Posts Tagged ‘glycemic index’

Replacing Refined Sugar with Coconut Sugar

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

We’ve already been extolling the virtues of coconut sugar: a granulated brown sugar, it’s 100% natural, and the perfect alternative to refined sugars in applications such as confectionery, desserts and savoury products such as sauces. It has a low glycemic index and unlike refined sugar, some actual nutritional value. We see coconut sugar as a great way for food manufacturers to offer “guilt free” indulgent sweets.

We were really pleased to see coconut sugar featured on the San Francisco ABC affiliate’s show the View from the Bay. In a segment called Make over your pantry with healthy foods, they look beyond counting calories and grams of fat, and instead look at the ingredients which make up the food we eat. The very first ingredient to be featured was coconut sugar, where they specifically made mention of it’s amazing characteristics, including the fact that it tastes like (refined) sugar, and can be used in place of refined sugar in most recipes. According to the show:

The average amount of refined sugar we eat on average in the US is over 150 pounds of refined sugar per person. Refined sugar pulls nutrients from our body making us deficient and actually lowers our immune system after eating it for a few hours making us more susceptible to colds. I love coconut sugar because it has a glycemic index of about half that of sugar so it won’t cause blood sugar fluctuations. It’s also high in Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and Iron and is a natural source of the vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C.

We encourage you to check out the segment in it’s entirety for other interesting ingredient ideas:

Make over your pantry with healthy foods

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Coconut Sugar

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Palm Tree

We’re pretty excited about natural sweeteners, and feature yacon syrup with an ultra low glycemic index. Another product we like is coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is made from fresh coconut sap collected from the cuttings of the flower buds on dwarf coconut trees. The sap is caramelized, then crystallized into a fine grained brown sugar. It’s 100% natural, and the perfect alternative to refined sugars in applications such as confectionery and desserts. The creamy, almost caramel-like sweetness also works well in the flavouring of curries and rich sauces for savory dishes. On a personal note, we’ve been using coconut sugar in our coffee for a while now and it’s great!

Besides its amazing texture and flavour, it also has a low glycemic index, much lower than refined sugar. Glycemic index (GI) is a tool that was developed at the University of Toronto back in the 1980’s. An ingredient’s glycemic index measures how it affects blood glucose levels in an individual. Carbohydrate foods are assigned a number between 0 and 100 based on that effect. Glycemic Index is often categorized into three levels:

  • High: a GI of more than 70
  • Moderate: a GI between 55 and 70
  • Low: a GI below 55

Due to its low glycemic index, research suggests that using coconut sugar can help stabalize insulin levels in people with type 1 & type 2 diabetes. It is also suggested that a the use of low glycemic index foods can lower the LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol, otherwise known as the “bad” cholesterol. Low glycemic index foods should also help with weight maintenance, preventing obesity and being overweight.

We encourage you to look into the research on lower glycemic index foods for yourselves. In the mean time, you might want to consider trying coconut sugar. If you’re a food manufacturer, contact us and we’d be happy to arrange for a sample. Consumers can purchase coconut sugar directly from sources such as Amazon. If you use coconut sugar, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Here’s another idea: subscribe to the Ingredient Hotline blog today and follow us on twitter so you can stay up to date on the latest in innovative, all natural food ingredients.

Creative Commons License photo credit: HeyDanielle