I saw coconut sugar at the store yesterday and was wondering what everyone's thoughts on this were? I assume it's not paleo because it reminds me of honey...but I am just curious.
I try to limit my carbs to vegetables and fruit. I use stevia in my coffee (I just can't resist). The only time I'd ever consider a sweetener is if I decide to bake my own energy bars or coconut pancakes and I don't want to use anything like agave syrup.
So would you consider coconut sugar worse than honey or about the same?
I have some in the cupboard, but have yet to use it. Mine is raw, organic coconut sugar.
I consider it an item to be used scantily, and I have it mostly to offer to guests if they want a sweetener. ( I rarely have guests, which is why it remains unopened!) I personally no longer eat sugar, honey or syrups.
To me, it is benign enough as it is part of the coconut, but lacks the valuable fat and fibre for nutrition. I tend to think raw honey would probably be of better nutritional value because it is in it's whole form, rather than being somethingsmall stripped from another and packaged in large quantities which you would never finding nature. Justmy 2 cents.
I contacted the company Coconut Secrets directly to know more about the sugar composition of coconut nectar/sugar to know more about its sugar content.
Here are the answer they provided: The sugar breakdown of the fresh coconut sap directly out of the tree is 0.5% glucose, 1.5% fructose, and 16% sucrose. However, when the excess liquid is evaporated from the fresh sap to make our Coconut Nectar or Crystals, the naturally occurring sugars become more concentrated (more so in the Crystals than the Nectar), which causes the percentage of glucose to increase to approximately 8-10%, the fructose 10-12%, and the sucrose increases to nearly 74%. The good news is that the presence of inulin and FOS (soluble fiber) are the key factors that maintain the glycemic index at an average of 35 GI.
the coconut sugar regulates the blood sugar my husband has used it instead of Stevia and prefers it. My Husband uses it as sugar I am not encouraging this, But my husbands blood sugar has been stable.And this is the only change he has made. The advise about sparingly well my husband uses a heaping tsp in his coffee. And it certainly does not taste like brown (real cane sugar) sugar. Most sugar here is from beets. Its certainly better than honey for a diabetic. Most honey is adulterated so unless its organic it may not be good for you. Real maple syrup also does not taste like whats purchased in the store that artificial stuff. Moderation is the game/Any form of sugar unless from fruit is not good a breeding ground for cancer, But if you want sugar I say coconut.would be my choice.
After having read a couple of books on Paleo it seems to me a better approach to answering questions about the use of coconut sugar is to consider how it spikes blood sugar levels and what that in turn does to appetite. If blood sugar spikes, the result is an increase in appetite and a stronger desire to eat (to replenish the sugar spike that insulin has cleared). No sugar--no matter its source--has real nutritional value, so I don't think nutrition enters the conversation here (except that the idea is to eat as many nutritionally dense foods as possible). So the question becomes: Is sugar (in any form) appropriate for me? Some people handle sugar spikes better than others and don't feel the need to keep eating. Some folks don't handle sugar as well and this compels them to eat more than they should. I have for many years worked as a professional chef and it has always been my goal to create a balance of flavor in the foods I serve. That has often translated to the use of more sugar than I would recommend for daily consumption (but who eats restaurant food every day, right?). Now that I'm considering recipes from a Paleo perspective, I still want that balance of flavor.....but I'm a little more creative in how I achieve it: instead of sugar or honey in a vinaigrette, for example, I might use pureed raisins or some other dried fruit. I saw a post in this feed earlier that raised the question of the ratio of sucrose to fructose and I think that's also an important consideration here (in examining the use of sweeteners). I think the best way to answer this is simply to ask yourself how you feel after using it; are you okay with it or does it create cravings that may lead you off track?
I know I'm late to the game, but this is something to consider when buying coconut sugar - the sugar is harvested from the flower, and that means the flower does not turn into a coconut. No coconut oil, no coconut milk, no dried coconut, no coconut flour, no coconut water, and on and on. Here's an interesting article to consider: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/coconut_palm_sugar.htm
I bought like 6 packages from Amazon on a gold deal a while back. Way too much for me but about the same price as 1 from whole foods. Anyway, it tastes like brown sugar. I use it every once in a while in small quantities. It has some nutrients but as they say on the package its to be used sparingly. I sometimes add a tsp or so to salad dressing if the rece calls for it or to a large stir fry. Just make sure its a negligible quantity of calories.