Description: Xylitol, also called birch sugar, can be extracted from birch, raspberries, plums, and corn. It is of equal sweetness as sugar, but has 40% fewer calories, and is absorbed into the blood more slowly than sugar, making it safe for diabetics. It is a white, crystalline powder that looks like white sugar. Xylitol has also proven to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and aids in healing ear infections.

What to look for: Made from organic ingredients, it is commonly made from in-organic corn. Purchase Xylitol made from organic birch.

Uses: Substitute equally for white sugar.

Where to find: Health Food Store, online resources.

Avoid: Inorganic xylitol made from corn. Read the packaging in the store – if it doesn’t say organic, it’s not. Search for organic xylitol or birch xylitol online.