Why your hormones need xylitol

I’ve long been a xylitol lover, so much so it features heavily in my book Eat Fat, Be Thin. Xylitol, whilst the name sounds a bit space age-ish, it actually something we all produce in our bodies everyday. And whilst Xylitol looks and tastes exactly like sugar – that’s where the similarities finish, so much so, they actually have the opposite effects on the body. Whilst sugar causes all kinds of chaos, xylitol heals and repairs.

Sugar is consumed in massive quantities worldwide. The average Australian consumes 53kg of sugar per year! That breaks down to 29 teaspoons per day. 29 TEASPOONS PER DAY? Sugar is highly addictive (it’s said to be more addictive than cocaine), it reeks havoc with your body function, substantially weakens gut function, immunity and your hormones! This means it leads to weight gain (very quickly), it strips the body of essential vitamins and minerals as well as a loot of other issues including behavioural disorders, initiates autoimmune and immune deficiency disorders and most concerning of all – it feeds cancer (and haven’t we learn’t a lot about that recently!)

Xylitol on the other hand is a very natural substance found in fruit and veggies. It assists in supporting and healing the body as it is antimicrobial, it supports immunity because it benefits gut function and protects us from chronic degenerative disease and best of all – it’s anti-aging! There are so many things to love about xylitol – here are a few more:

  • it has no known toxic effects on the body
  • I’m far from a calorie counter but it contains 40% less calories than sugar and 75% less carbohydrates – some people might find this stat useful.
  • because of it’s antimicrobial properties it is great for fighting bacterial infections like candida, gum disease and oral problems, as well as ear and throat infections.
  • it assists in reversing bone loss (put down your milk carton people, your body can’t even digest the calcium in treated milk!) as it helps the gut absorb calcium more efficiently

But for me, I just love the effect it has on our hormones!

Xylitol will not raise blood glucose levels as sugar does. Many women with PCOS will be familiar with the term ‘insulin resistance.’ It is well understood that by altering sugar intake, the symptoms of PCOS decrease dramatically.

In short, insulin is produced by your body and is a normal response to rising blood glucose levels. It’s main function is to reduce the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucagon is also secreted by the same organ and does the opposite. The secretion of both hormones is controlled by the amount of sugar in the blood. To cut a long story short, insulin acts on the ovary to make testosterone. This is a necessary body function as testosterone is required for the body to go on and make the female hormone oestrogen which we talked about recently here. Characteristically, women with PCO generally have higher blood insulin levels which has an affect on the ovary, meaning they overproduce testosterone. High levels of testosterone leads to a truck load of symptoms including amenorrhea, facial hair, weight gain and acne. With this in mind, you can see why it is so important to balance hormones to treat PCOS (and why the pill isn’t a solution at all).

The higher levels of male hormone in PCOS women (let’s not forget we need small amounts for our hormones to be made) characteristically sees weight gain around the mid section. This typical body shape is also a risk factor for breast cancer. So the key to losing the love handles is balancing hormones and with this comes lessening your risk of breast cancer. But here is the tricky part (and also what we previously discussed) that adipose tissue sitting on your hips, thighs and butt creates more oestrogen which leads to more weight gain – tie this together with insulin resistance it leads to PCOS which also, in many instances, is coupled with low progesterone. And now we are back here again (we chatted about this last week – get that post here) at oestrogen dominance – as excess oestrogen from all these factors, wears away progesterone. PLUS use of oral contraceptives only contribute to insulin resistance. What a disaster!

Good news is, Xylitol is a natural insulin stabiliser and is therefore the perfect choice for women with hormone imbalances.

And here’s a secret – keeping your insulin levels low is the secret in anti-aging!

So the more you get Xylitol into your diet – the less you will crave sugar, lower insulin and balance hormones which will also see you effortlessly losing weight! Not sure where to start? I’m giving away 3 ebook copies of my book Eat Fat, Be Thin which has recipes in it using xylitol. Simply tell me why you want to win in the comment section below (please try and keep it around 25 words).

Not heard of Xylitol? My friends at Naturally Sweet have generally offered 10% off when you make an order from their site. They have a HUGE range of natural sweeteners including Xylitol.


  • June 5, 2013 By Libby 8:13 am

    I need a body overhaul. My one vice is sugar and I don’t think it helps my general health and well being. I would live to start with my sugar addiction and this book would totally help.

  • June 5, 2013 By Jessica Avelsgaard 8:19 am

    Hi Nat! I am trying to convert my husband to healthier eating and am in need of some inspiration for healthy recipes that he will enjoy without complaining! Your ebook would be a life saver!

  • June 5, 2013 By Monica 8:28 am

    I lost 16kgs last year, only to put 10 back on once going off the contraceptive pill earlier this year after reading one of your articles. My hormones are going crazy! ;(

  • June 5, 2013 By Shailisa 8:31 am

    Hi Nat, I’m 31, married and afraid that I will never give my husband the baby he so desperately wants. I have put on a lot of weight & suffer from so much stress & anxiety that no matter what I do I’m still in the same place. I’m scared so many years of avoiding pregnancy means I’ve missed my chance. I need help so I can be the mum I want to be.

  • June 5, 2013 By Lucy 8:37 am

    I’ve been reading a lot lately on estrogen dominance and found you through my reading. Would love a copy of your book !

  • June 5, 2013 By Hanna 8:59 am

    Me and my three sisters all have PCOS and have struggled with this for years.

    I would love a chance to share this information with them and learn more about how to manage this condition. Through lifestyle choices I know we can all make a huge difference ! Loving this website and am learning more and more ! x H

  • June 5, 2013 By SJ 11:27 am

    If you’re a dog owner keep the stuff well clear of your pooch – can be fatal if dogs ingest it!

    • June 8, 2013 By mnfadmin 3:10 pm

      seems dogs cant have the good stuff hey – this and chocolate!

  • June 5, 2013 By Margie 11:55 am

    I cook with Xylitol. My mum got me onto it a while ago.

    Speaking of hormones, why do I get SOOOOOOO hungry before my period? It is due in 5 days and I always have one day where I easily eat twice the amount I would normally in one day. Am ravenous. Then it settles.

  • June 5, 2013 By Kellie 12:43 pm

    Please make sure your dog does not eat anything containing Xylitol (cakes, chewing gum, yoghurt etc). As someone else already stated it can be fatal to dogs. I work in a vet hospital and we had a dog last week that almost died from licking out the owner’s yoghurt container. a 20kg dog only needs to eat 2 cupcakes, or a few pieces og chewing gum to go into severe hypoglycemia, or progress to complete liver failure.

    • June 8, 2013 By mnfadmin 3:10 pm

      Thanks Kellie – you’re right there are many things dogs shouldn’t eat, xylitol included!

  • June 5, 2013 By Casey Henwood 1:08 pm

    After the birth of my second child my hormones and weight went crazy and haven’t returned to normal yet, 4 years later! I’m in the process of quitting sugar because I suspect I am insulin resistant. I’d love any help to kick the sugar habit!!

  • June 5, 2013 By Cherry 1:12 pm

    I’ve just been diagnosed with pcos this week after coming off the pill a year ago , which i had been on for 15yrs. Ive been following ‘fertilise yourself’ guidelines & love it , so to win a copy of eat fat be thin would be awesome ! : )

    • June 8, 2013 By mnfadmin 3:11 pm

      Congrats! Check your inbox – you’re a winner!

  • June 5, 2013 By Nyomi 2:13 pm

    Hi Nat, as well as helping me quit sugar, the xylitol recipes in your book would be perfect for my mother-in-law who suffers from diabetes.

  • June 5, 2013 By JOelene 3:33 pm

    Nat I would love to win your book. Since coming off hormone birth control my friend and I (who has PCOS) are taking all the necessary steps to get our hormones balanced and our bodies back on track, but its such a long and difficult journey. Your book will allow both of us enormously to further learn about and understand what our bodies are trying to telling us!

  • June 5, 2013 By Maree 8:20 pm

    I would love recipes to assist me in preparing healthier food for my family. This alternative to sugared up foods will surely help me guide my way through this change.

  • June 6, 2013 By Kat 2:49 am

    I would LOVE to win Eat Fat Be Thin because I am always trying to improve my diet. I lead group cleanses a couple of times a year and am always looking for additional resources for my students. I’ve gotten pretty good at baking with stevia but I’ve never tried xylitol.

  • June 6, 2013 By Karli 5:12 pm

    Xylitol actually really upsets my stomach! In any quantity. So for the very rare occasion that I have something baked or that would use sugar in cooking when I’m out – I just eat it. It’s just as stressful (if not more) for the body worrying about traces of sugar in food than just actually mindfully eating and enjoying that piece of cake! At home I just use a fruit base as the sweet add.

  • June 6, 2013 By Simone 9:09 pm

    Hi Nat, I would LOVE to win your book. Just about to turn 40 and battling infertility, thryoid illness since I was 7 and now PCOS, but I cannot say I am more deserving than anyone else here. Just want to say thanks for the really interesting articles that I am finding inspiring and helping to get me back on track.

  • June 7, 2013 By Sal 11:26 am

    This sweet tooth would love to win. I am already feeling 100% better from cutting refined Fructose from my diet. I am needing some more cooking inspiration to share the healthy love with family & friends. xxx

  • June 7, 2013 By Sara 3:17 pm

    I would LOVE to win this as I’m a holistic nutrition student trying desperately to balance my hormones naturally after years on the horrid, despicable b.c. pill!

  • June 7, 2013 By Jess 3:38 pm

    I never stop learning from you Nat! I would love to learn how to incorporate this magic ingredient into my life. This is silly, but hope it makes you laugh







    Loooooong Lovely Life!

    • June 8, 2013 By mnfadmin 3:08 pm

      You’re a winner Jess! Congrats x

  • June 7, 2013 By paula 3:44 pm

    I was diagnosed with PCOS at 19, prescribed the pill and told I would need fertility drugs to fall pregnant.I’m now 41 and wanting to fall pregnant and would love some support and guidance to do it naturally.

  • June 7, 2013 By Sarah M 6:25 pm

    I’m trying to go sugar free but struggling with not being able to bake or make sweet things. Your book would inspire me to just do it!

  • June 7, 2013 By Claudia 6:35 pm


    You’ve just blown my mind with all that info on testosterone – I pretty much have all those symptoms but for two (I got my period back last year – yay for progress). Could you do a post on managing testosterone? My serum levels are fine, apparently but there are other types of testosterone that could be responsible for my symptoms.

    Wish I was in Melbourne – do you ever take on overseas clients via Skype? I have a holistic doctor at the moment but I feel like she doesn’t have the right expertise – even if she is willing to listen to me!

  • June 7, 2013 By Mrs G 10:14 pm

    I suffer form PCOS and endometriosis. This book will surely help me to keep sugar cravings under control.

  • June 7, 2013 By Tara 11:04 pm

    I would love to win a copy of your book. Anything I can do to boost fertility at this stage in my life is a priority. Plus I will be getting healthier at the same time!!

  • June 8, 2013 By Dora 4:37 am

    I’m 6 weeks into my ‘I quit sugar’ journey and have kicked the habit but the digits on the scales haven’t changed! Nevertheless I take inspiration and really enjoy reading your posts on hormone imbalance and weight gain. I’d love to win as I still have a lot to learn and as we all know- knowledge is power!

  • June 8, 2013 By Tonya 5:07 am

    I would love to have access to yummy recipes that will help me on my way to better health!

  • June 8, 2013 By Tegan 7:39 am

    I’m on a quest to find a natural sweetener that helps curb my sugar addiction, restores my hormones and helps me find regular periods and less acne. I’m sure this is an utterly common problem you hear all the time but I’m determined!

  • June 8, 2013 By Sallie 1:40 pm

    Love this post Nat, had no idea what Xylitol was and because of it’s name sounding quite “chemically”, I’ve never wanted to cook with it. Will head off to the health food shop to buy myself some now 🙂

  • June 8, 2013 By mnfadmin 3:12 pm

    Thanks Everybody!! The winners have been drawn. Check my FB page – Nat Kringoudis to see if you are a winner!

  • June 14, 2013 By PW 4:16 am

    Struggled with health problems after a slew of antibiotics and medications and diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis. Been trying to eat clean for several years, and all the organic food and limiting of sugars & grains has not really helped much at all (although when I do have them on occasion I can certainly tell that they don’t agree with me!) Would just like more information to help myself as I have leaky gut, candida, hormone issues too.

  • June 14, 2013 By Heather Hurth 4:38 am

    I would love to win so I can get my pcos hormones balanced :))

  • June 14, 2013 By Stephanie Holderfield 5:08 am

    I’m in my forties and have suffered with pcos all of my life. It’s never too late to try to get control of your health and body. I feel your book will give me the jump start I desperately need. I would LOVE to have a baby one day, but being insulin resistant and taking metformin has not been a cure all for me. I now know that I need to take charge. Please help!

  • June 14, 2013 By Samantha 12:28 pm

    Your ebook, Eat Fat, Be Thin,

    is the kick I need to begin

    my journey to health and wellness,

    and healing from within.

    With your book’s help and guidance,

    a better version of myself I can be.

    And as my health knowledge widens,

    I can also help heal my family!

  • June 14, 2013 By Rosemary McGuire 1:41 pm

    I was recently diagnosed with PCOS. It explained my inability to conceive over the last 18 months and the miscarriage we suffered at 10 weeks. My husband and I want to conceive again and carry a healthy baby to term. I’m praying your book and ideas can help us achieve that goal.

  • June 15, 2013 By Carly Morgan 6:54 am

    Hi Nat! I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now, (just found ya on Instagram as well!) and I’m super excited about this post.

    I used to use xylitol, but because it’s such a “new” sweetener, I wasn’t sure if it was exactly healthy for my body- especially because it’s so processed.

    I have your Fertilize Yourself ebook, which is beautiful by the way! and I’d love to take a peak into your new one- and share with my viewers on my blog all that I learn!

    Love xxxxxxxxx

  • June 18, 2013 By Anita 10:27 am

    I have Xylitol in my pantry and only use it occasionally – I will now use it more! Hopefully it will help my cycle, as I havent had a period in 6 months.

  • June 18, 2013 By Erin 5:04 pm

    Hi Nat. My hormones have been crazy for the past 3 years with absent periods- I’ve only had about 3 periods during this time.

    I have been using maca for the past 6 months with no luck so far so will also try out Xylitol.

    My doctors and specialist say there is nothing they can do other than prescribe the pill and hope for the best.

    I am only young so your book would be a lifesaver to help me before its too late!


  • August 20, 2013 By Tess 10:47 am

    so this is safe?

  • February 9, 2014 By Debra Newton 3:15 pm

    I have a daughter with PCOD and depression and anxiety disorder. She wants to feel better and eat better, but we did not know about Xylitol! She very much needs to lose wight too! I want her to live a long happy life! We could really use your help. Thanks!

  • April 7, 2014 By Gina Coghlan 9:42 am

    I have breast cancer estrogen positive, have to avoid estrogen products, currently using Stevia tabs in coffee, please help. Thanks

  • May 6, 2015 By Brenda 3:54 pm

    I am a 5 year breast cancer survivor, my cancer was caused due to high estrogen & progestrone. I have to keep both extremely low to avoid cancer coming back. Suggested by my Doctors.
    My dentist suggested I try xylitol due to me having extremely bad teeth. Does xylitol effect my estrogen & progesterone in my body??
    Thank You. B

  • August 13, 2016 By Nina 6:13 pm

    From what I gather from this article, xylitol just helps to balance hormones, but doesn’t lead to the increase of one hormone over another. Am I right? I am asking because so many people have a problem with estrogen dominance, however, I was recently diagnosed with having too much progesterone (my estrogen levels are okay) and am now burdened with the task of avoiding foods which increase or contain progesterone. My doctor wasn’t of much help in that department, so I am doing my own research, which so far, hasn’t given me many answers. Do you know if xylitol could directly increase progesterone? Because I just read that stevia apparently does. Thank you in advance!

  • July 28, 2018 By Kate 8:00 am

    Hello Nat, I appreciate your tips about xylitol, especially the benefits. Lately, my self-care has diminished and I have been experimenting with my digestive track to the point I feel like I don’t know whats right for it anymore. In this moment, I feel so out of balance which explains my google search which led me to you. I’m interesting in understanding what you’ve learned and desire to share and how I can integrate this in my lifestyle. I love to cook, eat well, thrive, dance, sing, have a positive impact upon the world and play it forward. Thank you for all you offer. Blessings to you!

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