xylitol - it a great alternative to traditional sugars? Xylitol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate, that looks and tastes just like regular table sugar. It is a natural sweetener that is extracted from any woody fibrous plant material. This version of xylitol is derived from Birch trees. Xylitol also occurs naturally in our bodies – in fact, an average size adult manufactures up to 15 grams of xylitol daily during normal metabolism. Pure xylitol is a white crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar. Great for your teeth.