Coconut Sugar - Nutritional Properties, Benefits

Coconut sugar What is it?

The adverse effects of excess sugar are one of the biggest concerns worldwide. White sugar is capable of altering a person’s blood glucose levels. This is one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes, overweight, and obesity globally.

The search for better and natural alternatives is on the rise. One of the white sugar substitutes that have become popular in recent years is coconut sugar.

Coconut sugar is a product derived from the coconut palm tree. Due to its supposed better nutritional properties and benefits, it is touted as a healthy alternative to white sugar in health food stores.

The following article compares the properties and benefits of coconut sugar with white to determine it is a better option than ordinary.

Nutritional properties

White sugar does not provide essential nutrients and is said to provide empty calories. Coconut sugar may contain a minimal amount of vitamins and minerals found in the coconut palm. The most common are calcium, potassium, and sodium.

Although coconut may contain a more significant amount of micronutrients, you would have to overeat to supply the recommended amount per day. Below is a table with the nutritional properties of coconut sugar:

Total fat0g
Total carbohydrates100g
Total fibers0g
Total sugars87.5g
Vitamin D0IU

Coconut sugar is high in calories; its caloric intake is almost the same as white. For this reason, it is not a recommended food for weight loss.

Some brands of coconut sugar contain inulin, a type of glucose that can slow down the absorption of glucose. This explains why coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than white sugar.

White sugar (sucrose) is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Coconut sugar is composed of 70 – 80% sucrose. It provides almost the same amount of fructose and glucose as white sugar.

Although coconut sugar has better nutritional properties than table sugar, its health effects are similar. (2) (3)

Using coconut sugar in moderation is recommended with the same caution as regular white sugar.

Benefits – coconut vs. white sugar: lower glycemic index

White sugar has a glycemic index of 70-80. Foods with a GI close to 100 raise blood sugar levels quickly. These are the foods to avoid on type 2 diabetic diet.

Coconut sugar has a glycemic index of 54, a relatively lower value (2). One of the benefits compared to white is a slight difference in absorption rate.

Probably its inulin content slows the absorption rate of sugar. However, it is not yet clear whether this modest difference in GI is of great importance to health. (2)

Coconut sugar is not healthy food.

Coconut sugar is not healthy food. It falls into the category of simple carbohydrates.

In the healthy eating rules of the WHO and the FAO, it is recommended that this type of food be reduced to a maximum of 10% of total calories. (4)

Coconut sugar causes a significant spike in blood sugar levels and provides virtually no vitamins or minerals.

Another possible reason coconut sugar is unhealthy is its high fructose content.

Although not all studies claim that fructose consumption is a severe health problem. Most research agrees that excessive fructose can promote weight gain and obesity. (5)

How is coconut sugar made?

Coconut sugar is made from the sap of coconut palm. In other words, the fluid that circulates within the plant. The steps to make coconut sugar are:

  1. Cut the coconut palm and extract the liquid sage.
  2. Steam the sage to remove almost all of the water.

The final product is brown and grainy. Its color is similar to that of unrefined cane sugar.


Coconut sugar is not a food that can be classified as healthy. Its nutritional properties are very similar to regular table sugar. At the same time, one of its benefits is a small number of nutrients and a lower glycemic index. Coconut sugar should be used in moderation; it is not recommended for people with diabetes.

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