The reality is it is still sugar. Though it has a decent flavour and plenty of antioxidants, it still contains 20% to 30% fructose and almost the same number of calories and carbohydrates as white sugar in one teaspoon.
Coconut sugar is used quite often in plant-based desserts. It is known as coco sugar or coconut palm sugar. A natural sweetener, coconut sugar is produced by boiling and dehydrating the sap of the coconut palm tree. This process gives the sugar a brown colour. Did you know coconut sugar is used in very rich dark chocolates to take away the bitterness?
But just because it is ‘coconut’ sugar, it does not mean that you should use it in massive amounts. The reality is it is still sugar. Though it has a decent flavour and plenty of antioxidants, it still contains 20% to 30% fructose and almost the same number of calories and carbohydrates as white sugar in one teaspoon. But there are some good benefits of coconut sugar.
Pure and natural, coconut sugar is rich in antioxidants which provides a few benefits to keep you healthy. The nutrients such as potassium, zinc, iron and calcium which are deemed significant to promote sugar balance and bone mineralisation are still intact in coconut sugar. Furthermore, coconut sugar has lauric acid which is converted into a beneficial compound to help fight diseases in the body. But these health compounds are mostly supplied when you use coconut sugar in more quantity. If you are a diabetic patient, you should treat coconut sugar with discretion and only after consulting an expert.
Photo: Thuanny Gantuss
Coconut sugar is a low GI sweetener, and it is less refined. It contains inulin, a dietary plant fibre, which feeds your gut with probiotics. This prevents colon cancer and obesity. Furthermore, the presence of inulin in coconut sugar can help patients with diabetes 2 to avoid the “sugar crash” after consuming carbohydrates and controls their blood sugar.
While fibre is most certainly touted as an important intake, the people who consume coconut sugar must use it in moderation. That is key!