Is It Healthy? Coconut Sugar

by in Is It Healthy?, January 2, 2012

The health claims surrounding coconut products are controversial in the nutrition world. Is the newest craze a healthy choice? Here are the sweet facts on coconut sugar.

Coconut sugar is made from buds or palms of coconut trees, which is why you may also see it sold as “palm sugar.” It should be noted that there are various types of palm sugar, so check labels for one derived from a coconut tree. While it has only recently been gaining popularity in the U.S., coconut sugar is readily used in many South East Asian countries.

Similar to sweeteners like brown rice syrup, maple syrup and honey, coconut sugar tends to be less refined than good old white sugar. It also contains minerals like magnesium, potassium zinc and iron.

Coconut sugar also has a lower glycemic index than the uber-refined white stuff, which means that it can cause a less dramatic spike in blood sugar.

It has a pleasant, molasses like flavor (similar to brown sugar) and can be heated for use in cooking and baking.

Coconut sugar shouldn’t be considered a low-calorie sweetener. In fact, it has just as many calories per teaspoon as regular sugar. As for the glycemic index, it may be lower, but it’s important to keep in mind that the glycemic index only classifies the blood sugar response of foods by themselves. Since you’ll most likely munch on coconut sugar along with other ingredients, its effect on blood sugar will vary.

Coconut sugar also comes at 3 times the price. Sugar averages 7-cents per ounce, while the coconut variety rings up at 22-cents per ounce.

The Verdict?
There’s no harm in adding coconut sugar to your repertoire of less refined sweeteners, but it should be consumed in moderation . .  . just like all the others.

Tell Us: Have you tried coconut sugar?

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  5. Steve Johnson says:

    A KEY HEALTH FEATURE of Coconut sugar is the composition. It has the LOWEST percentage of FRUCTOSE than any other natural sugar. For those intolerant of fructose or trying to avoid it, THIS IS A KEY POINT THAT WAS OVERLOOKED! Since it has the smallest impact on the blood glucose level of any other sugar,Since this result in a longer time before getting hungry again, a simple SWAP could result in weight loss. It is also the ONLY sugar recommended by Dr. Oz.

  6. I have replaced cane sugar with Coconut Sap sugar for the past 18 months as part of my nutrition and fitness change. To date, I have lost 75 pounds and am in better shape that I have been in years. While Coconut Sap sugar alone isn't responsible, it is PART OF a nutritional make-over that has resulted in losing fat and gaining muscle. I look 20 years younger than I did 18 months ago.

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