What is the deal with coconut sugar? Is it really better than just regular sugar? Is it the same? With so many options for “all natural” and man-made sweeteners, sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.
Coconut sugar is made by taking the sap of the Coconut Palm, and drying it under heat until all of the moisture is gone and the sugar remains.
("coconut palm sugar" isn't coconut sugar... it's from a different type of palm tree - I know...It's confusing....but don't worry about that now...)
This natural production process actually leaves the final product with some additional minerals that you won’t find in white sugar. Zinc, Iron, Calcium, and Potassium are all found in coconut sugar, but the amounts are pretty small. Knowing that, I would say you should seek other sources for these nutrients. However, Inulin is the magic in coconut sugar. It’s a fiber that is believed to reduce the glycemic index of coconut sugar by lowering the absorption rate. In a nutshell, (pun intended), you won’t get the major spike in your blood sugar level you would get from normal sugar.
WARNING...SCIENCE CONTENT COMING UP...
What is the glycemic index anyway? The glycemic index is a scale that uses pure glucose as the top performer. Table sugar has a glycemic index of 60, so it can be assumed that it is 60% as potent as pure glucose. Coconut sugar has a glycemic index of 35. Pretty simple.
The real villain is fructose. Fructose has been linked to insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes), and when the liver gets too much fructose, it gets converted to fat. Table sugar, or “sucrose”, is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Coconut sugar is typically 70% sucrose. Which means half of that 70 is fructose. Pretty not simple...I know...
At 16 calories a teaspoon, for both table and coconut sugar, it appears that neither is any better for you on a calorie restricted diet. I do feel that the lower absorption rate can help you overcome some of the sugar crash you could get from your morning coffee. In the end, I would say it’s a good addition if you like the taste and the more natural production process appeals to you. It’s not going to cure your sweet tooth, but could be a good band-aid for the peaks and valleys that come with a white sugar fix.
Fit In a Peanut Butter World is a blog created to provide information as it relates to skin, body and food health.