Calories, glycemic index, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals… Find out all you need to know about coconut sugar, an alternative to ordinary sugar for daily sweet preparations!
Produced from the sap of the flowers of the coconut palm, coconut sugar is not a refined sugar , and can be a good alternative to classic white sugar , which has been bleached and lost its minerals during the refining process. . Coconut sugar is therefore a more complete product than refined sugar and which is of more interest, nutritionally speaking.
A glycemic index lower than white sugar
If refining is to be taken into account when choosing a sugar, its glycemic index will also be important. This alternative is also “healthier” than white sugar because of its lower glycemic index (GI): the GI of coconut sugar is between 35 and 55 (the latest research tends instead to say that the GI is rather 55).
For comparison, the GI of white sugar is between 65 and 70, and that of honey is around 70.
Good to know: the glycemic index is a number showing the ability of a food to raise the level of sugar in the blood . The higher this number will be, the more the food will have an impact on blood sugar . It is important to note that the glycemic index does not depend only on the food alone, but on the associated foods: a fiber intake will buffer the release of sugar in the blood, for example (never eat sugar alone suddenly ).
As for the number of calories , it is not particularly low in coconut sugar: count an average of 39 calories for 10 grams of coconut sugar (or about a tablespoon).
Antioxidants, minerals and vitamins in coconut sugar
Unlike white sugar, coconut sugar has not been refined, so its nutritional values have been better preserved.
This ingredient, which can serve as an alternative to refined sugar, is indeed rich in:
B vitamins (B1 vitamins, B3 vitamins and B6 vitamins)
Also, coconut sugar has the characteristic of containing 16 of the 20 amino acids (which are sort of the little building blocks of proteins that constitute us).
Be careful, the intake of minerals is only interesting when it comes to powdered coconut sugar (and not in syrup form).
Coconut sugar: a healthier alternative to sweeten culinary preparations?
Unlike refined sugar, coconut sugar will provide us with minerals and vitamins that this first lost during the refining process.
This mixture of micronutrients is both beneficial to the production of energy (ATP, which is cellular energy), and to the proper functioning of the body’s immune system.
The fact that coconut sugar is rich in antioxidants (“anti-rust” shields that protect cells from oxidation) is also a good point.
Also, the low glycemic index of coconut sugar makes it an interesting alternative for diabetics , but should still be consumed without excess.
Despite interesting nutritional values and a lower glycemic index than other sweetening products, it should not be abused, as with any sweet product!
Coconut sugar is not indicated, for example, as a total replacement for white sugar if your doctor recommends it …
“The goal, to reduce the risk of disease and overweight, is to eat less sugar in general, but of better quality! In this process, coconut sugar can indeed be an alternative, but it There is no question of consuming excessively for all that! “, warns the specialist.
The big disadvantage of coconut sugar is more from an ecological point of view: this ingredient comes from far away, it is impossible to consume it locally.
“I would therefore rather recommend a complete sugar, which has not been refined either or xylitol, extracted from birch bark, which are products that travel less…”, advises Lisa Salis, nutritherapist.
Coconut sugar: how to choose it and how to consume it?
Always prefer coconut sugar in powder form, rather than coconut sugar in syrup form. Not only does the latter have a higher glycemic index, but during the production process where it is heated, the syrup will lose some of its nutrients.
As explained, coconut sugar, available in organic stores, is a product that has come a long way, since it is not produced in European countries. Some ethical and ecological labels provide an idea of how coconut sugar was produced and how it was produced (in particular to avoid certain pollutants used during production).
Coconut sugar is consumed in exactly the same way as white sugar, and can be an interesting alternative to refined sugar in dessert preparations, for example. It will be used in the same proportions.
Note that its taste is slightly weaker than ordinary sugar, take the opportunity to get used to the sweet taste a little, by not increasing the proportions.
Thanks to Lisa Salis, nutritherapist, nutritionenergetique.com , founder of the HYGIE Academy, (www.hygieacademie.com)
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