Coconut sugar has become a popular alternative to regular sugar. It is said that it is healthier, and that it provides more nutrients. But what is true about it?
What is coconut sugar?
Although we know many more common sugars, the truth is that, little by little, the use of coconut sugar is being imposed for its nutritional effects and health properties.
Coconut sugar is extracted from the sweet nectar of palm tree flowers. The sap is cooked to evaporate the water and from the liquid it becomes a substance that crystallizes and from there the sugar is obtained, which is somewhat dark in color, similar to the brown sugar we know. It should be noted that this sap is composed of 80% water, 15% sugar and 5% minerals. While 4 g of coconut sugar provide 15 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates.
What are the benefits of coconut sugar?
Coconut sugar contains, mainly, a good supply of minerals and vitamins, such as iron, zinc, calcium and potassium. And the most outstanding thing is that it is somewhat healthier than the conventional one. Discover its benefits.
Low glycemic index
The most important difference between regular sugar and coconut sugar is that the latter has a low glycemic index (GI). It is 35 when it is considered high at 55. Therefore, it has a glycemic index that is actually low.
With this our health improves because it is fully indicated for people who must control blood sugar levels, and in general, sugar can be counterproductive to health in the long run. For this and many other reasons, it is suitable for diabetics as it prevents blood sugar from spiking and is therefore suitable for diabetic people.
Coconut sugar also has higher minerals than conventional sugar. It contains iron, zinc, potassium, among others, with which there are more antioxidants in the body, the immune system is protected and optimal blood levels are maintained to function properly. It also promotes bone growth thanks to its high content of phosphorus and calcium.
Source of vitamins
Among its vitamins, it is noteworthy that we find type B: B1, B2, B3, B6 and also vitamin C.
It is important to note that this sugar also contains other remarkable elements, although in lesser amounts: phytonutrients such as polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanidins, antioxidants and inositol.
Useful against constipation and diabetes
Although coconut sugar has little fiber, the truth is that it has a type of fiber known as inulin, which provides prebiotic benefits. This means that it helps in a positive way when it comes to improving intestinal transit and constipation, precisely because it feeds the intestinal microbiota.
In addition, thanks to the presence of this type of fiber, did you know that it is also useful to reduce sugar in people with diabetes?
Great taste and uses
Coconut sugar has a fine, sweet flavor that enhances desserts greatly. In addition, we can use it to cook homemade cakes, fruit smoothies and other sweets.
The main uses of coconut sugar in the daily diet are very varied. On the one hand, it is used to sweeten milk, yogurt or coffee, and as it is better than the traditional one, it is always a source of health, and a perfect substitute for the sugar that we all already know. And, on the other hand, as we have mentioned before, it is fantastic for pastries and desserts. It can be included in recipes for cookies, cakes, puddings…
Nutritional value of coconut sugar
100 grams of coconut sugar provide the following nutritional or nutritional values:
- Calories: 383 kcal.
- Carbohydrates: 92.1 g. Of which 92 g are sugars.
- Proteins: 2.6 g.
- Fat: 0.5 g. It does not have saturated fat.
Coconut sugar contraindications
Consuming excess of any type of sugar is detrimental to health, causing weight gain, and fat concentration, increased blood pressure, and increased cholesterol … So we must also moderate the consumption of coconut sugar. While coconut water also in excess can increase sodium levels in the blood.
Coconut sugar or panela?
As we have already seen, coconut sugar has good conditions to maintain good health, especially due to its excellent nutritional value. The panela is the pure juice of raw sugar cane also has vitamins and minerals.
Both coconut sugar and panela come from the evaporation of water, so they have quite similar properties for health. In this case, we can opt for both, but we must choose the one that best suits us for the kitchen and the one that we have closer to hand. The price can also influence the way you choose one or the other.