Whenever we go to dinner, I'm usually the one person at the table that has room for dessert. You can say I have somewhat of a sweet tooth. Over the years, my love of sweets hasn't gone down, but in the past couple years I've tried to control my sugar intake with the risk of diabetes from both my mom and my dad. Needless to say it's been tough trying to curb my sugar cravings.
The first thing I cut out was soda, but ice cream, chocolates, and desserts are still a weakness. So what's a sugar loving girl to do? Try other sweeteners? But then artificial sweeteners have other health issues. So in addition to cutting my overall sugar intake I decided to find a sweetener that I can use in my favorite desserts without the guilt.
Low and behold I found, coconut palm sugar.
Coconut palm sugar is a sugar produced mainly in the Philippines and Thailand. The sugar itself is produced from the sap or nectar of the coconut palm. Recently coconut palm sugar has gained popularity in food communities and health stores since it yields low on the glycemic index at a GI of 35, according to the Philippine Food and Nutrition Research Institute. Regular table sugar has a GI of 58, below is a table that outlines the levels on the glycemic index.
- Low GI = 55 or less
- Medium GI = 56 - 69
- High GI = 70 or more
The glycemic index of a food is important because it measures how that particular food raises blood sugar. The lower the GI, the less blood sugar is produced, which is important for both diabetics and non-diabetics alike.
Here are some other health benefits to coconut palm sugar:
1) It's a good source of potassium, which helps reduce hypertension and lowers blood sugar levels.
2) It contains magnesium, which helps regulate metabolism and stimulates the brain.
3) It contains manganese, which is an antioxidant.
4) It contains nitrogen, which helps treat cardiovascular diseases.
5) It has 16 amino acids, some of which include glutamic acid, aspartic acid, threonine, and serine.
Coconut palm sugar has many nutritional qualities that make it a great sweetener. To be honest you won't even taste the difference between coconut palm sugar and regular table sugar. The next time you're at your grocery or health store consider coconut palm sugar as an alternative sweetener that can be both added to other foods or used in baking.