What Is Coconut Palm Sugar And Its Health Benefits

Coconut palm sugar - A healthy alternative to cane sugar
Coconut palm sugar – A healthy alternative to cane sugar

Coconut palm sugar is a natural form of sugar that is produced from the sap of the coconut palm flowers. However, it should not be confused with palm sugar. Palm sugar is made from the sap of the sugar palm tree.

The Two-Step Process Of Making Coconut Sugar

  1. A cut is made on the tender flowers of the coconut palm. The sap is collected into clay pots or bamboo containers tied to it.
  2. This sap is heated until the water is evaporated and the dehydrated sap turns into brown granules. Though in appearance it is similar to brown sugar or palm sugar, its different.

Is This A Healthier Option To Cane Sugar?

Coconut-palm sugar has the same amount of carbohydrates and calories as the cane sugar(table white sugar). Therefore, switching to this sugar from cane sugar on these respect would not make any difference. But coconut sugar contains only three to nine percent each of glucose and fructose, and 70 percent of sucrose. And this is a benefit over the cane sugar which contains 50 percent fructose.

Coconut sugar can be substituted for sugar in many recipes and is considered to be a healthier option to white cane sugar.

Benefits Of Coconut Sugar

  • Nutrient content – Though not a nutritional super food, its nutrient content is far better than the table white sugar. Coconut palm sugar has traces of potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, and vitamin C. It also contains certain amounts of flavonoids, polyphenols, and antioxidants. Inositol, belonging to vitamin B family, known for its mood booster qualities is also found in the coconut sugar.
  • Low Glycemic Impact – The level of carbohydrate in blood sugar is measured using the glycemic index. The glycemic index for cane sugar is between 60 and 75 while for this sugar its only 35. Therefore, it can be consumed by the diabetics.
  • Fructose is less – Fructose level is only 45 percent in coconut palm sugar  compared to other sweeteners. Fructose is easily converted into fat by the body and the only organ that can break down this sugar type is the liver; and one of the byproduct is triglycerides – a form of fat.

No matter the form, sugar is sugar. Consuming too much of the coconut sugar can adversely affect the liver.