Kris Sollid's blog

What is Xylitol?


Xylitol (pronounced Zy-Li-Tall) is a type of carbohydrate called a sugar alcohol, or polyol. They are water-soluble compounds that occur naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Xylitol is also commercially produced from birch bark and corn cob for use as a sweetener to replace calories from carbohydrates and sugars. Xylitol has been approved for use in food by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1963.

Not All Sugars Are the Same

Sugar, in one form or another, is added to many of our favorite foods and beverages. Most people know that sugar adds sweetness but many may not know that sugar is added for other reasons too. For example, sugars help preservation, stabilize emulsions, add flavor and improve texture – all of which help meet the expectations we have for how foods like ice cream and dressings should taste and feel.

Nutrition 101 Video Series: The Lowdown on Low-Calorie Sweeteners

This is the fourth installment of our video series in partnership with Osmosis, a group that focuses on health science education, highlighting the basics of several nutrition topics. The Nutrition 101 series also includes videos on dietary fats, carbohydrates, sugars and

Are some sugars scarier than others?

Haunted houses, horror movies and hilarious costumes all make Halloween a scary good time. Candy is also a big part of Halloween, which means there’s no better time of year to talk about sugar.

If you read ingredients lists, then you might be familiar with different types of sugar. If you read other parts of food packaging, you may be more familiar with adjectives used to describe certain kinds of sugar – words like “natural,” “added,” “organic” and “raw.” Let’s take a look at each of these terms, what they mean, and whether or not some sugars are scarier than others.

What Are You Looking For from Food?

Think for a minute: What exactly are you hoping to get from the food you choose? Is food simply a foil to hunger, or are you more deliberate about the enjoyment, taste or nutrition of your meals?

Has Perception of Sugar Become Reality?

The IFIC Foundation Food & Health Survey is in its 13th year of gauging American consumer perceptions, beliefs and behaviors around issues related to health and diet, food components, food production, and food safety.

Sugars: What’s in a Name?

If you read food labels, you’re likely familiar with many of the ingredients in your food. Some ingredients, like sugar, probably get your attention more than others. You may have heard a few myths about the sweet stuff, but hopefully some facts, too. IFIC’s senior director of nutrition communications, Kris Sollid, was featured in a recent article published in Reader’s Digest discussing sugar and its many forms.

Sugars Labeling of Honey and Maple Syrup: It’s a Sticky Situation

Have you noticed updated Nutrition Facts labels in stores yet? If you have, then you’ve seen that they contain added sugars information.

For many of our favorite foods and drinks, the new way sugars are labeled is pretty straightforward. The “Added Sugars” line on the label refers to sugars that were added during the making of the product. The “Total Sugars” line tells you the absolute amount of sugar in the product: It includes both added sugars and naturally occurring sugars.

Sound Science: Polyunsaturated Fats and Heart Health

We’re back with another installment of Sound Science, the forum where we spotlight quality research studies and scientific conclusions that may have flown under your radar. This time, we take a peek at the peer-reviewed literature on polyunsaturated fatty acids and heart health.

Fast Take: Should You Be Passing on Protein?

A new study from Finland is adding fuel to the food tribe debate, and protein enthusiasts may not like the headlines this study is generating. Given the popularity of diets skewing higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates, you may find these results surprising.