Coconut sugar – properties and application

Coconut sugar is becoming more and more popular among those who prefer healthy eating.It is still a novelty on the market, and in many online sources you can find information about the health-promoting effect of this sugar.Is coconut sugar really healthy?What properties does it have?

Coconut sugar gained popularity in a short time because it was promoted as a replacement for white sugar with a lower glycemic index.Is it really worth using it?

How is coconut sugar formed?

Coconut sugar is obtained from the inflorescences of coconut palms, which grow directly from the coconut.Stems of the inflorescence are cut and squeezed out with white, sweet juice.The juice flows into a bamboo dish attached to the inflorescence flask for up to 35 days.From one tree you can get up to 280 liters of juice per year, which contains about 80% water.It is important that the juice used for sugar production is fresh, unfermented and had the correct pH.After collecting the appropriate amount, the juice is evaporated in vats to obtain a light-brown syrup with a thick consistency.Before it solidifies, it can be formed into blocks or heated further to obtain a loose consistency.The stores are available in the form of small crystals or cubes, much less often as a liquid.

Coconut sugar looks and tastes similar to cane sugar.It has a light coconut and caramel flavor, which is appreciated by gourmet coffee and desserts.Coconut sugar can be found under the name gula java, exotic for us.Sometimes also the name palm sugar is used interchangeably, but not quite properly, as the sugar palm can also be a date palm, Palmyra palm and Sago.They also have a different method of obtaining.That’s why you should read the labels carefully.Coconut sugar is produced mainly on the islands of Southeast Asia – Philippines and Indonesia, where it has been traditionally used for sweetening for hundreds of years.Its price in stores is high, it reaches PLN 100 per kilo.It is cheaper to buy coconut sugar in online stores – from PLN 30 / kg.

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Check it: Coconut and banana omelette

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Composition and nutritional value of coconut sugar

Coconut sugar contains 70-79% sucrose and glucose and fructose (from 3 to 9% of each of the two monosugars).Differences in composition result from the variety and age of the tree and the method of evaporation of the juice.

Nutritional value of coconut sugar

  • Energy kcal / 100 g – 381
  • Protein g / 100 g – 1.1
  • Fat g / 100 g – 0.4
  • Carbohydrates g / 100 g – 93.4

How many calories does coconut sugar have?

You can often find the opinion that coconut sugar is a less calorific substitute for white sugar, but their energy is similar.100 g of sugar from coconut provides 381 kcal, and white refined sugar – 405 kcal.The spoon of both sugars weighs 4 g and contains 15 and 16 kcal respectively.With ordinary use in the kitchen, this difference in the amount of calories is unnoticeable and coconut sugar can not be treated as a useful substitute in a slimming diet.

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Check also: Sugar detox

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Glycemic index of coconut sugar

According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Republic of the Philippines, the glycemic index of coconut sugar is 35, which is considered to be low IG products and can be used by diabetics.Other institutions, includingThe University of Sydney also measured the glycemic index of this sugar and report that it is 54. For comparison, IG white sugar is 68.

According to the official position of the American Diabetes Association from 2015 in terms of sweetness and nutritional value, coconut sugar is the same as white table sugar and brown sugar.This organization has issued an opinion on the following wording: “Diabetics can of course use coconut sugar as a sweetener, but can not be treated differently than ordinary white sugar.It provides exactly the same amount of calories and carbohydrates as regular sugar.

IG coconut sugar is lower than IG of white sugar, but it is still a product that contains more than 90% of sugars in the composition and should be used occasionally, not only by diabetics.

Coconut Oil

Vitamins and minerals in coconut sugar

Information that coconut sugar is rich in elements important for health is unfortunately untrue.Indeed, sugar from coconut palms contains very small amounts of potassium, zinc, iron or calcium, but the statement that it abounds in it is a big abuse.Based on a comparison of the content of minerals in various alternatives of white sugar and pure white sugar, coconut sugar actually contains more elements than other sweeteners.However, remember that these values ​​apply to 100 g of sugar, or 25 teaspoons – a quantity that nobody can use in the kitchen in a single day.To cover the daily requirement for vitamin C (70 mg), you should eat about 300 g of coconut sugar.To cover the body’s needs for iron (17-19 mg) – 900 g, magnesium (300-400 mg) – more than a kilogram, and zinc (8 mg) – 400 g of sugar from coconut palms.This shows that coconut sugar can not be treated as a source of vitamins and minerals in the diet, although it contains more elements than other natural sweeteners.It is still pure sugar in nearly one hundred percent, and the source of micro- and macroelements should be a balanced diet for us.Coconut sugar can be a little better for health than white sugar, but absolutely can not be considered a healthy substitute for sugar.

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You can read also: Coconut oil and cholesterol