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.