Sugar is sweet on your taste buds, but it’s not-so-sweet to your teeth. Xylitol and stevia are both tooth-friendly alternatives, but how do these sweeteners stack up? Get the scoop on xylitol vs stevia.
Xylitol vs Stevia: What Are They?
What is xylitol? Xylitol is a natural alcohol found in plants, and is often used as a sweetener products like sugar-free candy and toothpaste. You can also buy xylitol powder to mix into your baked goods or coffee.
What are the benefits of xylitol for teeth? It’s sweet like sugar, but doesn’t cause bacteria buildup in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay.
What is stevia? Derived from leaves of the stevia plant, this sweetener has no calories and is 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Like xylitol, stevia doesn’t contribute to tooth decay. Generally recognized as safe by the FDA, this sweetener is found in packets and beverages. Note: Stevia leaves and crude stevia leaf extracts are not FDA approved.
Xylitol vs Stevia: Which is the Better Sweetener?
Both xylitol and stevia are better for your smile than sugar, so which one should you choose? For many people, the preference of one sweetener over the other comes down to taste. Xylitol doesn’t taste different than sugar, but it’s about 5% less sweet. Stevia—on the other hand—has a licorice aftertaste, which some people may not like.
Whether sugar or substitute, remember to use sweeteners in moderation. Consuming too much added sugar—even in the form of sugar substitutes or natural sugars—can lead to health problems, such as poor nutrition and weight gain.