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Coconut Sugar: Healthy Alternative Or Danger, Danger, Will Robinson?

By on September 19, 2015
Sugar Photo: Instagram.com/LoniJane

This article comes from my friend’s website. His name is Sam and he has lost a lot of weight. When I was the picture of the old Sam, I would not have recognised him. He really knows his stuff about weight loss.

 

by Molly Shea (Yahoohealth) It’s hard to find a food as demonized as sugar. It’s tied to everything from heart disease and high blood pressure to obesity — which is why it’s surprising to find coconut sugar taking over the baking aisle at healthy grocery stores and gracing oatmeal and smoothie bowls. But is coconut sugar really any different from regular sugar? And do the benefits outweigh the fact that it is, still, sugar? Yahoo Health took a look.

What is coconut sugar?
Unlike coconut oil, water, or milk, coconut sugar doesn’t come from the coconut itself. It’s really the boiled, dehydrated sap from the coconut palm. That alone upends claims that coconut sugar is unprocessed — it isn’t stripped of any nutrients and it doesn’t go through a heavy refining process like table sugar does, but it does undergo processing that turns the thick, sticky sap into a sweet, dry sugar. Some may be familiar with coconut nectar, a syrupy liquid made by boiling coconut palm sap. The nectar is slightly less processed, though nutritionally it’s almost identical to coconut sugar.

A one-teaspoon serving of coconut sugar clocks in at 15 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates, just like regular table sugar.

What makes it different from other sugars?
While table sugar is pretty devoid of any micronutrients, “coconut sugar contains minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, along with antioxidants,” explains nutritionist Allyn Mahowald, RD, of the Mayo Clinic. Coconut sugar is also rich in inulin, a type of fiber that has prebiotic effects, meaning it can help feed the healthy bacteria that help your body digest the food you eat.

Inulin can also slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, Mahowald tells Yahoo Health, which prevents the sugar high — and subsequent crash — that comes from typical sweeteners like table sugar and high fructose corn syrup. “Coconut sugar is said to be…..

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