On the plus side, coconut sugar has some nutrients, while stevia does not contain any. What makes this a much better alternative to traditional sugar is the fact that it actually contains a good amount of essential minerals like zinc and manganese (along with some calcium, potassium, and iron) and a variety of phenolic antioxidants (at least 24 different kinds). It all depends on what kind of stevia you are buying. Polyols are the “p” in FODMAP, and some people, particularly those with IBS, require a low FODMAP dietary approach. 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. Every person eats and drinks 130 pounds of added sugar every year, an average of 3,550 pounds in a lifetime. 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. The sweetness is extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant. Other common names include palm sugar, coconut palm sugar, and coconut syrup. 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. Also called coconut palm sugar, this sweetener is a better option than regular sugar (“empty” calories). HFCS is derived from corn starch (largely GMO corn) through an intensive chemical process that is anything but natural. In addition to individual sensitivity issues to these chemicals, research demonstrates that artificial sweeteners can contribute to metabolic dysfunction (obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc.) 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. With any stevia product, make sure you read the ingredients label. If you do not have any health concerns, … 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. Sugar that’s made from the sap of the coconut palm tree. The fermentation makes the sugars easier to digest. Make sure to work with a functional medicine doctor to determine your individual needs. Commercial-scale brown rice syrups typically use enzymes from bacterial or fungal origins, instead of barley. Regardless of these beneficial traits, remember maple syrup is still full of sugar, so moderation is key. Not many people want to live a sugar-celibate life. When swapping for table sugar, honey has been shown to help improve key lipids associated with metabolic disease. 6. Be on the lookout for a welcome email in your inbox! These ingredients go by many names, even super-healthy-sounding euphemisms, so it can be hard to even recognize sugar in all its varying forms. A more concentrated version, blackstrap molasses, is considered to be an especially nutrient-dense form of molasses and is achieved by processing the syrup three times to remove as much sucrose as possible. 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. More research is needed to understand this further. Coconut sugar What is it? HFCS can also lead to another metabolic problem, leptin resistance, which contributes to weight gain and weight-loss resistance. 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. It is also important to note that arsenic can accumulate and be present in rice. But this doesn't make coconut sugar healthier than regular table sugar Though coconut sugar might not be keto friendly, there are still plenty of other great low-carb sugar substitutes. 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. Compare that number to the year 1822, when Americans ate just 45 grams in the same time period. Also known as raw cane sugar or “sugar in the raw”, turbinado is not so “raw” and unrefined. 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. 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. Research indicates that HFCS can negatively affect lipid metabolism and contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes. Though it’s a relatively new sweetener, stevia has been linked to several health benefits. Instead, we are talking about 100% pure organic maple syrup. Used for hundreds of years in Asian countries where it is harvested, this “Buddha fruit” contains beneficial antioxidants called mogrosides. Unfortunately, the effect on your body caused by artificial sweeteners is still the same. Agave is often referred to as a diabetic-friendly, natural sweetener that doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Aside from that, the other most significant difference is that coconut sugar is an actual sugar while stevia is not. 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. Depending on the person and amount consumed, sugar alcohols can have a laxative effect and can flare up digestive problems like IBS and SIBO. Often found in “sugar-free” foods, sugar alcohols or polyols include sorbitol, mannitol, erythritol, maltitol, and xylitol (amongst others). Coconut sugar vs Sugar cane If we compare the sustainability of coconut sugar to sugar cane, it is definitely the more sustainable of the two. The enzymes break down the starch, and then it is boiled down to create a syrup. What Research & Experts Say, I'm A Functional MD & Here's How To Stay Healthy Over The Holidays. Similar to stevia, the aftertaste of monk fruit sugar is a matter of personal taste and opinion. While some sugar alcohols are found naturally in fruits and vegetables, most of these sweeteners on the market are derived through chemically processing (hydrogenating) sugars, like glucose from corn starch Unlike other sugar-free sweeteners that have zero calories, sugar alcohols can contain up to three calories per gram. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Stevia does not build up in your body, lowers insulin levels and blood pressure, and … 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. 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? These are just a few facts on why coconut farming is seen as a more sustainable crop Also known as rice syrup or rice malt, this sweetener is made from the combination of brown rice and enzymes. Coconut sugar delivers a mellow caramel taste, and organic versions are the best option in my opinion. After he called it coconut palm, that all changed. It tastes sweet, but is not actually a sugar … 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). While honey is still high in sugar (so use in small amounts), it’s better than refined sugar. These sugar substitutes are the ones to avoid. Stevia is for people who don't want to eat sugar. As our largest immune organ, messing with the gut can have a wide-reaching, negative impact on our health. The good (decent), bad, and ugly of sweeteners, if you will. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than sugar (35), but this is due to its high fructose content like agave nectar. Unlike other sugar substitutes, stevia is derived from a plant. Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., R.D.N. But they don't work for everyone. and change the composition of our gut microbiota. 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. Sucanat Sucanat is a natural cane sugar that has a very similar consistency to coconut sugar. Between Truvia and coconut sugar, the latter is half as painful on the wallet. Stevia powder is about 45 times sweeter than sugar but has zero calories and a very low GI. It is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet and a huge reason why so many people are overweight. 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. Coconut sugar is one of the primary sweeteners I use in my home for baking. 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. This means that all the rich minerals, vitamins, and amino acids that coconuts offer don’t get wasted during processing. In a study in 12 adults, those who ate a coconut dessert made with 50% stevia and 50% sugar had 16% lower blood sugar levels after eating than those who … If your goal is to consume the fewest calories possible, Truvia is your new best friend. Palm sugar vs. coconut sugar There is no difference between coconut sugar and coconut palm sugar. Regain your energy, vitality and health by tapping into the power of the Elimination Diet with this practical and effective nutrition course. Most notable of these are the minerals iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, … It’s made from a leaf that, when used in large quantities, has a bitter taste. From berries to apples, you have choices. First, coconut sugar has a slightly lower glycemic index thanks to its inulin (prebiotic) fiber content. In addition to the high glycemic index of rice syrup, another issue is that sometimes barley enzymes are used, which contain gluten. How do the alternatives like Stevia, Xylitol, and Coconut Sugar measure up? This refining process produces the dark, thick syrup we know as molasses. 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. Coconut sugar is made up of 78-89% sucrose – think, the same as any type of sugar. 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). With any of these, moderation is still important—no more than a couple tablespoons per day is ideal. Look for 100% fruit juice or concentrate products that are not laden with additional sugar or additives. Coconut sugar is the dehydrated sap of the coconut palm. Sucralose – Splenda; made by chlorination (add chlorine) of sucrose; found in a variety of foods from baked goods, beverages, gelatins, and … Stevia is another natural and low-calorie alternative to artificial sweeteners. 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. iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, selenium), and vitamin B6—molasses is unique in that way. Coconut sugar and date sugar are alike in a few respects. And, preliminary animal research indicates that stevia may disrupt the balance of gut microbiota, at least in rodents. Monk fruit and stevia are natural, plant-based sweeteners. 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. Like stevia and sugar alcohols, monk fruit sugar or luo han guo fruit is another low-carb sweetener option. Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, D.C., is a leading functional medicine practitioner with a certification in natural medicine and a doctor of chiropractic degree. 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. 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. Get your fix, right here. Unless you are specifically looking for gluten-free brown-rice syrup, you could be unknowingly perpetuating health problems if you are sensitive to gluten. Furthermore, the glycemic index for fructose is much lower than sucrose (think table sugar). It's fermented from the pulp of the fruit, which removes the sugars but leaves a residual sweet flavor. So let's get practical. Artificial sweeteners don’t contain any calories and are often promoted as the solution to the problems caused by high sugar intake. For example, a few studies show stevia's ability to impact hormones. Make sure to limit your packaged products where this sweetener is used to decrease toxin exposure. Sugar is an addiction that a lot of us have a problem breaking. Uncover Hidden Food Intolerances That Wreak Havoc On Your Gut. Useful for reducing calorie intake and minimizing glucose and insulin responses following a meal, monk fruit has practical health benefits. Otherwise, in other conventional stevia brands, which may be heavily processed, you may be exposing yourself to other chemicals added as preservatives. Coconut Sugar vs Stevia Stevia is another natural and low-calorie alternative to artificial sweeteners. Your article and new folder have been saved! It does have a higher GI than coconut sugar however. They slow your metabolism and thereby unconsciously make you eat more. Here's Everything You Need To Know, Why EFT Is The Versatile Energy Healing Technique We'll All Need In 2021, How Long Does It Take To Fall In Love? Some people will notice a bitter aftertaste when using stevia. Hey, my name is Nicky and I love coconuts! 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 These stevia products are often combined with erythritol (and sugar alcohol), dextrose, and flavors. This artificial sweetener is so widely used it can be shocking to learn just how many products actually contain it; even foods that you wouldn’t think need sweetening. By bypassing a key regulatory step in glycolysis, fructose is rapidly taken up by the liver. However, it may not be the perfect coconut sugar substitute that it is sometimes made out to be. Aside from being empty calories, HFCS and its higher proportion (higher than table sugar) of fructose is thought to be metabolized differently, and not in a good way. Honey, like agave, is high in fructose. If you’re shopping at Walmart, Truvia is 61¢ per oz while coconut sugar is only 28¢ per oz. 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). Stevia is only needed in very Stevia also has no calories, and it is 200 The products tend to contain few, if any, calories, carbohydrates, and sugars, and people use them as alternatives to sugar… For many years, coconut sugar is regarded as a better alternative to refined sugar. The remaining 20-30% of coconut sugar is fructose and glucose. That is equal to eating 1.7 million Skittles or an industrial-sized dumpster full of sugar. Because it is a sugar, coconut sugar is high in calories and can cause all the health issues associated with regular refined sugar. Our online classes and training programs allow you to learn from experts from anywhere in the world. 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. While fruit and dairy provide natural sources of sugar, I’m talking about added sweeteners here. Additionally, this sweetener contains polyphenols with antioxidant properties, and some nutrients in modest amounts like zinc, potassium, and short-chain fatty acids. The darker the maple syrup, the better, because it contains a higher amount of antioxidant activity according to studies in cell models. Does Sugar Cause Inflammation in the Body? This is not an exhaustive list. That’s because unlike coconut sugar, agave sugar gets treated with heat and enzymes. 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. 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. 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. It sounds almost too good to be true—and it kind of is. A zero-calorie low-glycemic sweetener that’s also natural?! 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. In addition to the abundance of coconut oil and shredded coconut, coconut sugar is growing in popularity.According to an article entitled “Coconut Sugar: A Healthier Alternative to Artificial Sweetener,” it’s made from the sap of the coconut tree, and because of its origins, it’s also called coconut palm sugar. (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, 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. Coconut sugar is the only sweetener that can claim health benefits. Full of phytochemicals, minerals (e.g. So, individuals with type 2 diabetes should use it sparingly. 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. 4.Stevia Leaves of the stevia plant are used to make a sugar substitute. I will share from my experience which sugar substitutes to avoid and those to be used responsibly, with caution and in small amounts. What's someone interested in maintaining a healthy body and living green to do? Yes, regular sugar is about 6¢ per oz, but good health is priceless. These sweeteners have become so widely available, I decided they merited someRead More Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that has very little to no impact on blood sugar levels. Because of this, our little friend monk has been used as a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory method for centuries in Chinese medicine. (Its glycemic index, which 🥥🌴 Follow me for colorful pics and delicious recipes. – think, the same as any type of sugar. Best uses: Taste- and texture-wise, it’s a lot like brown sugar — and you can sub it one-for-one in recipes. Rich in iron, this mineral is important to help fight fatigue since it’s a critical component of all red blood cells. I recommend you purchase it in its raw, unpasteurized, and unfiltered form to receive its benefits in its most natural state. 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