Diabetes InfoHealth

Coconut Palm Sugar And Blood Sugars:

Healthy Living With Type 1 Diabetes Coconut Palm Sugar And Diabetes Recently on my Facebook page, I fielded a question about coconut palm sugar and its health benefits.  So, for all my fellow diabetics on The Organic Diabetic, this is for you!

One might think that coconut sugar is produced from coconuts, but its not. Coconut sugar is a product of the coconut tree, or more specifically the sap obtained from coconut tree’s flower buds. It is sometimes called coco sap sugar or coconut palm sugar. The blossoms are cut and the nectar is collected into bamboo containers. As a sweetener, especially for diabetics, how safe is coconut sugar? Lets take a look!

Why Coconut Palm Sugar:

As diabetics we all know the importance of eating low glycemic items to help prevent glucose spikes. Coconut palm sugar is a nutrient-rich, low-glycemic crystalline sweetener that looks, tastes, dissolves and melts almost exactly like sugar, but it’s completely natural and unrefined. It’s acquired from the flowers growing high on coconut trees, which are opened to collect their liquid flower nectar. This nectar is then air-dried to form a crystalline sugar that’s naturally brown in color and naturally rich in a number of key vitamins including over 16 amino acids, minerals and phytonutrients including potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6.

It is never refined or bleached like white sugar. So the nutrients it was made with are still there. That’s rare for sweeteners, most of which are highly refined. 

Coconut Palm Sugar And Diabetes:

Per the American Diabetes Association, “Manufacturers of coconut palm sugar boast its low glycemic index, claiming it is a better choice for people with diabetes than regular sugar. Glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how a food raises blood glucose (or blood sugar) compared to a reference food (usually glucose or white bread). In the United States, we do not do official GI testing. So, GI numbers for the same food can differ depending on your source.

GI can also vary from person to person. It will change depending on how a food is cooked, and what the food is eaten with. In the case of coconut palm sugar, it is likely to be mixed or prepared with other ingredients that contain carbohydrates.

It is okay for people with diabetes to use coconut palm sugar as a sweetener, but they should not treat it any differently than regular sugar. It provides just as many calories and carbohydrates as regular sugar: about 15 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrate per teaspoon. So, you still need to account for it when planning meals.

Also, note that some coconut palm sugar on the market may be mixed with cane sugar and other ingredients. It is important to check nutrition labels and read the ingredient list on these products.”

Dangers Of Coconut Palm Sugar:

Now, for the “not so good info”. One of the misconceptions when it comes to regular sugar being unhealthy for you isn’t because it is empty calories or has a high GI, the main reason sugar is so unhealthy, is because it is loaded with fructose.  You see, regular table sugar (sucrose) is 50% fructose, 50% glucose.

Even though there are claims all over the internet mentioning that coconut sugar is effectively fructose free, it is made of 70%-80% sucrose, which is half fructose!  For this reason, coconut sugar supplies has almost the same amount of fructose as regular sugar, gram for gram.  As we all know ,  added sugars, consumed in excess, will cause all sorts of problems like metabolic syndrome, obesity, and other cardiovascular diseases.

What Does Coconut Palm Sugar Taste Like?Healthy Living With Type 1 Diabetes Coconut Palm Sugar And Diabetes

When it comes to having coconut palm sugar, you will find this particular sugar is not as sickly sweet as refined white sugars (so if using them for cakes or other desserts, you may need to add more to achieve the same level of sweetness). I believe they have a nice caramel like taste which is similar to natural molasses, only a little lighter. Personally, I think you’ll love the taste!

Is Coconut Palm Sugar Really Low GI?

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels.
Glucose is given a GI of 100 and if a food has a GI of 50, then it raises blood sugar half as much as pure glucose.

The Phillipine Department of Agriculture measured the glycemic index of coconut sugar and compared it to glucose. Granted this is only one study so keep that in mind, but according to them, coconut sugar is given a GI of 35, which puts it in the low range. This is much lower than table sugar, which is closer to 60.

If this article on coconut palm sugar was helpful, please leave a comment right below my bio or hit the share button to share with your friends 😀

Thanks for Reading!


Chris - The Organic Diabetic

As a type 1 diabetic, I made the switch to an organic lifestyle several years ago after being diagnosed with Diabetes in 2006. Living with diabetes is hard enough, why make it more difficult by consuming products with chemicals, toxins and other harmful, unhealthy ingredients. To me, the choice was easy and just made sense. We hope you enjoy our blog! Feel free to look around and check out all of our products by clicking through the tabs above! Thanks for stopping by and also please be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter by liking our pages below! You never know what freebies we will be giving away!! Don't forget to check out the website as well at www.theorganicdiabetic.org

5 thoughts on “Coconut Palm Sugar And Blood Sugars:

  • Organic Coconut Palm Sugar is a sustainable sweetener with a mild, caramel flavor. Coconut palm sugar is made by nectar of the coconut palm tree.Whether it is for baking cakes, preparing smoothies or making pancakes, our natural coconut sugar will serve as the taste as well as appearance enhancer.Thanks for sharing.

  • Chelsea Rose

    Thanks so much for this article! I was researching it for a presentation on Just Good Stuff powdered peanut butter, which uses coconut sugar and claims it is more nutritious than regular sugar. However, lots of people complain feeling that peanut butter should not have any added sugar at all. This was super helpful in laying out both sides of the argument. Be well!

  • Sandra Canterbury

    Hi. Thanks for the info on coconut sugar. It is very informative and made me realize how much info on the internet could be mis-leading. Do you not what is a good product to use to sweeten home made drinks such as sorrell and ginger drink? I don’t mean a glas or a mug of these drinks, a gallon bottle for instance. I grew up in South America and was raised on local and home made drinks but I have to sweeten them some how. I don’t want to use regular brown or white sugar.I am pre-diabetic and trying desperately to keep my A1C under control.
    Thanks for any suggestions.

  • I experimented with coconut sugar in my cookie baking for 2 years, basically something like paleo cookies, non gluten. Many receipes later, i added a bit if oat flour. This batch this week, i ate a cookie for late morning break then measured my sugar an hour later n am so surprised the sugar level was 7.4 which in my world, is a good relief so i am very happy with coconut sugar in my paleo cookies.


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