugar.
- Table sugar: 4 calories per gram
- Xylitol: 2.4 calories per gram
Also, a 2015 study revealed that Xylitol had significant blood glucose-lowering effects in mince that ate high-fat diets.
2. May Improve Dental Health
Xylitol is an ingredient found in many dental care products, including mouthwashes and toothpaste.
Xylitol is considered safe for your dental health compared to regular sugar, so replacing it can help reduce the number of cavities and overall dental problems.
There is some evidence that sugar alcohols change the composition of Mouth Bacteria. Some research suggests also that Xylitol decreases dental plaque formation because it inhibits the growth of Streptococcus Mutans and Streptococcus Sobrinus bacteria[*].
3. Might Accelerate Ketosis
A great benefit for us Keto Dieters is that Xylitol has the potential to accelerate the state of ketosis.
A study of 72 surgical patients undergoing gastric resectioning or gallbladder removal found that Xylitol increases ketone levels and leads to a state of ketosis, even when combined with carbs[*].
But it’s not recommended to eat too much Xylitol in one day, as it contains some carbohydrates and can put you out of ketosis.
You can find out the effect of taking Xylitol by testing your ketone levels – especially when it comes to ketosis.
Now that we know xylitol may help speed up to Get Into Ketosis on the keto diet – Is Xylitol Keto Friendly? Just keep reading to find out if xylitol keto is friendly or not.
4. Other Health Benefits
Some studies in mice have linked that xylitol helps increase collagen production, which may help boost your skin’s elasticity, reduce wrinkles, and keep your face looking younger.
Collagen is a protein responsible for Healthy Joints and Skin Elasticity, or stretchiness. It’s in your Bones, Blood, and Muscles, comprising three-quarters of your skin and a third of the protein in your body.
Xylitol supplementation may help prevent osteoporosis, as it increases the bone volume and bone mineral content in elderly mice. (Keep in your mind that human studies are needed to confirm these health benefits.)
Xylitol also feeds the good bacteria in your gut, as it acts as a soluble fiber and improves digestive health.
Before knowing the answer to whether or not xylitol is keto friendly – you should know that xylitol can come with some potential side effects.
The potential side effects of xylitol
Xylitol has some potential drawbacks that may affect your health, including:
1. May Lead to Difficulty Losing Weight
A 2017 study revealed that obese people who participated in a one-year weight loss program were less likely to lose weight if they had higher levels of xylitol in their systems from the start.
However, correlation doesn’t equal causation. But it’s important to keep this in mind when deciding on this sweetener alternative.
If you’re having trouble losing weight, cutting out xylitol might be a good thing, because xylitol still contains carbs – which is not desirable if you’re on a low-carb keto diet.
Note: This study alone isn’t enough to prove that taking xylitol makes you less likely to lose weight – whether you aim to lose weight on the keto diet or other diets.
2. It’s Usually Made from Corn
Corn and Corn Cobs are one of the most common sources from which Xylitol is derived.
Unfortunately, farmers spray virtually all non-organic corn with Glyphosate (commercial name ROUNDUP).
While there’s no data on the Glyphosate contamination rate in Xylitol, it’s something to consider if you want to avoid Glyphosate in the products you consume.
If you are going to use xylitol sweetener, use xylitol that is derived from the birch tree and preferably organic and sustainably sourced.
3. It Can Cause Diarrhea
In fact, xylitol does not cause any dangerous side effects on human health. However, excessive consumption can cause bloating or gastrointestinal upset such as diarrhea.
Try to avoid overuse of xylitol to avoid these unwanted symptoms. If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you should steer clear of sugar alcohols, including xylitol, completely.
For most people, the maximum safe dose of Xylitol that does not cause diarrhea is around 0.35 Grams Per Kilogram of body weight. (That’s about 24 grams, or roughly 2 tablespoons, for a 150-pound person)
Remember, this guide is not accurate for everyone. In short, you may find that some people are allergic to xylitol, and your results may differ as well.
4. Xylitol Is Highly Toxic to Dogs
It’s worth noting that Xylitol can be very toxic to dogs.
When your dog eats xylitol, his body mistakes it for glucose and starts producing large amounts of insulin.
The dog’s cells then begin to absorb glucose from the bloodstream, which can lead to Hypoglycemia or Low Blood Sugar, and even Death.
Also, xylitol may have harmful effects on liver function in dogs, as high doses cause liver failure.
It is necessary to store products containing this substance in a safe place that pets cannot reach.
Anyone who believes their dog has consumed xylitol should contact an animal poison control center or veterinarian immediately.
Is Xylitol Keto-Friendly?
Xylitol is technically a keto – however, it’s not the best keto-friendly sweetener.
Xylitol is low in carbs, but not zero carbohydrates – so if you want to get a good result on the keto diet you should use xylitol in very small amounts or if you choose to remove xylitol from your keto diet, this is the best decision.
That’s why you should think twice before using xylitol on keto.
Even though xylitol has a lower glycemic index value – it still has the power to raise your net carb count higher than you would expect.
So this is a risk to you if you want to achieve or maintain ketosis.
The best substitute for xylitol on keto
Sugar alcohols such as xylitol are a low-calorie sweetener that generally has little or no effect on blood sugar levels.
Alcoholic sugars, except xylitol, maybe a popular option for sweetening foods and drinks on keto.
For you, we recommend the sweeteners of stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol – all of these are considered the best natural alternatives to the alcoholic sugar xylitol – which you can use for many keto-friendly recipes.
Unlike xylitol sweetener, they don’t have unknown health effects and can even offer some Health Benefits.
Xylitol vs Common Sweeteners (Glycemic Index Chart)
|Sweetener Name||Category||GI (Glycemic Index)|
|Agave Nectar||Natural Sweetener||15|
|High Fructose Corn Syrup||Natural Sweetener||73|
|Maple Syrup||Natural Sweetener||54|
|Monk Fruit||Natural Sweetener||0|
|Sugar (Sucrose)||Natural Sweetener||60|
final recommendations: Is Xylitol Keto Friendly?
For anyone that asks “Is Xylitol keto friendly?”
Using Xylitol on keto is sure to get you out of ketosis as it is not carb-free. This sweetener should be avoided as much as possible.
Some sweeteners may pose health risks, while studies show that xylitol has actual health benefits.
It doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin, starves the plaque-producing bacteria in your mouth and feeds friendly MICROBES in your digestive system.
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to regular sugar, try xylitol – but if you’re on keto there are many keto-friendly sweeteners you can try such as stevia or monk fruit.