It’s becoming pretty clear by now that sugar isn’t all that sweet. Surely it tastes sweet, but the effects sugar has on our energy, bodies and mentalities is far from healthy.
As the truth comes out about sugar, people are seeking for a healthy alternative. Most of us know by now that the first attempts — with chemical concoctions such as Splenda and Sweet n’ Low — were nothing short of failures.
Truth is, we live in a world overflowing with information and starving for wisdom; it’s hard to know what to believe — especially when it comes to health. How can we trust the media, the internet and how the hell can you even be sure to trust me? Do I even trust me?
Well, I’ll be honest…I don’t always trust my mind. However, there’s a cure for this paralysis of analysis and it’s called, finding out. Sure, I know what you’re thinking, how can we be sure of the long term side effects of things like alternative sweeteners?
Well, let’s be honest, we don’t and we won’t until we do. That being said, our bodies are much smarter than we give credit for. When we do something that doesn’t work, it has no problem reminding us.
First of all with the way we feel emotionally, then with the way we feel and look physically. Just pay attention to how you feel after you eat something and you’ll see.The body has no problem giving you a nice fat zit after you’ve ingest something that doesn’t work. Keep it up and ignore the body and it’s not too long until you come to know the “long term consequences”.
How do I know this? Because I’ve experienced it. I trust my opinion because it’s not an opinion, this is my experience. And this blog is my consideration to help make your sugar-free journey easier. So I introduce to you, xylitol.
Xylitol – A Natural Sweetener With Enduring Benefits
When I went sugar-free I went all out. I was sipping seaweed infused bone broths and eating sauerkraut. I didn’t even think twice about trying sugar-free desserts because I didn’t trust my crack addict like behaviors.
Eventually, after I knew my physical body was healed of the damaging effects of sugar and I felt like a mystical spiritual sage, I then began to experiment with some tasty treats.
Fast forward, years later I’ve been whipping up everything from sugar-free cookies, to probiotic root-beer floats and chocolate puddings! It’s amazing what you can do with the right ingredients.
I don’t use just any stevia or xylitol however. The stevia I use is a whole leaf concentrate, not that bitter powdery stuff. My favorite is by Body Ecology — there’s zero bitter after taste and a little goes a long way with it.
Stevia is amazing for liquid drinks; sweetening green smoothies, teas and of course Bulletproof coffee. For xylitol, I use a 100% hardwood birch xylitol. This is because it’s superior in taste and doesn’t come from imported corn like most others. Xylitol resembles sugar in taste so much it’s wild.
Xylitol great for baked goods verses liquids, with the exception of Bulletproof coffee. But definitely use this stuff for your sugar-free baked goods and let stevia be for smoothies, teas and other drinks that need a sweet kick.
Who Should Use Xylitol?
Everyone can benefit from the use of xylitol as it comes with many additional health benefits. First and foremost, anyone interested in good healthy and keeping a youthful body would be wise to cut sugar from the diet.
The consumption of sugar (especially refined) is ages the body through a process called glycation — a cross linking of sugar molecules to protein that creates wrinkles! Sugar also feeds bad bacteria in the gut that is associated with everything from cavities, bleeding gums, infections, obesity, depression and allergies. This is because sugar; in general, strongly suppresses the immune system.
Xylitol makes it easy to cut sugar because you can still recreate truly healthy alternatives without ever feeling deprived.
Healthy Bacteria, Healthy You
Health isn’t such a complicated game, it’s as simple as keeping the bacteria on and in our bodies in balance. What destroys the balance of healthy bacteria in our bodies? To name a few…
- Excessive stress
- Processed foods (refined sugar)
- Emotional eating
Sugar makes things complicated because it can be used effectively as a crutch or drug when we get out of balance emotionally and mentally. The high associated with sugar consumption provides a sweet escape from pain and emotions. However, overtime this leads to some pretty harsh results on our gut bacteria.
We have a biofilm that exists on most surfaces on and inside of our bodies. It is a combination of bacteria, fungus and viruses. The shape of this biofilm is like a small community. It can be in really bad shape and wreak havoc, or it can be harmonious and create a pleasant and beautiful environment. Like a community, it depends on who’s living there.
When we treat the body poorly the biofilm begins to alter. As I said, if we do this continually over an extended period of time, not only do the bacteria change but their environment (the biofilm) do too. If you’ve been feeding bad bacteria in your body for long enough, they have likely created a pretty nasty biofilm to live in.
Signs of an unhealthy biofilm:
- Bleeding gums
- Infections; sinus, urinary tract and GI tract infections
Though it takes a little more time to rearrange the environment the bad bacteria have created and lived in for years, the good news is it can be done. Aside from changing your diet to a probiotic-rich diet like Body Ecology, getting out of your head, and living an overall healthy lifestyle; xylitol is a great, simple tool for transforming your biofilm.
With proper exposure to xylitol, an unhealthy biofilm can be converted into a healthy one. Pretty magical I know, I’ll describe how it works next.
How It Works
The secret behin xylitol is too scientific for my Polish brain, but I’ll give it a whirl for you. On a basic level, sugar is just a chain of Carbon molecules. Unlike most sugars, which contain 6 Carbon molecules, xylitol only contains a 5 Carbon molecule chain.
The beauty of this is that biofilm cannot use xylitol as food to proliferate and grow like it does other 6 Carbon sugars. When biofilm and the nasty bugs get a hold of normal sugar they eat it up and grow. As they grow they create a sticky acidic slime known as biofilm. This protects them and keeps them safe; sometimes even from antibiotics and the strongest of herbs.
However, when a biofilm is exposed to xylitol, the bacteria and fungus eat it, and there is no growth for the biofilm. As a result, the bacteria and fungus begin to naturally wash away. We’re essentially starving them out of house and home!
Xylitol does not kill the bad yeast and bacteria like strong herbals do. What it does is starve them, which prevents their growth and overtime causing the biofilm to change. This is the best way to get rid of any bacterial, yeast or fungus issue. Herbs and antibiotics often make things worse.
This is why using xylitol in addition to a sugar-free, probiotic-rich diet is so effective. We starve the body of the bad guys so they leave and start giving the body the things it needs to thrive healthfully; zero deprivation.
How To Use It
As I mentioned, I use xylitol in many ways. The best consideration is to expose and saturate the biofilm up to 5 times a day. You can do this a few ways; here are some of my favorites:
- Making homemade mouthwashes, nasal sprays or toothpastes using xylitol. Redmonds makes a great dental care product called Earthpaste, which is made up of mineral rich clay, essential oils and xylitol. Using this twice a day is a great way to start rearranging the biofilm in your mouth for truly healthier teeth and gums.
- Make homemade sugar-free chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate? It is a powerful antioxidant, full of polyphenols that feed good gut bacteria and makes you happier! I have a recipe for sugar-free chocolate that’ll blow your mind you can find here.
- Mix it into your coffee. Chocolate and coffee, I mean, this couldn’t possibly get any easier to implement into your life! 80% of people drink coffee, if you’re one of them, then try adding this into your coffee (if you like it sweet). You’d be amazed how similar it tasted to white sugar. If you haven’t tried it yet, I HIGHLY recommend you hop on the Bulletproof Coffee train. I’m usually not a big trend follower but there’s something magic about this coffee. I at least recommend it for fun even if you’re not interested in upgrading from your moldy, fungus pit coffee or having super brain powers!
- Bake with it. If you’re into baking or you’ve just cut out the idea of ever having a home baked good because they’re unhealthy, then it’s time to expand your possibilities. Xylitol is fantastic in baked goods; paleo cookies, muffins, pancakes and more. I am a fan. It’s nice to just know I can have these things. Makes my will-power sky rocket by no longer needing to suppress desires, no matter how minuscule they where to begin with. Plus, you get the added benefit of rearranging your gut-biome. Who needs an immune suppressing treat when you can have one that keeps it in balance with all the same great taste?
The studies say that by using xylitol consistently 5 times a day for 6 months, you’ll have positive results up to 2 years after. How does this work? Basically, by starving bad bacteria and yeast for only 6 months, their entire biofilm begins to change back to a neutral environment.
Though cutting sugar can seem challenging at first, the results are ultimately rewarding. It get’s a lot easier to maintain healthy once you have it. A strong immune system is more resilient to a missed night of sleep or a stressful event. A healthier biofilm is the place to start and a great example. When our gut biome begins to shift towards healthy again, it can maintain up to 5 years after!
That means simply, if you put in the work now — 6 months of no sugar — your immune system will be thanking you for up to 5 years after! Keep it going, and life long healthy is not just a possibility but a reality.
As simple as it may seem, xylitol can be a powerful catalyst. Pareto’s law says that 80% or more of our output comes from 20% or less of our input. Often, it is only 20% of less of what we do that creates our failure and unhappiness. Is sugar yours? Is it that one little sweet-treat that’s making all the difference for you? If so, allow me to give you the cheat code, xylitol chocolates.