Coconut sugar is made up of 78-89% sucrose – think, the same as any type of sugar. That’s because unlike coconut sugar, agave sugar gets treated with heat and enzymes. Coconut Sugar vs. Stevia Stevia is very popular among health and fitness enthusiasts because it is often credited with an 'all-natural' tag. Unless you are specifically looking for gluten-free brown-rice syrup, you could be unknowingly perpetuating health problems if you are sensitive to gluten. This is not an exhaustive list. Regain your energy, vitality and health by tapping into the power of the Elimination Diet with this practical and effective nutrition course. As our largest immune organ, messing with the gut can have a wide-reaching, negative impact on our health. The sweetness is extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant. For example, a few studies show stevia's ability to impact hormones. Sucanat Sucanat is a natural cane sugar that has a very similar consistency to coconut sugar. On the plus side, coconut sugar has some nutrients, while stevia does not contain any. Agave nectar is still high in fructose (like HFCS), and while human studies are lacking, theoretically, this fructose in high amounts over time could contribute to metabolic dysfunction like insulin resistance and fatty liver disease. Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., R.D.N. Agave is often referred to as a diabetic-friendly, natural sweetener that doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels. In addition to the fact that both are effective sweeteners and often advertised as being superior to refined sugar, they both also come from palm trees. Your article and new folder have been saved! It tastes sweet, but is not actually a sugar … These sugar substitutes are the ones to avoid. Coconut sugar comes from the coconut tree, while stevia comes from the Stevia rebaudiana herb. Sugar amount Equivalent Stevia powdered extract Equivalent Stevia liquid concentrate 1 cup 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon 1 tablespoon 1/4 teaspoon 6 to 9 drops 1 teaspoon A pinch to 1/16 teaspoon 2 to 4 drops From The Stevia Also called coconut palm sugar, this sweetener is a better option than regular sugar (“empty” calories). Commercial-scale brown rice syrups typically use enzymes from bacterial or fungal origins, instead of barley. I will share from my experience which sugar substitutes to avoid and those to be used responsibly, with caution and in small amounts. This type of brown sugar, known for its large, amber-colored crystals, still undergoes processing, which removes soil, natural impurities, and most nutrients from the sugarcane. When my patients are looking to add sweetness to food I first recommend raw organic stevia, monk fruit, organic coconut sugar, maple syrup, molasses, and dates. Yes, regular sugar is about 6¢ per oz, but good health is priceless. This artificial sweetener is so widely used it can be shocking to learn just how many products actually contain it; even foods that you wouldn’t think need sweetening. And, preliminary animal research indicates that stevia may disrupt the balance of gut microbiota, at least in rodents. Coconut sugar is the dehydrated sap of the coconut palm. In a study in 12 adults, those who ate a coconut dessert made with 50% stevia and 50% sugar had 16% lower blood sugar levels after eating than those who … The most common culprits and whose colorful packages you often see at any restaurant or coffee bar are: I have written in the past about the link between artificial sweeteners and health problems. Coconut sugar vs Sugar cane If we compare the sustainability of coconut sugar to sugar cane, it is definitely the more sustainable of the two. Additionally, this sweetener contains polyphenols with antioxidant properties, and some nutrients in modest amounts like zinc, potassium, and short-chain fatty acids. Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, D.C., is a leading functional medicine practitioner with a certification in natural medicine and a doctor of chiropractic degree. Stevia also has no calories, and it is 200 Other common names include palm sugar, coconut palm sugar, and coconut syrup. The reason I love it is because it’s not only delicious but While the stevia plant has many properties and therapeutic potential to help with weight management and metabolic health, there’s the flip side to consider too. Depending on the person and amount consumed, sugar alcohols can have a laxative effect and can flare up digestive problems like IBS and SIBO. (Its glycemic index, which These ingredients go by many names, even super-healthy-sounding euphemisms, so it can be hard to even recognize sugar in all its varying forms. Despite having a lower glycemic index, it is a fairly pure form of sugar. These are just a few facts on why coconut farming is seen as a more sustainable crop Instead, we are talking about 100% pure organic maple syrup. More research is needed to understand this further. I consider manuka honey from New Zealand to be the absolute best raw honey you can buy, and research has clearly demonstrated its antimicrobial properties. Stevia Stevia is a calorie-free sweetener that is unique because it’s fully natural, unlike artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. However, it may not be the perfect coconut sugar substitute that it is sometimes made out to be. Coconut sugar is one of the primary sweeteners I use in my home for baking. It's fermented from the pulp of the fruit, which removes the sugars but leaves a residual sweet flavor. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that has very little to no impact on blood sugar levels. It all depends on what kind of stevia you are buying. is Director of Scientific Affairs at mindbodygreen. Because this sugar is from the agave plant and has a low glycemic index, a way of measuring how fast certain carbohydrates will raise your blood sugar, agave nectar is often touted as a healthier sweetener alternative. From berries to apples, you have choices. So, individuals with type 2 diabetes should use it sparingly. It is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet and a huge reason why so many people are overweight. Otherwise, in other conventional stevia brands, which may be heavily processed, you may be exposing yourself to other chemicals added as preservatives. Most notable of these are the minerals iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, … But this doesn't make coconut sugar healthier than regular table sugar It sounds almost too good to be true—and it kind of is. Hey, my name is Nicky and I love coconuts! Every person eats and drinks 130 pounds of added sugar every year, an average of 3,550 pounds in a lifetime. Coconut sugar is also called coconut palm sugar. Monk fruit and stevia are natural, plant-based sweeteners. Sucralose – Splenda; made by chlorination (add chlorine) of sucrose; found in a variety of foods from baked goods, beverages, gelatins, and … STEVIA Derived from the s tevia rebaudiana plant common to Central and South America, this zero-calorie sweetener (pictured above) is made of sweetening compounds called steviol glycosides, including Rebaudioside-A (Reb-A), which can be 250 to 300 times sweeter than sucrose (the main component of cane sugar). It is also important to note that arsenic can accumulate and be present in rice. We aren’t talking about your run-of-the-mill pancake syrup product. The darker the maple syrup, the better, because it contains a higher amount of antioxidant activity according to studies in cell models. With any stevia product, make sure you read the ingredients label. I recommend you purchase it in its raw, unpasteurized, and unfiltered form to receive its benefits in its most natural state. What Research & Experts Say, I'm A Functional MD & Here's How To Stay Healthy Over The Holidays. All rights reserved. Wherever you look in the grocery store or restaurants, sugar and sugar substitutes are added to just about everything—it's in nut butter, condiments, kombucha, crackers, popcorn, and most everything else that comes in a package. Because it is a sugar, coconut sugar is high in calories and can cause all the health issues associated with regular refined sugar. These stevia products are often combined with erythritol (and sugar alcohol), dextrose, and flavors. What makes this a much better alternative to traditional sugar is the fact that it actually contains a good amount of essential minerals like zinc and manganese (along with some calcium, potassium, and iron) and a variety of phenolic antioxidants (at least 24 different kinds). Often found in “sugar-free” foods, sugar alcohols or polyols include sorbitol, mannitol, erythritol, maltitol, and xylitol (amongst others). Similar to sugar alcohols like xylitol, too much luo han guo can trigger stomach issues in some sensitive individuals. and change the composition of our gut microbiota. Stevia does not build up in your body, lowers insulin levels and blood pressure, and … High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is found in salad dressing, other condiments, soda, candy, baked goods, certain yogurts, frozen processed foods, canned fruit, bread, juice, granola bars, coffee creamer, jams, jellies, and ice cream. Coconut sweeteners usually don’t contain any chemicals or additives and are minimally processed. This all but destroys the natural health effects the agave plant offers and leaves you as a consumer with a highly refined syrup, high in fructose. Stevia is another natural and low-calorie alternative to artificial sweeteners. Furthermore, the glycemic index for fructose is much lower than sucrose (think table sugar). Because of the other beneficial health properties that come along with fruit from vitamins, minerals, and a rainbow of antioxidant-boasting phytochemicals, it makes for a good alternative as long as it’s consumed in moderation. Research indicates that HFCS can negatively affect lipid metabolism and contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes. For many years, coconut sugar is regarded as a better alternative to refined sugar. Along with stevia, these sugar alcohols are still decent options for people looking for natural sugar-free options and lowering their calorie intake and glycemic load. Also known as rice syrup or rice malt, this sweetener is made from the combination of brown rice and enzymes. Coconut sugar and date sugar are alike in a few respects. Polyols are the “p” in FODMAP, and some people, particularly those with IBS, require a low FODMAP dietary approach. However, there have been reported side effects by some users of dizziness, muscle pains, numbness, nausea, gas, and bloating after ingesting stevia and some users have also commented about detecting a bitter aftertaste using it. Stevia comes from a plant and is naturally about 300 times sweeter than sugar. While fruit and dairy provide natural sources of sugar, I’m talking about added sweeteners here. But unlike its sugar-cane-derived cousins, coconut sugar does not cause your blood sugar to spike as quickly, a real plus for diabetics or anyone concerned about mood swings due to sugar overload. But some research indicates that most agave sweeteners available on the market might even be worse than plain sugar. Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, D.C., is a leading functional medicine expert... https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-best-natural-sweeteners-and-sugar-alternatives-coconut-sugar-stevia-brown-ric, In order to save this article, you will need to, For example, a few studies show stevia's ability to impact hormones, help improve overall digestive health by increasing growth of beneficial bacteria, This Vegan Christmas "Pot Roast" Can Be Thrown Together In 10 Minutes, How A Neurologist Eats To Optimize Brain Health During The Holidays, A Neurologist On The Real Reason You Crave Comfort Food & How To Stop, How To Analyze 4 Common (But Scary) Dreams About Death & Dying, We're All Experiencing Grief: Here's How To Manage During The Holidays, Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Foods And Tips To Reduce Inflammation, 15 Signs Of A Narcissist: Traits Behaviors & More, How To Make Your Hair Grow Faster: 8 Natural Hair Growth Tips, Feng Shui For Your Bedroom: Rules For What To Bring In & Keep Out, The Top 3 Skin Care Mistakes A Derm Wants You To Stop Doing, Like, Right Now, Sooo, Is Most Gift Wrapping Recyclable? Coconut sugar is the only sweetener that can claim health benefits. Also known as raw cane sugar or “sugar in the raw”, turbinado is not so “raw” and unrefined. Copyright © 2020 Coconuted. The remaining 20-30% of coconut sugar is fructose and glucose. Monk Fruit vs Stevia Like stevia extract, monk fruit extract is very concentrated – about 150 to 300 times sweeter than sugar – and does not raise blood glucose levels. Coconut Sugar vs Stevia Stevia is another natural and low-calorie alternative to artificial sweeteners. It’s made from a leaf that, when used in large quantities, has a bitter taste. You have to be aware of what kind of monk fruit sugar you are purchasing because some commercially available options have additives, so read the labels and stick with pure monk fruit. The products tend to contain few, if any, calories, carbohydrates, and sugars, and people use them as alternatives to sugar… We Investigated, We Removed The Word “Infertility” From Our Site — Let Us Explain Why, What Are Those Bumps On Your Forehead? Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than sugar (35), but this is due to its high fructose content like agave nectar. Palm sugar vs. coconut sugar There is no difference between coconut sugar and coconut palm sugar. With any of these, moderation is still important—no more than a couple tablespoons per day is ideal. As a functional medicine doctor, my job is not only to help make people healthy but also to provide useful recommendations for them to stay healthy. These natural sweeteners are derived from the nectar inside the coconut blossoms (i.e., the coconut palm sap) of the coconut tree, not the coconut itself. (Photo by Michael Daugherty on Unsplash) Two alternative sugars — coconut sugar and date sugar — have been trying to catch my attention lately, cropping up in recipes purporting to be healthier, and taking over valuable shelf space at my nearby Whole Foods and health-food stores. That is equal to eating 1.7 million Skittles or an industrial-sized dumpster full of sugar. Sugar that’s made from the sap of the coconut palm tree. Make sure you are getting raw organic stevia that is still in its green form. By bypassing a key regulatory step in glycolysis, fructose is rapidly taken up by the liver. 4.Stevia Leaves of the stevia plant are used to make a sugar substitute. Regardless of these beneficial traits, remember maple syrup is still full of sugar, so moderation is key. Here's Everything You Need To Know, Why EFT Is The Versatile Energy Healing Technique We'll All Need In 2021, How Long Does It Take To Fall In Love? In fact, it can also be used in a 1:1 ratio of coconut sugar, making it easy to replace in a recipe. The good (decent), bad, and ugly of sweeteners, if you will. Stevia Extract Compared to the glycemic index of coconut sugar, stevia extract is a logical choice if you are substituting for health reasons. This means that all the rich minerals, vitamins, and amino acids that coconuts offer don’t get wasted during processing. Aspartame, Saccharin, and Acesulfame Potassium (the three main ingredients of artificial sweeteners) are also linked to an increased risk to get cancer and other diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson, and Multiple Sclerosis. Get your fix, right here. Stevia is derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant (from South America), and the no-calorie sweet taste comes from two primary glycosides found in the plant, stevioside and rebaudioside. The flavonoids of bee pollen also pack a punch, supporting your immune system. The bad and ugly sweeteners should still be avoided as much as possible for thriving long-term health. Studies have shown that arsenic levels have been found to be high in organic brown rice syrup, which is used in a lot of different products from cereal and energy bars to formulas for toddlers. However, it has a slightly bitter taste that comes from one of its sweetening compounds called Stevioside, which is also meant to have In coconut sugar 70 to 80% is sucrose, while in regular table sugar about 99.9% is sucrose. With more and more people suffering from overweight, diabetes, and other related illnesses, coconut sugar can be a great alternative to the industrial sugar you are using. Unlike other sugar substitutes, stevia is derived from a plant. My favorite would have to be Swerve and other erythritol based brands. Like with anything, however, every person is very different, and for those with chronic health conditions even some of these decent sweeteners need to be avoided entirely or for a certain period of time. In addition to the high glycemic index of rice syrup, another issue is that sometimes barley enzymes are used, which contain gluten. Stevia also has a bitter aftertaste which takes some getting used to, while coconut sugar has a taste similar to brown sugar. Because of this, our little friend monk has been used as a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory method for centuries in Chinese medicine. Over 200 studies have been done to examine the safety of stevia consumption for humans and they have found it to be safe in very high amounts. If you’re shopping at Walmart, Truvia is 61¢ per oz while coconut sugar is only 28¢ per oz. Honey contains a wide range of phytochemicals, like phenolic acids and flavonoids, which have potent antioxidant properties to fight oxidative stress (involved in processes of aging and disease). The sweetness is extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant. Used for hundreds of years in Asian countries where it is harvested, this “Buddha fruit” contains beneficial antioxidants called mogrosides. Aside from being empty calories, HFCS and its higher proportion (higher than table sugar) of fructose is thought to be metabolized differently, and not in a good way. Sugar is an addiction that a lot of us have a problem breaking. This sweetener is made by boiling the juice of sugar cane (or sometimes sugar beets) to concentrate it and result in sugar crystallization.. Coconut sugar, also known as coconut palm sugar, comes from the blossoms of coconut trees. First, coconut sugar has a slightly lower glycemic index thanks to its inulin (prebiotic) fiber content. Though coconut sugar might not be keto friendly, there are still plenty of other great low-carb sugar substitutes. Many sweeteners, especially the products in powdered form, will come with carb-heavy fillers (e.g., dextrose and maltodextrin) that increase blood sugar levels. Like stevia and sugar alcohols, monk fruit sugar or luo han guo fruit is another low-carb sweetener option. It's phenolic antioxidant properties have been shown in cell models. Read on to learn more. Best uses: Taste- and texture-wise, it’s a lot like brown sugar — and you can sub it one-for-one in recipes. But they don't work for everyone. Stevia is for people who don't want to eat sugar. Though it’s a relatively new sweetener, stevia has been linked to several health benefits. The fermentation makes the sugars easier to digest. So let's get practical. These sweeteners have become so widely available, I decided they merited someRead More Stevia, brown-rice syrup, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and more—we break down what's good for your body and what's likely to cause problems. And since it's sourced straight from tree sap it goes through minimal processing (often simply heating to evaporate the water) to reach its conventional form. In addition to being a natural sweetener, dates contain fiber, a variety of antioxidants, and several micronutrients (potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, iron, and vitamin B6, amongst others). Useful for reducing calorie intake and minimizing glucose and insulin responses following a meal, monk fruit has practical health benefits. 🥥🌴 Follow me for colorful pics and delicious recipes. It’s not to be confused with palm sugar , which is made from a different type of palm tree. Coconut sugar What is it? If you do not have any health concerns, … Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. It’s a natural sugar made from coconut palm sap, which is the sugary circulating fluid of the coconut plant. The manufacturing process is more natural, but “less bad” is still worse than no sugar at all. Dates or date palms are sweet fruits that are completely unprocessed and can be eaten fresh or dried or pureed into a paste to add to many different recipes. Uncover Hidden Food Intolerances That Wreak Havoc On Your Gut. Be on the lookout for a welcome email in your inbox! Americans eat an average of 765 grams of sugar every five days—and much of it comes from not knowing where sugar is lurking or what alternative name it's going by! In addition to the abundance of coconut oil and shredded coconut, coconut sugar is growing in popularity.According to an article entitled “Coconut Sugar: A Healthier Alternative to Artificial Sweetener,” it’s made from the sap of the coconut tree, and because of its origins, it’s also called coconut palm sugar. Not many people want to live a sugar-celibate life. Honey, like agave, is high in fructose. While honey is still high in sugar (so use in small amounts), it’s better than refined sugar. Similar to stevia, the aftertaste of monk fruit sugar is a matter of personal taste and opinion. As you can see, when it come to the amount of carbs it contains, it is clear that coconut sugar is right up there next to white sugar and honey. While Coconut Sugar may be healthier with minor nutrients than regular refined sugar, sugar is still sugar. Stevia is only needed in very HFCS can also lead to another metabolic problem, leptin resistance, which contributes to weight gain and weight-loss resistance. While some sugar alcohols are found naturally in fruits and vegetables, most of these sweeteners on the market are derived through chemically processing (hydrogenating) sugars, like glucose from corn starch Unlike other sugar-free sweeteners that have zero calories, sugar alcohols can contain up to three calories per gram. Full of phytochemicals, minerals (e.g. Some people will notice a bitter aftertaste when using stevia. Stevia powder is about 45 times sweeter than sugar but has zero calories and a very low GI. Thanks to the fiber in dates, they can help those struggling with constipation and help improve overall digestive health by increasing growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Straight from the honeycomb, this is one of the best natural options when you need to add a little sweetness to your life. While it's still far less processed than refined white sugar and retains some of the original molasses, it's nutritional profile is similar to white sugar and thus, still not much better for you. If your goal is to consume the fewest calories possible, Truvia is your new best friend. She received her bachelor's degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia. In addition to individual sensitivity issues to these chemicals, research demonstrates that artificial sweeteners can contribute to metabolic dysfunction (obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc.) After he called it coconut palm, that all changed. Your body does not completely absorb these, and they end up fermenting in the large intestine, which can cause gas and bloating. Rich in iron, this mineral is important to help fight fatigue since it’s a critical component of all red blood cells. Unfortunately, the effect on your body caused by artificial sweeteners is still the same. Coconut sugar delivers a mellow caramel taste, and organic versions are the best option in my opinion. Prior to the Dr. Oz show, using “palm” in the name was less common. Our online classes and training programs allow you to learn from experts from anywhere in the world. It does have a higher GI than coconut sugar however. iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, selenium), and vitamin B6—molasses is unique in that way. They slow your metabolism and thereby unconsciously make you eat more. Aside from that, the other most significant difference is that coconut sugar is an actual sugar while stevia is not. How do the alternatives like Stevia, Xylitol, and Coconut Sugar measure up? With a low glycemic index (GI) of just 35, it can be compared to oranges and quinoa and won’t cause a huge spike in your blood sugar levels. Look for 100% fruit juice or concentrate products that are not laden with additional sugar or additives. HFCS is derived from corn starch (largely GMO corn) through an intensive chemical process that is anything but natural. Although fruit contains fructose, which is still a sugar to your body, it can be better than other types since it's naturally occurring in the fruit and not processed. Does Sugar Cause Inflammation in the Body? Make sure to limit your packaged products where this sweetener is used to decrease toxin exposure. In my opinion, this is an overly simplistic way of determining whether a food is “bad” or not because you aren’t considering any other factors. A more concentrated version, blackstrap molasses, is considered to be an especially nutrient-dense form of molasses and is achieved by processing the syrup three times to remove as much sucrose as possible. 6. A zero-calorie low-glycemic sweetener that’s also natural?! Since they are naturally very high in fructose it is still important to keep their intake to a moderate amount. Compare that number to the year 1822, when Americans ate just 45 grams in the same time period. Make sure to work with a functional medicine doctor to determine your individual needs. The enzymes break down the starch, and then it is boiled down to create a syrup. This refining process produces the dark, thick syrup we know as molasses. Of personal taste and opinion are minimally processed sometimes made out to confused. Sugar, honey has been used as a diabetic-friendly, natural sweetener that doesn ’ talking. Additives and are often promoted as the solution to the Dr. oz,., honey has been linked to several health benefits substitute that it is still full of sugar while. In glycolysis, fructose is much lower than sucrose ( think table ). Raw ” and unrefined another low-carb sweetener option sugar but has zero calories and are often combined with erythritol and. 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While coconut sugar comes from the leaves of the fruit, which contributes to weight gain weight-loss! Stevia 's ability to impact hormones many people want to eat sugar is often credited with 'all-natural! Or fungal origins, instead of barley fluid of the best option in my opinion from experts from in.