Enjoying a delicious baked treat is one of life’s sweetest moments. Unfortunately, recent scientific studies have yielded some startling facts about sugar. Commonly linked to more than 70 health problems, sugar is causing a rise in diabetes, obesity, and hypoglycemia. Dietitians recommend a maximum daily consumption of 9.5 teaspoons of sugar a day. The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar each day and 3,550 pounds in a lifetime – that’s almost two tons of sugar. A growing number of health professionals are stating that sugar is America’s sweetest addiction.
Fortunately, xylitol is an excellent, health-conscious sugar alternative and can be baked into your favorite sweet treats. Xylitol is a natural, gluten-free, and low glycemic substance derived from many fruits, vegetables, and plant fibers. Very similar to sucrose sugar, it has a sweet flavor, granular texture and is white in color.
Baking with xylitol has many health benefits aside from adding a sweet flavor to recipes and replacing sugar. Extensive research has proven that it improves overall health, boosts the immune system, and has anti-aging properties. In fact, our bodies already produce xylitol each day through the metabolic process.
Substituting xylitol for sugar is simple and can be done with almost any recipe. Here are some things you need to know about baking with xylitol:
- The general substitution measurement is a 1:1 ratio, meaning recipes which call for one cup of sugar need one cup of xylitol.
- Xylitol absorbs more moisture than sugar. Your goodies may bake a bit faster when they contain xylitol.
- When substituting for brown sugar, add 1 – 2 teaspoons of molasses per cup of xylitol.
Leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to pull out your sweet tooth! By substituting xylitol for sugar you’ll significantly reduce health risks, and with 40% less calories than sugar, making the switch is definitely sweet!