Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
It seems coconut everything is popular these days, including this sweetener made from the sap of the coconut palm’s flower bud stem. It’s hyped as containing nutrients and fiber absent in table sugar. So, what’s the real story?
Anything and everything coconut continue to flood the grocery store shelves so I thought this would be a great topic to cover in today’s video….Is coconut sugar helpful for diabetes?
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Cocunut Sugar – Background
Coconut sugar can be found in the baking section of your grocery store. Is this a good option for you if you have diabetes? Are there any health benefits to coconut sugar? Let’s take a look at the background on this type of sugar.
First, I want to let you know to please be cautious on some terms you may see on the labels like non-GMO, organic, natural, gluten-free, or unrefined. These words or descriptions have no implication about raising or lowering your blood sugar. So don’t get fooled by these words that seem to say “buy me, I’m healthy for you to eat.”
Coconut sugar is made from the sap of the coconut plant’s flower bud stem of a coconut palm, and here are the “selling points.”. It does contain about 35-40 percent fructose, a lower percentage of fructose than table sugar.
And coconut sugar does have more nutrients than table sugar as it contains iron, zinc, and potassium. Coconut sugar also contains a soluble fiber called inulin which probably contributes to it having a slightly lower glycemic index than table sugar.
Remember – You Have Diabetes
BUT yes there is a “hold on” before you purchase a load of coconut sugar. Remember– you have diabetes. The amount of extra nutrients are not enough to make a difference. We should not be looking to sugar for our nutrients. And, the glycemic index is a measure of a food’s effect on blood sugar levels of people who DO NOT have diabetes. It is a completely irrelevant issue in comparing sugars.
Coconut sugar still contains 5 grams of carbohydrate per teaspoon, similar to table sugar. And remember that coconut sugar is an added sugar, unlike low-calorie sweeteners which are very low in calories and carb content and don’t spike blood sugar levels. People with or without diabetes need to watch the amount of added sugar in their eating plan. Low-calorie sweeteners replace sugar – Coconut sugar is just a different sugar.
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Sugar is Sugar. Period.
In summary, for people with diabetes, sugar is sugar for the most part. Tiny amounts of favorable nutrients in comparison to some other sugar are just a distraction. I’m not one to completely forbid sugar in our diabetes eating plan, but we need to be aware that sugar is just sugar when it comes to diabetes.
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I hope this cleared up any questions you have about coconut sugar.
Until next time, cheers to your health.
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