It is undeniable that we consume sugar every day. It is everywhere. From the obvious candy, to a simple carrot soup. Sure, sugar is delicious and can definitely satisfy that sweet craving, but did you know that sugar is linked to so many harmful effects and diseases many people suffer around the world.
Not Always Sweet
There are many ways sugar is causing harm to our bodies and overall health. Some of them are:
- causes blood glucose to spike and drop
- increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart diseases
- interferes with immune function– bacteria and yeasts feed on sugar, when these organisms get out of the body, the chances of getting infections and illnesses are higher
- may result in chronium deficiency, chronium’s main function is to help regulate blood sugar
- accelerates aging (sagging skin) after hitting the bloodstream, some of the sugar we consume attaches itself to proteins (the process is called glycation) and this contributes to the loss of elasticity found in aging body tissues
- when it sits on our teeth, it creates decay more efficiently than any other food substance
In an effort to cut or at least, lessen the harmful effects sugar has on your body and health, start by using sugar alternatives. Most of the sugar alternatives we are using are natural and organic.
These are some of the sugar alternatives sold in the market now:
- Maple syrup
- Agave syrup
- Coconut sugar
- Date sugar
Coconut Sugar, the better alternative?
One sugar alternative gaining popularity now is coconut sugar. Which many claim it is a better alternative to others such as stevia.
How is coconut sugar made?
Coconut sugar or as its also known coconut palm sugar is a natural sugar made from sap. This is the sugary circulating fluid of the coconut plant.
There are two steps in making coconut sugar: (1) a cut is made in the flower of the coconut palm and liquid sap is collected in containers, (2) the sap is dried under heat until most of the water has evaporated. The results are golden brown granules that look like brown sugar.
According to the Philippine Department of Agriculture, coconut sugar has several nutrients. It has traces of iron, zinc, calcium and potassium. Coconut sugar also has some short fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants.
It is also said to contain a fiber called inulin. Insulin may slow down glucose absorption and explains why coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular table sugar.
In conclusion, coconut sugar is not a superfood as some manufacturers claim but its more healthier and offers more vitamins and minerals compared to white table sugar. Has small amounts of phytonutrients and antioxidants.
More over it has a lower glycemic index. Coconut sugar ranks 35, while table sugar ranks between 60 and 75. Glycemic index measures the effects on blood sugar. Foods with high-ranking iron the glycemic index cause blood sugar to spike, which can lead to sugar rush and subsequent crash.
Like regular sugar, coconut sugar still contains fructose and calories and if its consumed in high amounts, will have the same harmful effects as regular sugar.
Coconut sugar should be used sparingly.
About the author:
Nadine is a wandering writer and blogger for Cocotrends.com. She loves travelling and exploring new places, and finding hole-in-the-wall dining places. As a wannabe cook, she loves discovering new recipes and ingredients, like the versatile coconut oil (and yes, she uses it on just about anything and everything). On lazy days, Nadine is spending time at the beach with her fur-babies, Pepe and Pido.