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Coconut Sugar: A Nonconventional Option

Updated on May 4, 2015
White Sugar granules
White Sugar granules | Source
Sugar Cane growing in Barbados
Sugar Cane growing in Barbados | Source
Coconut Palm Tree in Barbados
Coconut Palm Tree in Barbados | Source
Coconut sugar
Coconut sugar

Sugar has become a hot topic over the past few years and continues to remain so. Too much sugar in a diet can cause serious health problems by overloading your liver, causing your insulin, blood glucose and cholesterol levels to rise and is a major contributor to North America’s obesity problem. Yet, let’s face it, people like sweet food. To deprive them of this sensation may even make some of them turn surly. The issue, however, is not sweetness. Rather it is the source of this specific taste. Too often, it comes from sugar beets or sugar beets combined with cane sugar. An excess of one or the other is definitely not healthy for anyone.

Sugar Replacements

If sugar needs to be reduced or replaced, where does the answer lie? Although food chemists have come up with a variety of sugar substitutes such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin, there are very real concerns about such things as dosage and overall effects. The answer according to many nutritionists is not a chemical substitute but a natural one. Currently, the market is bursting with a wide variety of natural and even organic sugar substitutes. Among the list are the following:

  • Agave Nectar – from the Agave Cactus

  • Brown rice Syrup – from Brown Rice

  • Honey

  • Maple Syrup

  • Stevia Leaf – from the Stevia Herb

  • Sucanat – made from natural Sugar Cane

  • Xylitol – from beets, berries, corn and even birch trees

You can now add one more to the list – coconut sugar.

What Is Coconut Sugar?

The coconut tree has always been referred to as the Tree of life by the Polynesians and many Asians. Indeed, it has provided them with all the basics of life from coconut water to flour and meat. Coconut sugar is one more product that can be derived from this tree. Unlike other products, however, it comes from the collected and boiled down sap of the blossom.

Health Benefits

Not only does coconut sugar sweeten your food, it is full of a variety of nutrients. This natural sugar is a source of:

  • B1

  • B2

  • B3

  • B6

  • Calcium

  • Inulin – a fiber that may be responsible for the low glycemic index

  • Iron

  • Potassium

  • Zinc

For those who are diabetic, coconut sugar ranks low on the glycemic scale. The Philippine Food and Nutrition Research Institute (PFNR) rates it at 35. Compare this to white sugar’s index of 60 to 65. This clearly indicates that if you use coconut sugar, you will not see a spike in your blood glucose or an increase in the levels of your insulin.

Using Organic Coconut Sugar

Organic sugar is versatile. It can be used to replace the functions of most sugars. While it does pay to test run it in your kitchen before making something special for a guest, you should find it a more than adequate replacement for white or brown sugar. Use it in dark chocolate chip cookie recipes or simply add it to your coffee or tea. Put it on top of your waffles, pancakes or plain old cereal. Not only will your food taste great, but you will be taking one more step towards improving your own health and that of your family.

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    • Tanya Fitzmorris profile image

      Tanya Fitzmorris 

      3 years ago from Brantford Ontario Canada

      This is a great read and I will be sharing it with my fitness group :)

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