Many people like you may be wondering, “Is it worth it to buy coconut sugar?” Well, is it really a healthy sugar alternative or something that’s not worth buying? Since a lot of individuals are becoming more aware of the harmful effects of regular favorite sweeteners, such as table sugars and high fructose corn syrup, people are rapidly turning to this natural alternative sweetener.
Coconut sugar comes from the coconut palm tree blossoms. It has been researched and proven to be nutritious and has a low glycemic index value. So, is coconut sugar really a healthy sugar alternative or just another highly advertised product and a waste of money? Find out more below.
What Is Coconut Sugar?
Coconut sugar is also called coconut palm sugar or coconut crystal sugar or coconut crystallized sugar. No matter how it is called, this sugar is a raw, natural sugar extracted from the coconut blossoms or flowers, which is also referred to as the coconut sap.
This sugar is created from a 2-step traditional process. First, the coconut palm tree flower is tapped or cut for the collection of the liquid or sap. Then, the second and last step is to place the saps under low heat until all the liquid has evaporated.
Does Coconut Sugar Contain More Nutrients Than Regular Sugar?
In accordance with the Philippine Department of Agriculture, coconut sugar contains a number of vital nutrients. It is unlike regular table sugar and high fructose corn syrup that don’t have any, so they only supply useless calories. The most remarkable of them are Calcium, Iron, Potassium, and Zinc. It also has polyphenols as well as antioxidants. It even has Inulin, a fiber which slows down the absorption of glucose. This is the reason coconut sugar gets a low glycemic index value.
Coconut Sugar, a Low Glycemic Natural Sweetener
What is Glycemic Index? It is a measurement tool that decides how quickly or how slowly a particular food can raise blood sugar levels in a specific time frame (between 1 to 2 hours). The glycemic index value of glucose is 100, while coconut sugar has only 35.
In a study conducted by the Philippine Department of Agriculture, they compared the coconut sugar, glucose, and regular table sugar (mainly sucrose) glycemic index equivalence. Table sugar has approximately 60 glycemic index value. So, coconut sugar is evidently much lower than the other two.
How to Use Coconut Sugar
Although GI greatly differs from person to person and in types of foods, certain coconut sugar products or brands may have slightly different effects. With coconut sugar, you still need to find raw, unrefined, and naturally processed coconut sugar. In this manner, you can be assured of safety when you buy coconut sugar.
If you will use coconut sugar, you still need to use it cautiously. In one research study, the required amount of daily intake is only less than 3 tablespoons. It is a “less bad” sweetener, but you still need not to let your guard down.
People nowadays are relying on coconut sugar for its natural sweetness and high nutritional value. When you buy coconut sugar, just make sure to choose wisely. It is not a perfect table sugar substitute, but absolutely better than no sugar at all.