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Xylitol...  

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I had not heard of your book until this discussion, but I will add it to my wish list! Have you ever worked with xylitol as a sugar sub? What do you think of its performance in recipes? Are there any recipes you would advise against using xylitol in? Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 5
When I was working on Lose Weight Weight the Smart Low-Carb Way, the nutritionist Bettina Newman and I considered including xylitol in some recipes but eventually decided against it because this sugar sub is really best in small amounts only. Like other sugar alcohols (sorbitol, mannitol, etc.), xylitol is not as easy to digest as sugar and pulls water into the intestines to help with digestion. This can cause diarrhea if you eat too much. It can also create unpleasant gas because bacteria in the colon ferment sugar alcohols. Xylitol is mostly used in small amounts in things like chewing gum and toothpaste. I wouldn't recommend using it in large amounts for baking, but if you use small amounts, it's best to keep some sugar in the recipe and only substitute xylitol for about half the amount of sugar called for.
post #3 of 5
Speaking of sugar substitutes, have you worked with Splenda? If so, what is your take on it?
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post #4 of 5
I have worked with Splenda (sucralose) and included a few recipes using it in Lose Weight the Smart Low-Carb Way. The advantages: it's low-calorie, low-carb (if you're watching your intakes); it measures cup for cup like granulated sugar; melts like sugar; remains stable and sweet over a range of temperatures; and works fairly well in baking. The disadvantages: it doesn't caramelize like sugar and if overused it can have the same cloying aftertaste as other artificial sweeteners. I found that sucralose works best when mixed with granulated sugar so that baked goods brown properly and don't have a cloying sweetness. If you're trying to lower calories and/or carbs, a mixture of half-sugar and half-Splenda (in place of the full amount of sugar) makes a pretty good substitute in baking.

As for its safety, 25 countries have approved the use of sucralose since its discovery in 1976. The US followed suit in 1998.
post #5 of 5
Thank you! I've been timid about using it in quantity needed for recipes, but now I'll give it a try.

Mezzaluna
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