Day 2 brought me here


I am Natasha - a 44 year old teacher who over this life style change is going to drop from her current size 32 to her ideal size 22. I am new to this forum and was very happy to discover that it is so vibrant!

As of yesterday I decided to go on a clean eating diet and in particular, removing all refined sugar from what I consume. While I want to remove sugar, I do want to be able to have the occasional sweet treat so I started to research sugar-free recipes only to see that they use s weetners like xylitol. This surprised me a lot as I thought they would have used honey..!

Anyway, my question is does anyone know if xylitol is a natural product? (it doesn't SOUND like it is!!) and have you used it? Do you know of any downsides?



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11 Replies

  • Like you I am a teacher and overweight 😉 And on day 2!

    I am also cutting out sugar, my son did this (though not very overweight at all) and lost 5kg easily.

    I know nothing about xyitol unfortunately. But there are natural sweetness out there, lower cals too.

    For me it is cut it out completely. I always cook from scratch as then you know what goes in, less additives and processed stuff that makes you eat.

    Good luck on the second day of your journey😀

  • ~Thanks so much for your support! Let's egg each other on! (like my high protein, fuller for longer pun?! :)

  • Have you looked at the deliciously ella blog? There are great recipes on there although I haven't tried any myself (I do mean to though!) I've tried to bake without sugar and found grated apples and sultanas a great substitute, also banana cake with loads of mashed banana comes out sweet enough too. Although in using fruit of course the sweetness comes from fruit sugar, which is still sugar once your body processes it. Honey contains sugar too. But I believe in the devil you know rather than the devil you don't, so an ingredient like 'xylitol' would have me worried too, I also don't know what it is! Good luck for your journey :)

  • Hello! Last year I discovered Deliciously Ella (like Ruth Canal Runner ). I have cooked lots from her book - has all been very easy to cook and very tasty!

    Her energy balls are just the business for a sweet treat.

    They are made from medjool dates, almonds, caco powder, seeds and nut butter.

    I would have 1-2 small balls when a sweet treat was needed. I found I preferred my treat to the chocolate biscuits in staff kitchen and when shared them with colleagues they thought they were truffles. Be careful though, a friend made them, but made HUGE balls and still ate 2. These are calorie laden too, just not refined!

    The Healthy Food mag for January also has similar type balls this month made with dried fruit, nuts and seeds.

    I haven't made a batch yet as I am just going to ration the treats we still have. But as soon as they are finished I am making a large batch!

    Good luck! 😊

  • Hi,

    Good luck with your plan. I was a size 28 - 32 last Feb and now a 22 - 24, so it can be done. I have cut out a lot of sugar but not removed it completely (I still have 100 cals of choc a day) and still take sugar in my coffee - I am still trying to stop it in coffee.

    I can't advise you on artificial sweeteners but I guess one consideration should be how often you want to use them. I do use artificial sweetener in cereal on a daily basis and not noticed any adverse effects.

    I have lost weight though cutting calories both in what I eat and the amount I eat and also walking.

    Good luck :)

  • I cut out sugar completely after a bit of a health scare last summer and I feel so much better for it. The first week or so, I was a bit tetchy and missed my sweet treats, but now my mood is stabilised and I no longer have sugar cravings.

    Stick with it, the rewards are worth it.

    Also, Stevia (available everywhere now) is apparently a plant-based substitute for sugar, but I haven't tried it myself.

  • Hi if you type in xylitol in browser you come to web MD which tells you all about it, it does come from birch bark! All foods are just chemicals glucose is the same molecule wherever it is derived from, if it is pure glucose! Controlling the glucose of any kind has been the key to keeping insulin levels steady which means you don't store excess which gets converted to fat. All carbohydrates break down to glucose first. Hope that helps. Just cut down on sugar,2 fruits and carbs. Good luck

  • Hello. I used to be a teacher. I think cutting out sugar is a great thing to do. I think if you want to make low sugar puddings. I personally woukd use fruit or a small amount of honey or actual sugar. I woukd rather know what was actually in my food.

    You will find that you need less and less sugar as your receptors change.

  • Hi Nat,

    In answer to your question xylitol is a natural-ish product: this is the wiki definition!

    "Xylitol /ˈzaɪlɪtɒl/ is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener. Xylitol is naturally found in low concentrations in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, and can be extracted from various berries, oats, and mushrooms, as well as fibrous material such as corn husks, sugar cane bagasse,[8][9][10] and birch.[11] However, industrial production starts from xylan (a hemicellulose) extracted from hardwoods[12] or corncobs, which is hydrolyzed into xylose and catalytically hydrogenated into xylitol. A study in rats found that xylitol had reduced or nonexistent side effects compared to other artificial sweeteners, and lower caloric value and cariogenicity than sucrose."

    I don't know how healthy this is as although it is naturally derived it is highly processed. I think that if you stick to foods that come as they are (without processing) you are easily following a clean eating plan. I would rather have a drop of honey myself as it has other health benefits.

    I hope you are successful in your plan!

  • Thanks a lot for help, Saga. It is really useful :)

  • And, if you have a dog, don't let it near xylitol. It triggers a massive release of insulin in dogs, gives them extremely low blood sugar and can cause total liver failure.

    According to tests, it doesn't do that in people ☺

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