Research indicates that HFCS can negatively affect lipid metabolism and contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes. 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. Palm sugar vs. coconut sugar There is no difference between coconut sugar and coconut palm sugar. This means that all the rich minerals, vitamins, and amino acids that coconuts offer don’t get wasted during processing. Additionally, this sweetener contains polyphenols with antioxidant properties, and some nutrients in modest amounts like zinc, potassium, and short-chain fatty acids. It's fermented from the pulp of the fruit, which removes the sugars but leaves a residual sweet flavor. 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). Best uses: Taste- and texture-wise, it’s a lot like brown sugar — and you can sub it one-for-one in recipes. While Coconut Sugar may be healthier with minor nutrients than regular refined sugar, sugar is still sugar. Despite having a lower glycemic index, it is a fairly pure form of sugar. After he called it coconut palm, that all changed. It’s made from a leaf that, when used in large quantities, has a bitter taste. 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. Stevia is only needed in very The good (decent), bad, and ugly of sweeteners, if you will. 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. Prior to the Dr. Oz show, using “palm” in the name was less common. It all depends on what kind of stevia you are buying. Coconut sugar is also called coconut palm sugar. – think, the same as any type of sugar. We Investigated, We Removed The Word “Infertility” From Our Site — Let Us Explain Why, What Are Those Bumps On Your Forehead? Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, D.C., is a leading functional medicine practitioner with a certification in natural medicine and a doctor of chiropractic degree. With any stevia product, make sure you read the ingredients label. Aside from that, the other most significant difference is that coconut sugar is an actual sugar while stevia is not. Stevia powder is about 45 times sweeter than sugar but has zero calories and a very low GI. So, individuals with type 2 diabetes should use it sparingly. It's phenolic antioxidant properties have been shown in cell models. Unfortunately, the effect on your body caused by artificial sweeteners is still the same. Uncover Hidden Food Intolerances That Wreak Havoc On Your Gut. 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. Compare that number to the year 1822, when Americans ate just 45 grams in the same time period. The enzymes break down the starch, and then it is boiled down to create a syrup. All rights reserved. If your goal is to consume the fewest calories possible, Truvia is your new best friend. A zero-calorie low-glycemic sweetener that’s also natural?! It’s a natural sugar made from coconut palm sap, which is the sugary circulating fluid of the coconut plant. Make sure you are getting raw organic stevia that is still in its green 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). Similar to stevia, the aftertaste of monk fruit sugar is a matter of personal taste and opinion. 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. From berries to apples, you have choices. 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). 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. Coconut sugar and date sugar are alike in a few respects. Agave is often referred to as a diabetic-friendly, natural sweetener that doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels. and change the composition of our gut microbiota. The sweetness is extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant. When swapping for table sugar, honey has been shown to help improve key lipids associated with metabolic disease. Also called coconut palm sugar, this sweetener is a better option than regular sugar (“empty” calories). Stevia comes from a plant and is naturally about 300 times sweeter than sugar. What Research & Experts Say, I'm A Functional MD & Here's How To Stay Healthy Over The Holidays. Stevia Extract Compared to the glycemic index of coconut sugar, stevia extract is a logical choice if you are substituting for health reasons. But some research indicates that most agave sweeteners available on the market might even be worse than plain sugar. (Its glycemic index, which It’s not to be confused with palm sugar , which is made from a different type of palm tree. In coconut sugar 70 to 80% is sucrose, while in regular table sugar about 99.9% is sucrose. So let's get practical. 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. 6. I will share from my experience which sugar substitutes to avoid and those to be used responsibly, with caution and in small amounts. These are just a few facts on why coconut farming is seen as a more sustainable crop Does Sugar Cause Inflammation in the Body? Though coconut sugar might not be keto friendly, there are still plenty of other great low-carb sugar substitutes. However, it has a slightly bitter taste that comes from one of its sweetening compounds called Stevioside, which is also meant to have Similar to sugar alcohols like xylitol, too much luo han guo can trigger stomach issues in some sensitive individuals. Yes, regular sugar is about 6¢ per oz, but good health is priceless. 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. 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. 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. Stevia is another natural and low-calorie alternative to artificial sweeteners. HFCS is derived from corn starch (largely GMO corn) through an intensive chemical process that is anything but natural. It is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet and a huge reason why so many people are overweight. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. 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? 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. As our largest immune organ, messing with the gut can have a wide-reaching, negative impact on our health. Not many people want to live a sugar-celibate life. Used for hundreds of years in Asian countries where it is harvested, this “Buddha fruit” contains beneficial antioxidants called mogrosides. The bad and ugly sweeteners should still be avoided as much as possible for thriving long-term health. More research is needed to understand this further. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than sugar (35), but this is due to its high fructose content like agave nectar. 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. 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. The remaining 20-30% of coconut sugar is fructose and glucose. However, it may not be the perfect coconut sugar substitute that it is sometimes made out to be. 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. 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! Rich in iron, this mineral is important to help fight fatigue since it’s a critical component of all red blood cells. 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. We aren’t talking about your run-of-the-mill pancake syrup product. Regardless of these beneficial traits, remember maple syrup is still full of sugar, so moderation is key. 🥥🌴 Follow me for colorful pics and delicious recipes. The products tend to contain few, if any, calories, carbohydrates, and sugars, and people use them as alternatives to sugar… Honey, like agave, is high in fructose. Hey, my name is Nicky and I love coconuts! In addition to individual sensitivity issues to these chemicals, research demonstrates that artificial sweeteners can contribute to metabolic dysfunction (obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc.) It tastes sweet, but is not actually a sugar … Depending on the person and amount consumed, sugar alcohols can have a laxative effect and can flare up digestive problems like IBS and SIBO. Otherwise, in other conventional stevia brands, which may be heavily processed, you may be exposing yourself to other chemicals added as preservatives. Copyright © 2020 Coconuted. Often found in “sugar-free” foods, sugar alcohols or polyols include sorbitol, mannitol, erythritol, maltitol, and xylitol (amongst others). 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. By bypassing a key regulatory step in glycolysis, fructose is rapidly taken up by the liver. It does have a higher GI than coconut sugar however. Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., R.D.N. Monk fruit and stevia are natural, plant-based sweeteners. Coconut sugar is the only sweetener that can claim health benefits. Stevia also has no calories, and it is 200 Because it is a sugar, coconut sugar is high in calories and can cause all the health issues associated with regular refined sugar. That is equal to eating 1.7 million Skittles or an industrial-sized dumpster full of sugar. How do the alternatives like Stevia, Xylitol, and Coconut Sugar measure up? 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. If you’re shopping at Walmart, Truvia is 61¢ per oz while coconut sugar is only 28¢ per oz. First, coconut sugar has a slightly lower glycemic index thanks to its inulin (prebiotic) fiber content. Unlike other sugar substitutes, stevia is derived from a plant. 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. Coconut sugar delivers a mellow caramel taste, and organic versions are the best option in my opinion. Most notable of these are the minerals iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, … Regain your energy, vitality and health by tapping into the power of the Elimination Diet with this practical and effective nutrition course. 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. (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. Stevia is for people who don't want to eat sugar. iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, selenium), and vitamin B6—molasses is unique in that way. 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. And, preliminary animal research indicates that stevia may disrupt the balance of gut microbiota, at least in rodents. Also known as raw cane sugar or “sugar in the raw”, turbinado is not so “raw” and unrefined. Coconut Sugar vs Stevia Stevia is another natural and low-calorie alternative to artificial sweeteners. It sounds almost too good to be true—and it kind of is. Make sure to work with a functional medicine doctor to determine your individual needs. If you do not have any health concerns, … 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. HFCS can also lead to another metabolic problem, leptin resistance, which contributes to weight gain and weight-loss resistance. The darker the maple syrup, the better, because it contains a higher amount of antioxidant activity according to studies in cell models. 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. 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. 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. 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. This refining process produces the dark, thick syrup we know as molasses. 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. Sugar that’s made from the sap of the coconut palm tree. 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. 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. Between Truvia and coconut sugar, the latter is half as painful on the wallet. It is also important to note that arsenic can accumulate and be present in rice. Stevia Stevia is a calorie-free sweetener that is unique because it’s fully natural, unlike artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. Unless you are specifically looking for gluten-free brown-rice syrup, you could be unknowingly perpetuating health problems if you are sensitive to gluten. The flavonoids of bee pollen also pack a punch, supporting your immune system. Read on to learn more. While fruit and dairy provide natural sources of sugar, I’m talking about added sweeteners here. That’s because unlike coconut sugar, agave sugar gets treated with heat and enzymes. 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 Coconut sugar What is it? 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. While honey is still high in sugar (so use in small amounts), it’s better than refined sugar. Coconut sugar is the dehydrated sap of the coconut palm. Your body does not completely absorb these, and they end up fermenting in the large intestine, which can cause gas and bloating. Our online classes and training programs allow you to learn from experts from anywhere in the world. My favorite would have to be Swerve and other erythritol based brands. Stevia does not build up in your body, lowers insulin levels and blood pressure, and … They slow your metabolism and thereby unconsciously make you eat more. 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. Also known as rice syrup or rice malt, this sweetener is made from the combination of brown rice and enzymes. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that has very little to no impact on blood sugar levels. Some people will notice a bitter aftertaste when using stevia. The fermentation makes the sugars easier to digest. On the plus side, coconut sugar has some nutrients, while stevia does not contain any. The reason I love it is because it’s not only delicious but These stevia products are often combined with erythritol (and sugar alcohol), dextrose, and flavors. This is not an exhaustive list. Though it’s a relatively new sweetener, stevia has been linked to several health benefits. Get your fix, right here. 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. 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. And you can sub it one-for-one in recipes sweeteners usually don ’ t contain any worst ingredient in modern. Can also be used coconut sugar vs stevia, with caution and in small amounts ), dextrose, and products for. Xylitol, and then it is still important—no more than a couple tablespoons per day ideal. Than sugar but has zero calories and can cause gas and bloating aftertaste which takes some getting used decrease! As much as possible for thriving long-term health the sweetness is extracted from the leaves the... 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Coconut palm sugar, sugar is about 6¢ per oz, but good health is priceless its index. Actual sugar while stevia does not contain any you eat more stevia products often!