When it comes to chocolate there are lots of options and healthy sugar substitutes are there to be had and should be considered to help cut back. In light of consuming chocolate over my birthday I thought I would talk about a good sugar substitute, Xylitol. I’m also a fan of dark chocolate which you can read more about here.
So, this weekend I celebrated my 27th birthday (eek) and had some serious celebrations in the form of massive party on Friday. I then followed on the actual day with a more civilised affair – having a meal with close friends and family before relaxing in my new flat whilst it poured with rain outside. Cosy Autumn birthdayness it was.
Birthdays mean a number of things, one normally being a bad ass cake of some form and another is the potential for lots of chocolate themed presents. I certainly enjoyed some cake on Friday and tucked into my box of Thorntons come Sunday – not very ‘Happy Sugar Habits’ I know! As the excuse of it being my birthday wears off I am pleased so say the consumption of chocolate and cake has lessened, although I have made a pleasant discovery that fixes the bill on occasion….
Xylitol Choxy Luxury Orange 72% cocoa was my most recent purchase to help cure post meal dark chocolate cravings and it has come up trumps. Whilst you can only just tell it’s not the real thing with a very slight waxy texture, the full orange flavour is likely to why it has a ‘Great Taste Gold 2011’ award stamped on the packet. Until this purchase I really didn’t have a clue what Xylitol was, so I thought a few factoids could help clear the mist around this rather unique sugar substitute.
Xylitol is classed as an alcohol sugar although it doesn’t really contain alcohol or sugar. It’s a completely natural substance that is found in fruit and vegetables, weirdly enough mushrooms being one of them. The good news is it’s not chemically compounded like Aspartame and Splenda – two of the most common sweeteners around town – and its lower in calories than sugar. The actual molecule also means it has a lower effect on blood sugar (Low GI) thus keeping it steady and reducing the potential for crashes that refined sugar induce, that then make you reach for bad things.
More interestingly Xylitol is good for you teeth and recommended by dentists. It actively reduces cavity causing bacteria in the mouth and that’s why you might recognise the name from your favourite mouthwash or toothpaste. So yes, it appears this chocolate isn’t bad for your teeth and eating it after a meal could even protect them to some extent. It won’t spike your blood sugar and it will reduce the biscuit munch chances. I should note that excessive Xylitol does have its side effects, but that’s not something I want to detail in depth here trust me. A square or two of it in the form of this chocolate is harmless however, and if you suffer from cravings it’s definitely worth a try.
I bought this beautiful bar in my local Nature’s Intent but they also sell Xylitol Choxy Luxury Orange on Amazon. You could also try this Xylitol as a sweetener or sugar in your tea if you are looking for a substitute.
Not going to deny I still have a few Thorntons left which will be devoured in good time. However when they run out and I have the chocolate crave, I am happily going to munch myself some Xylitol orange chocolate instead! Replacing normal chocolate with dark chocolate is one of the easiest habits to help sort sugar and you can sign up for a similar new habits each week with the Happy Sugar Habits weekly tip e-mail.
Has anyone else tried Xylitol chocolate? What do you think? Rant or rave as you wish!