The secret to keep healthy eating fun is to become knowledgeable about the ingredients you use.
Once you are aware how many wonderfully healthy alternatives are readily available, there is no limit to the meals and snacks you can create. Healthy living is not deprivation from your favourite foods, it is simply about getting to know what the delicious healthier alternative is!
A great alternative to white sugar, is coconut sugar, and it opens up a whole world of recipes. It is not necessary to avoid all cookies and sweetened foods, it is about balance. There are amazing recipes that are healthy and subtly sweetened. Always remembering that some protein and healthy fats are a good addition to a balanced snack or treat. When you want a treat, it only makes sense to use ingredients that support you nutritionally too.
What is it about coconut sugar that makes it a healthier choice than white sugar?
To begin with, it is packed with nutrition. Coconut sugar retains its rich mineral content including calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium due to its minimal processing. Apposed to white sugar, which is stripped of its nutrients during processing.
Coconut sugar comes from the flowers of the coconut palm. The flowers’ buds produce a sap, and this is collected. The sap is then heated and evaporates, turning into a thick paste which solidifies and is then ground into granules.
Along with coconut sugar being nutrient dense, it has a low glycemic index, so it doesn’t wreak havoc with your blood sugar levels. Glycemic index is a measure that determines how quickly a food raises your blood sugar level. It is important to keep your blood sugar level low and stable, apposed to blood sugar being ‘spiked’ as it is with white sugar.
As recorded by the Philippine Coconut Authority, coconut sugar’s glycemic index is at 35, whereas white sugar is well above 50. Foods with a high glycemic index cause a spike in blood sugar which can create irritability, moodiness, lethargy and hunger after eating them, causing stress and inflammation in the body. This is why low glycemic coconut sugar is such a popular alternative.
Coconut sugar is by far a much better option than white sugar, but it is essential to remember that any sweetener, from coconut sugar, dried fruit, maple syrup or rice malt syrup, should all be consumed in moderation as they are all forms of sugar.
As an occasional treat, however, switch to coconut sugar instead of white sugar to create delicious whole food goodies – your body will be oh, so grateful!
All of our posts reflect our philosophy at A Healthy View www.ahealthyview.com. A whole real food perspective on food and life. Extremes do not work but clean, whole, tasty and easy food choices can create a lifetime of good habits that lead to a lean, happy, and healthy person. Contact us on our website for our next Low Sugar Lifestyle program or a nutritional consult.
Article by Simone Kopkas. Adapted from Food Matters, Laurentine Ten Bosch