Coconut Sugar

39 mins read

Coconut sugar (also known as coco sugar, coconut palm sugar, coco sap sugar or coconut bloom sugar) is a palm sugar produced from the sap of the flower bud stem of the coconut palm.

Other types of palm sugar are made from the kithul palm (caryota urens), palmyra palm, the date palm, the sugar date palm, the sago palm or the sugar palm.

Used as a sweetener in lots of countries, coconut sugar has no significant nutritional or health advantages over other sweeteners. [1]

Nutrition info

Coconut sugar retains many nutrients found in the coconut palm– mostly iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium. These nutrients can support the body in various methods, but coconut sugar does not contain enough of them per serving to offer a measurable benefit. Coconut sugar also contains the soluble fiber inulin, which is connected to a lower risk of blood glucose spikes.

One teaspoon of coconut sugar includes:.

  • 18 calories
  • 0 grams of protein
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 5 grams of carbs
  • 0 grams of fiber
  • 5 grams of sugar [2]

History of palm sugar

History of palm sugar is thought to be native where it is currently dispersed. It is believed to have originated in indonesia, but is now widely distributed through southeast asia, southern china, india, sri lanka, brand-new guinea, and guam. The primary sources of palm sugar are the palmyra, date, nipa, sugar and coconut palms.

Palmyra palm is grown in africa, asia, and brand-new guinea. The tree has numerous uses, such as thatching, hatmaking, wood, use as a composing material, and in food products, whilst palm sugar is produced from sap from the flowers.

Date palm prevails in the mediterranean and middle east. Date palms are cultivated mainly for dates, whilst palm sugar is made from the tree’s sap.

Nipa palm is native to the shorelines and tropical regions of the indian and pacific oceans. It is the only palm tree that grows in a watery mangrove biome. Just its leaves and flowers grow above water. Palm sugar is made from the sugar-rich sap.

Sugar palm is belonging to the seaside and tropical regions of asia, primarily china, malaysia and indonesia. The sap utilized to produce palm sugar is known in indonesia as gula aren.

Coconut palm grows in coastal locations of the indian and pacific oceans. Significant suppliers are thailand, indonesia, and the philippines. [3]

Health benefits of coconut sugar

There are several remarkable health benefits of coconut sugar including its ability to manage diabetes, enhance the immune system, enhance bones, lower blood pressure, help in weight loss efforts, and enhance mood.

Lowers weight gain

With a lower level of fructose than normal table sugar, coconut sugar is less likely to contribute to fat deposition. When the liver processes fructose, it releases triglycerides, which are a form of fat. The fructose you consume from the fruit is thought about healthy and suitable, however sugarcoated must have a lower level of fructose. In comparison to high-fructose corn syrup and other natural sugars, coconut sugar is lower in fructose content, meaning that it will cause less weight gain and fat deposition.

Boosts blood flow

The little level of iron found in coconut sugar will have an impact on your overall blood circulation, which can increase oxygenation and nutrient accessibility in the body. Iron is a key component in red cell, and without appropriate levels in the body, you may suffer the signs of anemia, consisting of muscle weak point, headaches, tiredness, and gastrointestinal problems.

Lowers bad cholesterol

The unique kind of fiber found in coconut sugar, inulin, has been connected to decreasing overall cholesterol levels in the body. By reducing ldl cholesterol and raising hdl cholesterol, this sugar can assist reduce your cardiovascular risk and prevent symptoms of atherosclerosis and plaque deposition.

Prevents oxidative stress

Polyphenolic compounds and phytonutrients in this sugar function as antioxidants in the body. This will reduce the impact of totally free radicals and prevent oxidative stress, which increases the risk of chronic diseases and chronic swelling, to name a few.

Regulates high blood pressure

The quantity of potassium in this sugar may be minimal however it is enough to affect high blood pressure. Potassium serves as a vasodilator in the body, eliminating stress in the capillary and arteries and preventing pressure on the cardiovascular system, consisting of lowering your threat for heart attacks and strokes.

Diabetes management

For people coping with diabetes, coconut sugar is an alternative to regular sugar. While it could show to be more dietary than regular sugar as it undergoes very little processing, the calorie material is the same as regular sugar.

Improves bone health

There are numerous important minerals found in coconut sugar, including zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, and copper, which play an important role in building bone mineral density and lowering your risk of osteoporosis as you age.

Improves food digestion

Inulin, the specialized type of fiber in coconut sugar, can promote the activity of bifidobacteria in the gut, an important probiotic, that can stabilize the bacteria levels in the stomach. This will enhance gastrointestinal performance and nutrient uptake, while also promoting a healthy gut environment.

Lowers anxiety

Some studies have found that routine, moderate use of this sugar can help in hormone and neurotransmitter levels, which will minimize signs of depression and anxiety, and can cause more steady moods.

Increases energy levels

The raw products for energy discovered in coconut sugar are a little different than conventional table sugar, and take longer for the body to process. This implies more constant and long-lasting basal metabolism, so you will have trustworthy energy levels throughout the day, instead of the sugar rush and inescapable crash.

Reinforces body immune system

With trace levels of vitamin c in this sugar, it does have a minimal effect on the immune system and can drive the production of leukocyte, which are the body’s very first line of defense against foreign substances and infectious pathogens. [4]

Coconut palm sugar

Coconuts like these are sacrificed when the sap from the tree is removed.

We are regularly inquired about coconut palm sugar, and whether we prepare to carry coconut palm sugar, also referred to as coconut sugar, palm sugar, or coconut syrup, among others. Coconut palm sugar is the latest coconut product to acquire appeal, and its place in the market is broadening quickly. And for good reason! Coconut palm sugar is being advertised as a healthy sugar; low in the glycemic index and loaded with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It apparently tastes terrific as well!

This brand-new success for palm sugar is yielding a high profit for both coconut farmers and sellers in the u.s., as “much healthier sugars” are amongst the new high-demand “health” foods. We are seeing story after story in the philippines of how coconut farmers are converting their coconut trees into coconut sugar production, gathering the sap from the tree to make this hot brand-new product. The procedure is very easy, permitting anyone with coconut palm trees on their land to quickly convert their coconut palms into an instant cash crop that enjoys terrific financial benefits.

Coconuts or coconut sugar – a coconut tree can not produce both!

As sellers in the u.s. and in other places likewise cash in on this new demand, sadly, the other side of the story is not being informed.

What nobody is cautioning consumers about is that coconut palm trees can not produce both coconuts and coconut palm sugar! When the sap utilized to make coconut palm sugar is gathered from the coconut palm tree, from the flower bud that will eventually form a coconut, that tree can no longer produce coconuts! Think of that for a minute. No coconuts = no coconut oil, no dried coconut, no coconut flour. Is coconut sugar worth quiting these other valued items that come from the coconut??

Some claim that if a coconut palm tree is producing coconut sugar, which suggests that it can not produce coconuts at the same time, that it can still be converted back to producing coconuts at a later time. Nevertheless, in marianita’s experience in growing up in a coconut producing community, she has actually never seen this take place, and we have actually not seen any research studies that have been carried out published anywhere to back up this claim.

The cost of coconuts was just recently at an all time high in the philippines, and we have actually seen shortages worldwide in all the coconut producing countries sometimes. These costs and accessibility are cyclical, depending upon tropical storms, el niño, and other conditions that impact the supply of coconuts. Currently in 2013, coconut rates are down, and exports are up, as weather condition systems have been more steady with supply down. However world-wide, there are far fewer coconut trees than there were 50 to 60 years earlier, when the anti-saturated fat project began with earnest in the u.s., and condemned coconut oil in addition to all other hydrogenated fats. When coconut trees reached their maturity, numerous neighborhoods cut them down for lumber and never ever replanted the trees. Urban expansion has likewise led to fewer coconut trees in recent times.

Another danger to coconut palm trees reported recently is the strategy to make mindanao a “palm-oil” hub for the world’s substantial need for palm oil. A personal research group has actually cautioned the federal government versus turning mindanao into a center of palm-oil production, stating this would directly threaten existing coconut plantations, the island’s significant farming export crop. “enormous oil-palm plantations in mindanao may result to the supreme death of the coconut industry where 3 million coconut farmers throughout the nation count on and majority remain in mindanao,” the report mentioned. The report also exposed that global need for coconut oil, although changing at times, has actually remained consistent. When it comes to the philippines, nevertheless, the group stated coconut production has been reducing for the past five years.

Before the coconut palm sugar market fad, there were currently coconut palm trees dedicated to the production of “tuba,” the toddy that comes from the sap of the blooming bud of the coconut palm tree. This tuba is utilized to make coconut vinegar, but primarily it is utilized for lambanog, a liquor best described as “coconut vodka.” this is an established market in the philippines, and you can be sure that for the most part, these coconut palm trees that have actually been used to produce coconut vodka are not simply all of a sudden being converted to coconut sugar production! No, coconut palms that were previously producing coconuts are now being converted to coconut sugar production, since a farmer can frequently make more cash from the simple coconut sugar production than they can from selling the coconuts to wholesale coconut product brokers.

As it stands now, coconut palm sugar is not a sustainable market. High consumer demand for coconut palm sugar is taking on increased demand for coconut oil and other coconut products. In 1993 the davao proving ground of the philippine coconut authority ran a 3 year trial comparing 3 kinds of coconut trees: 1. Coconut trees producing only coconuts, 2. Coconut trees producing only sap for the liquor/vinegar industry, and 3. Coconut trees that were changed every 3 months to produce very first coconut sap, and then three months later on coconuts. Keep in mind that a coconut tree can not produce both at the same time. What was their result? The trees that were alternating between coconut sap production and coconut production had a 50% lower nut yield when changing back from coconut sap production. Also note that this was in 1993, when there was no coconut sugar market yet. The research study did not take a look at trees that produce coconut sap for longer than six months (which is the case almost 100% of the time in the philippines), nor did it look at the effect of the nutrient material of coconuts that are produced after the tree was tapped for coconut sap (they just looked at the leaves).

There are also no published standards for coconut palm sugar production that we understand, and a number of the nutrient claims might be unfounded. We have actually just seen one research study to date that has actually been released concerning the supposed low glycemic index, but that research study was not in a peer-reviewed journal. Also, the quality of the coconut palm sugar will differ significantly depending upon the kind of tree the sap is collected from, the age of the tree, the time of year (rainy season or dry season), etc. Exist real research studies released considering all of these factors? Are there released standards anywhere on the production of coconut sugar from the philippines?

Where is the research on coconut sugar’s claims? Other sustainable palm sugars offered

The american diabetes association has correctly observed that claims to glycemic index (gi) are unidentified and untried for coconut sugar, and recommends: “it is okay for people with diabetes to use coconut palm sugar as a sweetener, however they must not treat it any in a different way 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 till there is additional research to back up claims that coconut sugar is different from any other sugar in its impacts in raising blood glucose, one would be sensible and safe to treat it the same as other sugars.

A search in pubmed for “coconut sugar” produces no outcomes for peer-reviewed literature on the subject, since this is a new item, and not a conventional product. The traditional item for “palm sugar” is from a non-coconut bearing palm tree, arenga pinnata. The sap from this palm tree can be utilized to produce “palm sugar” without compromising coconuts, but this is not the kind of palm sugar making in-roads into the u.s. market.

Furthermore, there is research study being done to make coconut xylose, which is similar to other xylitol sweeteners in the u.s. market, and can be made from the coconut husks, without compromising the coconut. One such business is beginning production.

Tropical traditions has checked out the possibility of offering coconut sugar to our consumers, and there are just a lot of unanswered concerns regarding the short-term sustainability of coconut palm sugar products, the quality of coconut palm sugar production, and the impact of materials of coconut items such as coconut oil, coconut flour, dried coconut, and other coconut items which have already seen record costs in recent times. Individuals in the coconut palm sugar organization have actually accused us of being economically encouraged on this issue to simply safeguard the products we offer, but they stop working to recognize that with our network of numerous small-scale household producers, that we are rather potentially in the very best position to enter the coconut palm sugar market and earnings even more from it than the current suppliers. So this is not a monetary position for us at all.

The philippine coconut authority in the philippines is wisely recommending individuals to plant coconut trees particularly for coconut sugar production, particularly the “dwarf” breeds that are shorter and can grow faster (average of 5 years instead of 10 years.) But as long as consumers continue to demand coconut palm sugar at today time, it is not likely that growers and harvesters in the philippines will not wait several years to allow the supply to catch up when they can make a higher earnings now. If existing patterns continue, coconuts might soon be so scarce and the rate of coconut oil will be so high that just the abundant and well-known will be able to manage it.

This is particularly real during years where the weather condition destroys coconut crops in one location of the country, and the limited resources from the unaffected areas pushes rates up as products are restricted.

There is a reason why the coconut palm sugar is so healthy. It feeds the coconut flower that becomes a fantastic coconut, from which we get such healthy products like coconut oil! Coconut oil is distinct in nature because of its fatty acid structure. Just human breast milk includes comparable quantities of medium chain fats. Healthy sugars, on the other hand, abound in nature. The philippines has some of the very best sugar cane on the planet, and many farmers are turning to sustainable and organic approaches with products like “muscovado” natural cane sugar. And as was pointed out above, there are non-coconut bearing palm trees that can produce coconut sugar, and xylitol can be produced from the coconut husk. So for these reasons, tropical traditions has actually chosen not to participate in the coconut palm sugar market at this time. If at such a time the health claims for coconut sugar can be proven, and it can be shown that coconut sugar production will not affect the harvest of coconuts, we could alter our position. But for now, there are a lot of sources of healthier sugars that do not threaten the supply of coconuts. [5]

5 wonderful ways to use coconut sugar

Among the things i enjoy about explore natural sugars is the ability to amplify the flavors in your recipe. For instance, because coconut sugar has a darker practically earthy flavor, it’s wonderful in baking recipes using chocolate or warm spices. It’s also fantastic stirred into coffee or tea, sprayed on top of pancakes or waffles, or used to brighten up savory dishes like curries, chicken or fish. Here are a few inspired ways to use coconut sugar in your kitchen this season:.

  1. Coconut soup with bok choy– rawmazing. This nourishing soup is brilliant and fresh while likewise being comforting and satisfying. Boasting baby bok choy, marinaded mushrooms and warm spices, a little coconut sugar is utilized along with coconut milk to add a subtle sweet taste.
  2. Red velour cupcakes– keepin it kind. Whole grain flour, coconut sugar and beets integrate to make these healthy vegan cupcakes.
  3. Flourless brownies– homemade mommy. With simply a handful of components, these decadent chocolate brownies are the perfect simple dessert and are likewise a terrific afternoon treat with tea or coffee.
  4. Coconut milk masala chai– keeping healthy getting trendy. Making your own chai mixture in the house is a favorite in our house due to the fact that you can completely personalize which spices you want to feature. Mixing it up with a little coconut milk and coconut sugar enhances the darker tastes and produces a relaxing, satisfying break to the day.
  5. Rum-kissed coconut granola– bojon gourmet. There are all sort of methods to sweeten granola. Some people utilize honey while others choose maple syrup. If you’re wanting to attempt something brand-new, coconut sugar includes a layer of caramelly, nutty taste that works perfectly in a lot of granola and muesli recipes. [6]

Finest overall alternative

There is one noteworthy alternative that works finest for matching the color, consistency, and flavor of coconut sugar.

Brown sugar

For the best end result that the majority of looks like coconut sugar, usage brown sugar rather. It’s super typical and easy to get, and there’s a good chance that you currently have some on hand.

Do use light brown sugar, as the greater molasses material in dark brown sugar will change your flavor.

In a pinch, if you have no other sugar alternatives offered, even granulated sugar will work as a replacement for coconut sugar.

In general, you can use light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, and granulated sugar in equivalent quantities as coconut sugar. Nevertheless, you do not need to pack your brown sugar for determining.

Given that other sugars are a bit sweeter than coconut sugar, you may want to minimize the sugar quantity. Use 2/3 cup of light brown sugar (or sugar, or dark brown sugar) for each 1 cup of coconut sugar required in a recipe.

Best natural alternatives

If you’re searching for a great coconut sugar replacement that is still a much healthier choice than table sugar or brown sugar, you can utilize one of these great options!


Sucanat is raw walking cane sugar that goes through just a few processing actions. The bigger crystals and light golden color look like coconut sugar quite! In addition, the natural molasses material of sucanat suggests that the flavor likewise has slight hints of caramel.

The coarse texture of sucanat implies that it will not dissolve as rapidly as finer sugars. Use the coarse granules to top baked items, or run the sugar through a food mill to reach table sugar or caster sugar consistency (superfine sugar ).

Sucanat can be used in a 1:1 ratio in any dish calling for coconut sugar.

Raw honey

Or honey, however i do recommend raw honey. What is raw honey? Raw honey is honey as you would discover it in the beehive or honeycomb. It is gotten rid of, strained, and packaged therefore maintaining a bevy of wonderful nutrients.

As soon as raw honey has gone through business processing, that includes heating, cooling, skimming, it is normally not as nutritious as raw honey.

Furthermore, sometimes commercially processed honey has actually been processed to the point that it holds really little of its real honey taste. Ingredients like corn syrup and sweeteners can also change the honey taste, consistency, and dietary values.

Back to raw honey! Usage raw honey in a 1:4 ratio as coconut sugar when replacing. For each 1 cup of coconut sugar, use 1/4 cup of honey. * when using liquid substitutes, you might require to change other liquids in your dishes.

Maple syrup

Maple syrup is the sap that has been gathered from maple trees. The maple sap is boiled up until it reaches syrup consistency, then bottled and sold for everyone to enjoy!

Like honey, maple syrup is a fast and easy coconut sugar alternative! The flavor is more maple, undoubtedly! However, it does add its own notes of sweet taste that work rather appropriately in any recipe.

Do go with pure maple syrup for any substitution as a lot of industrial brand names have a lot of other components!

Use maple syrup in a 1:4 ratio, or 1/4 cup of maple syrup for every single 1 cup of coconut sugar. * when utilizing liquid replacements, you might require to adjust other liquids in your recipes.

Agave syrup

Agave syrup, likewise called agave nectar or maguey syrup, is a syrup made from the agave plant. The sap is collected from the plant and then processed with heat and enzymes.

This industrial process alters the conventional mexican syrup, miel de agave, into a highly-processed syrup. The resulting syrup has lost most, if not all, of its dietary benefits.

Nevertheless, the gi index of agave syrup is lower due to the fructans of the agave sap being converted to fructose in the heating and/or enzyme process.

Agave syrup is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar! Like other liquid coconut sugar substitutes, use 1/4 cup agave syrup for each 1 cup of coconut sugar required. * when using liquid replacements, you might need to change other liquids in your dishes.

Maple sugar

Maple sugar is precisely what it sounds like it is! The ‘sugar’ is the dehydrated maple sap that has actually been minimized to granule type.

The coarse granules look a lot like coconut sugar, but like maple syrup, they have a more maple flavor. It’s still a very enjoyable taste, it just doesn’t rather compare to the light caramel flavor of coconut sugar.

Perk – you can make maple sugar at home! You need the actual maple sap from a sugar maple tree. Boil the sap until it reaches 270ºf (132ºc ). The sugar granules will form at this temperature, just continue stirring up until the granules have actually totally formed.

Maple sugar works wonderfully in a 1:1 ratio as a coconut sugar alternative!

Date sugar

This sweet powdered sugar is not a ‘sugar’ in the strictest sense. It is made from finely ground, dehydrated dates that can be used as a sweetener. And it packs a punch of fiber and minerals for some great nutritional benefits!

Benefit – you can make date sugar in the house! I like medjool dates for my date sugar. Cut each of your dates in half, get rid of the pits and dispose of.

Utilizing a dehydrator or a preheated oven at 425ºf (218ºc) location your dates on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Leave spacing in between the dates so that they get heated uniformly.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or up until the dates feel exceptionally firm when squeezed. Actually, there should be no real offer to them!

Once they’re dried, you will require a food mill that can handle a sturdy job! Process the dates a few at a time until total, working in about 1 teaspoon of cornstarch per 1 pound of dates. Store the date sugar in an airtight container.

Date sugar has a mild, sweet taste that can be used in a 1:1 ratio when replacing coconut sugar. Nevertheless, i choose to utilize 1/2 cup for each cup of coconut sugar or brown sugar and 2/3 cup for each 1 cup of granulated sugar. * simply note that date sugar will not liquify like other sugars!

Demerara sugar and turbinado sugar

These 2 sugars are sometimes described interchangeably, and also called ‘raw sugar’. Here in the states, you are much more most likely to find this sugar sold as ‘turbinado’. Over the pond in britain, you are more likely to find ‘demerara’ sugar.

However, if you do take place to discover both at a store you would see that the demerara sugar is normally lighter in color with a golden blonde appearance. The taste of demerara is likewise a bit milder than turbinado sugar.

Both of these sugars are excellent options to coconut sugar and can be used in the very same quantity as the coconut sugar required in a dish.


Stevia is a plant-based sugar alternative from the leaves of the stevia plant, which is an herb from the asteraceae family. This sugar-free sweetener is offered in powdered or liquid form, with specific packages available for ease of use.

I’ve seen it noted in numerous locations that stevia can be used as a 1:1 replacement for sugars of all types. Nevertheless, stevia is two times as sweet as sugar and i do not utilize it in anywhere near the very same proportions!

If you recognize with using stevia, you might already know your favored ratio for replacements. If you are new to utilizing stevia, taste and adjust as you go. Experiment up until you discover your ‘perfect’ taste.


  • Monk fruit
  • Piloncillo or panela (mexican brown sugar)
  • Erythritol
  • Tagatose
  • Xylitol [7]

Threats and adverse effects

Why is coconut sugar bad to consume in big amounts, according to some professionals? The bottom line is that it has the exact same calories as regular sugar, so consuming it in moderation is key.

There appears to be little details relating to other precautions. This sweetener is typically well-tolerated, but bear in mind that having excessive sugar of any kind can contribute to weight gain and high blood sugar levels.

A high-sugar diet might likewise worsen swelling and increase the danger of issues like metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and elevated blood pressure, triglycerides and ldl cholesterol levels.

Additionally, the american diabetes association mentions that lots of products on the shelf add routine sugar to coconut sugar, so it is very important to keep a watchful eye on labeling. Choose natural coconut sugar that contains no extra sugar, and use it in small amounts. [8]


Coconut sugar must stay totally dry and in a sealed container. You can keep it at space temperature in a cool, dry place for up to a year. If the coconut sugar is in block kind, keep it in a cool part of the kitchen in an air-tight container so it doesn’t dry out. [9]

The bottom line

At the end of the day, coconut sugar is no miracle food.

It’s really similar to routine table sugar, although it’s not as processed and consists of minor amounts of nutrients. If you’re going to utilize coconut sugar, utilize it moderately.

Coconut sugar belongs in the very same boat as most sugar alternatives. It’s much healthier than refined sugar however certainly worse than no sugar at all. [10]


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