Reasons to Make Organic Coconut Sugar a Part of Your Diet
Coconut is well known for giving us various different healthy products, such as coconut water, coconut vinegar, desiccated coconut flakes, wine, and the popular coconut oil. Another popular product that’s associated with this natural goodie is coconut sugar.
Coconut sugar is made from the sweet nectar extracted from coconut’s blossoms. The nectar is processed into a syrup-like substance and then dried to form granulated coconut sugar. It is a natural sweetener and sugar substitute that comes at a slightly higher price than regular table sugar. However, spending an extra buck or two is well worth it, considering the many health benefits it provides.
It Contains Minerals, Vitamins and Phytonutrients
Though in small amounts, organic coconut sugar contains minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. It also contains two times more iron and zinc than granulated sugar does, according to the FNRI (Food and Nutrition Research Institute). It contains a decent amount of phytonutrients, specifically flavonoids, polyphenols and anthocyanidins. These phytonutrients are known to help reduce inflammation, blood sugar and cholesterol, making organic coconut sugar a better option than many other sweeteners.
It is Good For The Gut
Coconut sugar contains inulin. This substance has the ability to stimulate the growth of intestinal bifidobacteria, which is the same type found in probiotic supplements. Inulin can help improve your immune system and may even help treat conditions that can affect the intestines such as diarrhea and ulcerative colitis.
It Has a Lower Glycemic Index
Is organic coconut sugar good for diabetics? Studies suggest that coconut sugar may help individuals with type 2 diabetes by improving some glycemic and antioxidant levels and decreasing malondialdehyde levels (the main cause of oxidative stress). Research has also shown that the inulin found in coconut sugar can help to somewhat reduce the absorption of glucose, therefore keep glucose levels in check. In other words, using coconut sugar as part of a balanced, low glycemic diet won’t be a problem.
Another benefit of consuming foods with a low glycemic index is that you’re likely to have more energy throughout the day. Feeling sleepy in the afternoon and not focused enough to finish your assignments has a lot to do with the peaks and dips of your blood sugar due to the foods you eat. When you consume foods with a low glycemic index, your sugar levels stay balanced, giving you more energy.
It Contains Less Fructose
Fructose is a white sugar content which is quickly converted into fats by our body. It’s hardy to be broken down (only the liver is capable of breaking it down) and this complex process results in the formation of triglycerides. Coconut sugar, on the other hand, contains higher levels of sucrose and low levels of fructose as opposed to white sugar which contains high levels of both fructose and glucose.
It Is Sustainably Farmed
Although a lot of people are turning to coconut sugar because it’s healthier than white sugar, some have made the decision to switch to it because it is one of the most suitable sweeteners grown in the world today. Coconut trees need very little water to grow and offer farmers the ability to obtain sugar from the flower, which allows another stalk to mature to form coconuts. This means that farmers can get coconuts and sugar from the same tree.
Risks and Side Effects
Is organic coconut palm sugar healthy? It is healthier than white sugar but it has the same calories as regular sugar, which means consuming it in moderation is key. Regarding other precautions, there seems to be little information. Coconut sugar is generally well-tolerated but just like any other kind of sugar, consuming too much of it can contribute to weight gain and high blood sugar levels. Maintaining a high-sugar diet may also increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and elevated triglycerides, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is also important to keep a watchful eye on labels because many coconut sugar products contain added regular sugar. Opt for pure coconut sugar that doesn’t contain any added sugar.
How to Use Coconut Sugar
Generally, coconut sugar can be used in the same way as regular sugar. But it is a good idea to start with half of the amount you would use until you reach the desired sweetness. According to those who have tried it, coconut sugar dissolves easily in warm water, helping form basic syrups and sweet creams. It also blends well with eggs and butter in baked goods. Feel free to sprinkle it on your coffee, tea, oats, over chia pudding, etc.
If you’re wondering what does coconut sugar taste like, you should know that it tastes nothing like the coconut fruit itself. It has more of a mild caramel flavour. It has a light brown colour and its texture is similar to brown sugar. Coconut sugar’s granular consistency and mild flavour make it an easy substitute in baked goods.