Is Coconut Sugar Healthy? What Are the Benefits of Coconut Sugar?
I love sweets. Always have. Always will. Unfortunately, there was a time when my love of all things sugary was wrecking my health.
Sugar is an addictive substance. It works in the brain in a similar manner as cocaine does. (source) It gives you a lift by lighting up your reward center, leaves you crashing afterward, and drags you back for more over and over. And, like many illegal drugs, it wrecks your health while soothing you. (You can find out more about that here.)
What I’ve discovered about sugar, however, is that all sweeteners are not created equal.
Refined sugars may contain GMOs and have usually been processed to the point that they’re stripped of the nutrients they once contained. The body needs those nutrients to help digest the sugar. If the body isn’t provided the nutrients it needs alongside the sugar, then it must pull the nutrients from our mineral stores – namely our teeth and our bones.
So is Coconut Sugar Healthy?
Okay, I’ll get to the point!
The great thing about natural sweeteners, such as coconut sugar, is that they are whole foods. They contain the fructose and glucose that our bodies crave for quick energy, but they also contain the nutrients our body needs to help process and digest the sugar.
But is it healthy? Well, I wouldn’t go as far as to call coconut sugar a health food. But, I’d definitely call it a decent substitute for refined beet sugar or cane sugar. If you’d normally use white table sugar in a recipe replacing the white sugar with coconut sugar is a healthier step.
Keep in mind that added sweeteners of any sort should be a very small percentage of your diet in you want optimal health.
What Are the Benefits of Coconut Sugar?
Replacing refined sugar with coconut sugar helped me to overcome my addiction to sweets. I use coconut sugar most mornings in my coffee and love the full, caramel-like flavor that it adds to my morning cup. I’m not claiming switching to coconut sugar will help everyone to control their sweet tooth, but it definitely worked for me.
Another benefit of coconut sugar is that it contains inulin. Inulin is a prebiotic that feeds good gut bacteria. Since sugar (or, rather fructose) feeds bad bacteria, it’s great that coconut sugar contains inulin to feed the good belly bugs.
My favorite benefit of coconut sugar is that it can be used to replace white sugar exactly. By that I mean if a recipes calls for a 1/2 cup of white sugar, I can use a 1/2 cup of coconut sugar instead. It makes converting my favorite recipes into healthier recipes super easy.
Why I Buy Coconut Sugar
Ultimately, coconut sugar is a staple in my kitchen for the following reasons:
- Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar.
- Coconut sugar contains the nutrients necessary to help our bodies process and digest it.
- Coconut sugar contains fiber, which can slow the digestion process and prevent a sugar crash.
- I love the deep, caramel flavor of coconut sugar.
- It can be substitute with refined sugar at a 1:1 ratio.