– Xylitol is considered a sugar alcohol, as is maltitol, sorbitol and amannitol. According to the FDA, foods containing sugar alcohols, but not processed sugar, can be labeled sugar free, even though they are not calorie free. Generally, these sugar alcohols contain 40% fewer calories than sugar, which means they fall lower on the glycemic index. In addition, sugar alcohols tend to have an inconsequential effect on blood glucose and insulin levels. I especially like to use Xylitol in my baking when I want to retain a fine texture and a light, even color. It’s important to remember to use sugar alcohols in moderation since excessive consumption can cause abdominal discomfort or have a laxative effect.