6. Xylitol While it sounds like a chemical, xylitol is actually a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that can be extracted from a variety of plants. It sweetens like sugar and it has many other benefits, including antifungal and antibacterial properties. Xylitol tastes as sweet as refined sugar but has 40% fewer calories and its chemical makeup is different from sugar, so the bacteria and yeast in our mouths can’t make use of it. Best of all, it helps promote healthy teeth (which is why you’ll see it listed in the ingredient lists of many chewing gum products) by reducing tooth decay.