Refined Sugar Vs. Coconut Sugar
What is Refined Sugar and What is Coconut Sugar?
Sugar has turned into a villain among health-conscious consumers. While too much of it is harmful, cutting it out entirely from your diet is straight-up cruel. Thankfully, we have helpful info and solutions for your sugar journey. You can discover what the difference is between natural sugar vs. refined sugar!
An excellent option and solution for your sugar conundrum is natural coconut sugar. What is coconut sugar, you ask? Coconut sugar is one of the seven natural sweeteners that are healthier than refined sugar and can add flavor to your sweetened recipes.
Want to learn more about the differences between coconut sugar and refined sugar? Stay with us as we dive deeper into the world of sweeteners and introduce you to a healthier option for enhancing the taste of your favorite recipes.
What is Refined Sugar?
Refined sugar, or table sugar, is the staple sweetener used in most households. When talking about refined sugar vs. natural sugar, refined sugar is a highly processed sweetener extracted from sugarcane or sugar beets.
Making refined sugar starts by harvesting the sugarcane or sugar beets and shredding them to extract their juices. After this step, the harvesters filter and boil the liquid to remove its impurities and excess water.
As the liquid reduces, sugar crystals start to form. The syrup undergoes centrifugation to separate the crystals from the molasses. After further washing, drying, and refining, you are left with those all-too-familiar white sugar crystals.
Nutritional Composition and Impacts of Refined Sugar
Before learning what coconut sugar is, you must know what refined sugar has to offer. Refined sugar has little to no nutritional value. It is merely a carbohydrate source that may not have any essential minerals or vitamins.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), here is what a teaspoon of refined sugar gives you:
- Fat: 0 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Sodium: 0 mg
- Iron: 0.002 mg
- Sugars: 3.99 g
- Energy: 15.4 kcal
- Calcium: 0.04 mg
- Potassium: 0.08 mg
- Magnesium: 0.012 mg
- Carbohydrates: 3.98 g
You need carbs and good saturated fats in your life, but refined sugar is not the best source to get them.
Refined sugar is packed with empty calories and offers no nutritional value. It may only promise a quick energy boost and an increased risk of chronic diseases.
High Glycemic Index
Refined sugar has a high glycemic index of 65, meaning it may cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels.
This high glycemic index may stain your body’s ability to produce insulin and increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Limiting refined sugar is what may help you control your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes.
Increased Risk of Various Health Conditions
Consuming excessive amounts of refined sugar does not only increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It may also contribute to obesity and other health conditions like heart disease and metabolic disorders.
Coconut sugar, on the other hand, may not be as bad for your health.
What is Coconut Sugar?
Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener derived from the sap of coconut palm trees. It’s also known as coconut palm sugar and coconut nectar. However, you shouldn’t confuse it with palm sugar since they come from different trees.
This natural sugar is made in two steps. First, farmers make incisions in the flower buds to collect the liquid sap. They then boil it over medium heat to evaporate the water.
As the sap boils, it thickens and crystalizes into brown granules. They ground these granules to produce the beloved coconut sugar. Replacing your typical refined sugar with this coconut sugar is one of the easy food swaps for a quick pantry makeover.
Nutritional Composition and Impacts of Coconut Sugar
You know what the nutritional composition of refined sugar is, but what about coconut sugar? Coconut sugar may be a highly nutritious sweetener with various minerals.
Here is what you can get from a teaspoon of this natural coconut sugar:
- Fat: 0 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Sugars: 4 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Iron: 0.4 mg
- Zinc: 0.1 mg
- Sodium: 0 mg
- Energy: 15 kcal
- Calcium: 15 mg
- Potassium: 35 mg
- Carbohydrates: 4 g
Rich in Minerals and Antioxidants
As you can see from the above list, coconut sugar is what a healthier sweetener may look like. It has trace amounts of minerals such as iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, and magnesium.
This pantry staple for a 21-day sugar detox success is also rich in antioxidants, which may help neutralize the harmful free radicals in the body.
Low Glycemic Index
Natural coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index of around 54. This lower GI means it may have a slower release of glucose into the bloodstream and may pose a lower risk of blood sugar spikes.
By consuming coconut sugar instead of refined sugar, you may have more sustained energy levels and a reduced risk of hypoglycemia.
Various Other Health Benefits
Coconut sugar offers more than just sweetness. It may also act as a prebiotic and improve your gut health thanks to its high inulin content. Its various nutrients may also strengthen your bones, boost your immune system, and improve your overall wellness.
Use Natural Sugar Instead of Refined Sugar
Now that you know what refined sugar is and how it differs from natural alternatives, you can see why coconut sugar might be a healthier sweetener for your recipes. This whole30 pantry staple adds a rich, caramel-like flavor to your favorite dishes.
You can try coconut sugar in place of refined sugar in the following recipes:
- Berry Coffee Cake
- Roasted Banana Pudding
- Chocolate Almond Coconut Cookies
- Simple Vegan Vegetable Coconut Curry
Buy the Most Delicious Coconut Sugar From Wildly Organic
There you go. You now know what coconut sugar is and how you might be able to improve your diet. Are you excited to try this natural sugar vs. refined sugar for your delicious baked goods and warm drinks? We’ve got you covered!
You can find the highest quality, organic coconut sugar at Wildly Organic. Our heavenly coconut sugar is non-GMO and made with sustainable harvesting practices. You can buy it in bulk or in smaller packages.
Shop now and use coconut sugar for your refined sugar in your recipes for healthier sweetness!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.