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Coconut sugar: a healthy alternative

The harmful effects on health of added sugar are increasingly more obvious, hence the search for healthier alternatives.

A sweetener that has become very popular in the past few years is coconut sugar. This is also used in small quantities in the Respect Shape and Control range.

What is coconut blossom sugar ?

Coconut sugar is also called coconut blossom sugar. It’s a natural sugar made from coconut palm sap, which is the sugary circulating fluid of the coconut plant.

Coconut sugar is made in a natural 2-step process:

  1. A cut is made on the flower of the coconut palm and the liquid sap is collected into containers.
  2. The sap is placed under heat until most of the water has evaporated.

The end product is brown and granulated. Its color is similar to that of raw sugar, but the particle size is typically smaller or more variable.

Nutrition

Regular table sugar doesn’t contain any vital nutrients and therefore supply “empty” calories.

However, coconut sugar does retain quite a bit of the nutrients found in the coconut palm.

Most notable of these are the minerals iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, along with some short-chain fatty acids like polyphenols and antioxidants.

It also contains a fiber called inulin, which may slow glucose absorption and explain why coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular table sugar. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels.

Glucose is given a GI of 100. For comparison, foods with a GI of 50 raise blood sugar levels half as much as pure glucose.

Table sugar has a GI of around 60, whereas coconut sugar has been measured with a GI of 54

 

 

Summary

Coconut blossom sugar is a good alternative to regular sugar: it’s not as processed and contains some nutrients.

Coconut sugar belongs in the same boat as most sugar alternatives. It’s definitely healthier than refined sugar