Sugar Free Sunday & Coconut Palm Sugar
Welcome to one of the sweetest weekly virtual potluck get-together ever! We host Sugar Free Sunday every week to exchange incredible sugar free recipes to inspire everyone to start the week right!
Let’s talk about coconut sugar today. Recently I’ve been seeing it in a lot of “health-ier” baked goods instead of the regular refined sugar or even the dubious evaporated cane juice.
Coconut sugar, also known as coconut palm sugar is made from the sap of flowers from the coconut palm tree. Basically the sap is boiled or dried down into a crystal or paste form which is sold in markets. In the US, I’ve typically seen it sold in crystal form. It looks very similar to brown sugar in fact.
Peaking behind the scenes though is a different story.
Just to have a baseline, the glycemic index of table sugar (sucrose) is approximately 70. The glycemic index of coconut sugar on the other hand is 35. Wow. That’s a big difference. Source
Quick reminder: Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a food causes blood sugar levels rise after eating. When your blood sugar levels rise quickly, your body creates an incredible amount of insulin to process the sugars and convert it into energy for your cells. Besides the fact that this sort of spike causes sugars to be processed not just into energy but into fat, it also causes a sudden drop in sugar levels once it’s processed. This causes your body to need more sugar so we get hungry and start the “spike and drop” cycle all over again.
So clearly, a lower glycemic index is a good thing when it comes managing our blood sugar levels.
Unfortunately scientific information about coconut sugar, aside from it’s glycemic index, is quite hard to find. So, I’m not entirely sure where it stands in terms of it’s addictive property in comparison with refined sugar or even the effect it has on your liver. Supposedly because it’s made up primarily of sucrose (as opposed to being primarily fructose, it should not tax your liver as much — but honestly I haven’t found anything reliable that shows this.)
There are reports that it’s high in nutrients and minerals. Although, I could list out a number of better things to reach for if you’re looking for nutrients or minerals.
Given that coconut sugar is gaining in popularity, I’m really looking forward to seeing some studies done that really break down the nature and effects of this sweetener.
Have you tried coconut sugar? What are your thoughts?
One last word of caution — it seems that many sources of coconut sugar on the markets are actually blends of coconut sugar and cane sugar. So pay attention to the ingredient labels!
How do you participate in the virtual potluck?
- Link your recipe post (NOT your homepage) if it does not use refined sugar. Your blog does not have to be entirely sugar free, just the dish you’re sharing!
- Please link back to this get-together somewhere in your post’s text. It’s a great way to invite your readers to the fun!
- Sign up for free to our new venture Velvet Aroma. It’s a visual way to read the blogs you love and really bring their recipes into your kitchen.
- See all the details on our Sugar Free Sunday page.
We’re so excited to see what you’re cooking….. Sugar Free!
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