Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar (also called 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 kinds 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.

Utilized as a sweetener in numerous countries, coconut sugar has no considerable dietary or health benefits over other sweeteners. [1]

Nutrition information

Coconut sugar retains many nutrients discovered in the coconut palm– mostly iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium. These nutrients can support the body in numerous ways, however coconut sugar does not consist of 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 sugar level spikes.

One teaspoon of coconut sugar contains:.

  • 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 believed to be indigenous where it is presently distributed. It is believed to have actually come from indonesia, but is now commonly distributed through southeast asia, southern china, india, sri lanka, new guinea, and guam. The predominant 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 usages, such as thatching, hatmaking, lumber, usage as a writing product, and in food products, whilst palm sugar is produced from sap from the flowers.

Date palm is common 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 coastlines and tropical areas of the indian and pacific oceans. It is the only palm tree that grows in a watery mangrove biome. Only its leaves and flowers grow above water. Palm sugar is made from the sugar-rich sap.

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

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

Health benefits of coconut sugar

There are several excellent health advantages of coconut sugar including its capability to manage diabetes, increase the immune system, enhance bones, lower blood pressure, help in weight loss efforts, and improve state of mind.

Reduces weight gain

With a lower level of fructose than typical table sugar, coconut sugar is less most likely to contribute to fat deposition. When the liver processes fructose, it launches triglycerides, which are a form of fat. The fructose you consume from the fruit is considered healthy and suitable, but added sugar needs to have a lower level of fructose. In comparison to high-fructose corn syrup and other natural sugars, coconut sugar is lower in fructose material, suggesting that it will result in less weight gain and fat deposition.

Boosts blood circulation

The little level of iron discovered in coconut sugar will have an effect on your total blood flow, which can increase oxygenation and nutrient schedule in the body. Iron is an essential part in red cell, and without proper levels in the body, you might suffer the signs of anemia, consisting of muscle weakness, headaches, fatigue, and intestinal problems.

Lowers bad cholesterol

The special kind of fiber found in coconut sugar, inulin, has been connected to lowering overall cholesterol levels in the body. By lowering ldl cholesterol and raising hdl cholesterol, this sugar can help minimize your cardiovascular risk and prevent signs of atherosclerosis and plaque deposition.

Avoids oxidative stress

Polyphenolic substances and phytonutrients in this sugar act as anti-oxidants in the body. This will lower the impact of complimentary radicals and avoid oxidative stress, which increases the danger of persistent illness and chronic inflammation, among others.

Regulates high blood pressure

The amount of potassium in this sugar might be minimal however it is enough to affect blood pressure. Potassium acts as a vasodilator in the body, eliminating stress in the capillary and arteries and avoiding pressure on the cardiovascular system, including reducing your risk for cardiac arrest and strokes.

Diabetes management

For people living with diabetes, coconut sugar is an alternative to regular sugar. While it might show to be more dietary than routine sugar as it undergoes minimal processing, the calorie content is the same as regular sugar.

Improves bone health

There are numerous important minerals discovered in coconut sugar, including zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, and copper, which play a crucial role in building bone mineral density and decreasing your threat of osteoporosis as you age.

Enhances digestion

Inulin, the specialized form of fiber in coconut sugar, can promote the activity of bifidobacteria in the gut, a valuable probiotic, that can balance the germs levels in the stomach. This will improve digestion efficiency and nutrient uptake, while likewise promoting a healthy gut environment.

Reduces anxiety

Some studies have actually discovered that regular, moderate use of this sugar can assist in hormone and neurotransmitter levels, which will lower signs of anxiety and stress and anxiety, and can cause more steady state of minds.

Boosts energy levels

The raw materials for energy found in coconut sugar are slightly various than standard table sugar, and take longer for the body to procedure. This suggests more constant and long-term energy metabolism, so you will have reputable energy levels throughout the day, instead of the sugar rush and unavoidable crash.

Reinforces immune system

With trace levels of vitamin c in this sugar, it does have a very little effect on the body immune system and can drive the production of white blood cells, which are the body’s very first line of defense versus foreign substances and contagious pathogens. [4]

Coconut palm sugar

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

We are frequently inquired about coconut palm sugar, and whether we plan to carry coconut palm sugar, also described as coconut sugar, palm sugar, or coconut syrup, to name a few. Coconut palm sugar is the most recent coconut product to acquire popularity, and its place in the market is broadening quickly. And for good reason! Coconut palm sugar is being marketed as a healthy sugar; low in the glycemic index and full of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It obviously tastes fantastic also!

This new success for palm sugar is yielding a high earnings for both coconut farmers and retailers in the u.s., as “healthier sugars” are amongst the brand-new high-demand “health” foods. We are seeing story after story in the philippines of how coconut farmers are transforming their coconut trees into coconut sugar production, gathering the sap from the tree to make this hot brand-new commodity. The procedure is really simple, allowing anybody with coconut palm trees on their land to easily transform their coconut palms into an instantaneous cash crop that gains fantastic financial benefits.

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

As merchants in the u.s. and somewhere else also cash in on this new demand, sadly, the other side of the story is not being told.

What no one is warning 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 collected from the coconut palm tree, from the flower bud that will ultimately form a coconut, that tree can no longer produce coconuts! Consider that for a minute. No coconuts = no coconut oil, no dried coconut, no coconut flour. Is coconut sugar worth quiting these other valued products that originate 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. However, in marianita’s experience in growing up in a coconut producing community, she has never ever seen this happen, and we have actually not seen any studies that have actually been conducted published anywhere to support this claim.

The rate of coconuts was just recently at an all time high in the philippines, and we have seen lacks worldwide in all the coconut producing nations at times. These costs and schedule are cyclical, depending upon typhoons, el niño, and other conditions that affect the supply of coconuts. Presently in 2013, coconut prices are down, and exports are up, as weather condition systems have actually been more steady with supply down. However world-wide, there are far less 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 together with all other saturated fats. When coconut trees reached their maturity, lots of communities cut them down for lumber and never replanted the trees. Urban growth has actually likewise resulted in less coconut trees in current times.

Another threat to coconut palm trees reported recently is the plan to make mindanao a “palm-oil” hub for the world’s huge need for palm oil. A private research group has cautioned the government against turning mindanao into a center of palm-oil production, stating this would straight threaten existing coconut plantations, the island’s significant farming export crop. “huge oil-palm plantations in mindanao may result to the ultimate death of the coconut industry where 3 million coconut farmers throughout the nation rely on and bulk remain in mindanao,” the report stated. The report also exposed that worldwide need for coconut oil, although changing sometimes, has remained constant. In the case of the philippines, however, the group stated coconut production has actually been reducing for the past five years.

Before the coconut palm sugar market fad, there were already coconut palm trees devoted to the production of “tuba,” the toddy that originates from the sap of the blooming bud of the coconut palm tree. This tuba is used to make coconut vinegar, but mainly it is used for lambanog, an alcoholic beverage best described as “coconut vodka.” this is a recognized market in the philippines, and you can be sure that for the most part, these coconut palm trees that have been utilized to produce coconut vodka are not just all of a sudden being converted to coconut sugar production! No, coconut palms that were formerly producing coconuts are now being transformed to coconut sugar production, due to the fact that a farmer can frequently make more cash from the basic coconut sugar production than they can from selling the coconuts to wholesale coconut commodity brokers.

As it stands now, coconut palm sugar is not a sustainable industry. High consumer demand for coconut palm sugar is taking on increased demand for coconut oil and other coconut items. In 1993 the davao proving ground of the philippine coconut authority ran a 3 year trial comparing three kinds of coconut trees: 1. Coconut trees producing just coconuts, 2. Coconut trees producing just sap for the liquor/vinegar industry, and 3. Coconut trees that were changed every 3 months to produce first coconut sap, and after that three months later on coconuts. Note that a coconut tree can not produce both at the same time. What was their outcome? The trees that were rotating between coconut sap production and coconut production had a 50% lower nut yield when switching 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 look at trees that produce coconut sap for longer than 6 months (which is the case practically 100% of the time in the philippines), nor did it take a look at the result of the nutrition content of coconuts that are produced after the tree was tapped for coconut sap (they only looked at the leaves).

There are likewise no published requirements for coconut palm sugar production that we understand, and a number of the nutrient claims may be unfounded. We have actually just seen one study to date that has actually been released regarding the supposed low glycemic index, but that study was not in a peer-reviewed journal. Likewise, the quality of the coconut palm sugar will differ considerably depending on the type of tree the sap is gathered from, the age of the tree, the time of year (rainy season or dry season), etc. Exist real studies released considering all of these aspects? Are there published requirements 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 actually correctly observed that claims to glycemic index (gi) are unidentified and untested for coconut sugar, and advises: “it is all right for people with diabetes to utilize coconut palm sugar as a sweetener, but they ought to not treat it any in a different way than regular sugar. It supplies just as lots of calories and carbs as routine sugar: about 15 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrate per teaspoon.” so up until there is more research study to support claims that coconut sugar is different from any other sugar in its results in raising blood sugar, one would be smart 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 topic, because this is a new item, and not a conventional item. The standard item for “palm sugar” is from a non-coconut bearing palm tree, arenga pinnata. The sap from this palm tree can be used to produce “palm sugar” without compromising coconuts, but this is not the kind of palm sugar making in-roads into the u.s. market.

In addition, there is research 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 sacrificing the coconut. One such company is beginning production.

Tropical customs has actually checked out the possibility of supplying coconut sugar to our customers, and there are just too many unanswered concerns concerning the short term sustainability of coconut palm sugar items, the quality of coconut palm sugar production, and the effect of products of coconut products such as coconut oil, coconut flour, dried coconut, and other coconut products which have currently seen record prices in current times. Individuals in the coconut palm sugar organization have accused us of being economically encouraged on this problem to simply protect the items we offer, however they stop working to realize that with our network of hundreds of small-scale family manufacturers, that we are rather possibly in the best position to go into the coconut palm sugar market and profit much more from it than the existing suppliers. So this is not a financial position for us at all.

The philippine coconut authority in the philippines is carefully recommending people to plant coconut trees specifically for coconut sugar production, especially the “dwarf” types that are shorter and can grow faster (average of 5 years instead of 10 years.) But as long as customers continue to require coconut palm sugar at the present 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 greater earnings now. If current trends continue, coconuts could soon be so limited and the cost of coconut oil will be so high that only the rich and popular will be able to manage it.

This is especially real throughout years where the weather condition ruins coconut crops in one location of the country, and the minimal resources from the unaffected areas presses rates up as products are restricted.

There is a reason that the coconut palm sugar is so healthy. It feeds the coconut flower that grows into a fantastic coconut, from which we get such healthy items like coconut oil! Coconut oil is special in nature because of its fatty acid structure. Just human breast milk contains comparable amounts of medium chain fats. Healthy sugars, on the other hand, are plentiful in nature. The philippines has a few of the very best sugar walking cane worldwide, and many farmers are relying on sustainable and natural methods with items like “muscovado” natural walking stick 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 customs has decided not to participate in the coconut palm sugar market at this time. If at such a time the health declares for coconut sugar can be shown, 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 plenty of sources of much healthier sugars that do not threaten the supply of coconuts. [5]

5 wonderful methods to utilize coconut sugar

Among the things i love about experimenting with natural sugars is the capability to enhance the flavors in your dish. For instance, because coconut sugar has a darker nearly earthy flavor, it’s wonderful in baking dishes using chocolate or warm spices. It’s likewise fantastic stirred into coffee or tea, sprinkled on top of pancakes or waffles, or used to cheer up savory recipes like curries, chicken or fish. Here are a couple of inspired ways to use coconut sugar in your kitchen area this season:.

  1. Coconut soup with bok choy– rawmazing. This nourishing soup is bright and fresh while likewise being soothing and rewarding. Boasting baby bok choy, marinaded mushrooms and warm spices, a little coconut sugar is utilized together with coconut milk to include a subtle sweet taste.
  2. Red velour cupcakes– keepin it kind. Entire grain flour, coconut sugar and beets combine to make these healthy vegan cupcakes.
  3. Flourless brownies– homemade mommy. With just a handful of active ingredients, these decadent chocolate brownies are the best easy dessert and are also a wonderful afternoon treat with tea or coffee.
  4. Coconut milk masala chai– keeping healthy getting stylish. Making your own chai mixture at home is a favorite in our house due to the fact that you can totally tailor which spices you ‘d like to function. Mixing it up with a little coconut milk and coconut sugar magnifies the darker tastes and makes for a calming, rewarding break to the day.
  5. Rum-kissed coconut granola– bojon premium. There are all sort of ways to sweeten granola. Some people use honey while others prefer maple syrup. If you’re wanting to try 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 general alternative

There is one stand-out substitute that works best for matching the color, consistency, and flavor of coconut sugar.

Brown sugar

For the very best end result that a lot of looks like coconut sugar, usage brown sugar rather. It’s extremely common and simple to get, and there’s a great chance that you currently have some on hand.

Do use light brown sugar, as the greater molasses content in dark brown sugar will alter your taste.

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 utilize light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, and granulated sugar in equal amounts as coconut sugar. However, you do not need to load your brown sugar for determining.

Considering that other sugars are a bit sweeter than coconut sugar, you may wish to minimize the sugar amount. Use 2/3 cup of light brown sugar (or sugar, or dark brown sugar) for each 1 cup of coconut sugar called for in a dish.

Best natural substitutes

If you’re looking for a great coconut sugar substitution that is still a healthier option than table sugar or brown sugar, you can utilize one of these excellent alternatives!


Sucanat is raw cane sugar that undergoes just a few processing steps. The bigger crystals and light golden color look like coconut sugar very much! In addition, the natural molasses content of sucanat implies that the flavor also has slight hints of caramel.

The coarse texture of sucanat suggests that it will not dissolve as quickly as finer sugars. Utilize the coarse granules to leading baked goods, or run the sugar through a food processor to reach table sugar or caster sugar consistency (superfine sugar ).

Sucanat can be utilized in a 1:1 ratio in any recipe requiring coconut sugar.

Raw honey

Or honey, but i do recommend raw honey. What is raw honey? Raw honey is honey as you would find it in the beehive or honeycomb. It is removed, strained, and packaged therefore retaining a bunch of wonderful nutrients.

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

In addition, in some cases commercially processed honey has actually been processed to the point that it holds very little of its true honey taste. Additives like corn syrup and sweeteners can also alter the honey flavor, 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, usage 1/4 cup of honey. * when utilizing liquid alternatives, you might need to change other liquids in your recipes.

Maple syrup

Maple syrup is the sap that has actually been collected from maple trees. The maple sap is boiled till it reaches syrup consistency, then bottled and sold for everyone to delight in!

Like honey, maple syrup is a quick and easy coconut sugar replacement! The flavor is more maple, clearly! Nevertheless, it does add its own notes of sweetness that work quite appropriately in any dish.

Do select pure maple syrup for any replacement as the majority of industrial brand names have a lot of other ingredients!

Usage maple syrup in a 1:4 ratio, or 1/4 cup of maple syrup for every single 1 cup of coconut sugar. * when using liquid substitutes, you might need to change other liquids in your dishes.

Agave syrup

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

This business procedure alters the standard mexican syrup, miel de agave, into a highly-processed syrup. The resulting syrup has actually lost most, if not all, of its nutritional 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 replaces, utilize 1/4 cup agave syrup for each 1 cup of coconut sugar needed. * when utilizing liquid substitutes, you might need to change other liquids in your dishes.

Maple sugar

Maple sugar is exactly what it sounds like it is! The ‘sugar’ is the dehydrated maple sap that has been reduced to granule form.

The coarse granules look a lot like coconut sugar, however like maple syrup, they have a more maple taste. It’s still an extremely enjoyable taste, it just does not rather match up to the light caramel flavor of coconut sugar.

Reward – you can make maple sugar in your home! You need the actual maple sap from a sugar maple tree. Boil the sap till it reaches 270ºf (132ºc ). The sugar granules will form at this temperature, simply continue stirring till the granules have totally formed.

Maple sugar works incredibly 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 of finely ground, dehydrated dates that can be utilized as a sweetener. And it packs a punch of fiber and minerals for some terrific dietary benefits!

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

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

Bake for about 15 minutes, or up until the dates feel exceptionally firm when squeezed. Actually, there should be no real provide 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 complete, operating 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 utilized in a 1:1 ratio when changing coconut sugar. Nevertheless, i prefer 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 two sugars are in some cases described interchangeably, and likewise called ‘raw sugar’. Here in the states, you are much more likely to find this sugar offered as ‘turbinado’. Over the pond in britain, you are most likely to find ‘demerara’ sugar.

Nevertheless, if you do take place to find both at a shop you would notice that the demerara sugar is generally lighter in color with a golden blonde look. The taste of demerara is also 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 called for in a recipe.


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

I have actually seen it kept in mind in many places 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 use it in anywhere near the same proportions!

If you are familiar with using stevia, you may currently know your favored ratio for substitutions. If you are brand-new to utilizing stevia, taste and adjust as you go. Experiment up until you discover your ‘ideal’ taste.


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

Threats and side effects

Why is coconut sugar bad to consume in big quantities, according to some specialists? The bottom line is that it has the very same calories as regular sugar, so consuming it in small amounts is crucial.

There appears to be little info concerning other precautions. This sweetener is generally well-tolerated, but keep in mind that having excessive sugar of any kind can contribute to weight gain and high blood glucose levels.

A high-sugar diet plan might likewise worsen swelling and increase the threat of problems like metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and elevated high blood pressure, triglycerides and ldl cholesterol levels.

In addition, the american diabetes association explains that numerous items on the shelf include routine sugar to coconut sugar, so it is very important to keep a watchful eye on labeling. Go with natural coconut sugar that contains no added sugar, and utilize it in percentages. [8]


Coconut sugar ought to stay totally dry and in a sealed container. You can save it at room temperature in a cool, dry location for up to a year. If the coconut sugar is in block type, keep it in a cool part of the pantry in an air-tight container so it does not dry out. [9]

The bottom line

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

It’s extremely similar to routine table sugar, although it’s not as processed and contains small amounts of nutrients. If you’re going to utilize coconut sugar, use it sparingly.

Coconut sugar belongs in the same boat as a lot of sugar alternatives. It’s healthier than refined sugar but absolutely even worse than no sugar at all. [10]


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