Coconut Sugar Benefits
As best as we can determine, sugar cane was the first ‘processed’ sugar introduced into our diets, around 500 B.C. However, sugar cane was only native to Southern and Southeastern Asia, with similar plants originating in India and New Guinea. Until then, any sweetness outside these areas had to be obtained and used in its natural form, such as in honey, figs, other sweet fruits, and some vegetables (beets, yams, squashes, etc.) In the thirteenth century, the processing of sugar cane into a dry, storable crystal made distribution thorough Europe much easier and cost-effective, thus much more available to the general public, who readily adopted it into their daily consumption. By the 1800s, sugar plantations began to appear en masse in the West Indies and the Americas, giving even the poorest citizens access. During this period, the sugar beet, much more easily cultivated in cooler climates, replaced much of the sugar cane production.
Refined sugars have been linked to obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, macular degeneration, nervous tension, hypertension, aching limbs, high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, acne, depression, skin irritation, headaches, stiffening of the arteries, fatigue, tooth decay, and violent behaviour. Added sugars include white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, maple syrup, pancake syrup, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose, honey, molasses, anhydrous dextrose, crystal dextrose, and dextrin.
In 2012, the average American consumed roughly 130 lbs of refined sugar per year compared to approximately 7.2 lbs per year in 1822, when statistics began. This translates to 22 teaspoons of sugar per day for the average American adult and a whopping 32 teaspoons per day for the average child. Thirty-three percent of this consumption is from soft drinks, to the tune of $69 billion (yes, that’s with a B!) spent on soft drinks per year in the US alone. One 12-oz can of Coca-cola contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. The caloric intake by added sugars is equivalent of consuming 10 strips of bacon per day. From brain scans and behavioural research, refined sugars are as addictive as cocaine, and the quantities consumed by the American public are only surpassed by its consumption of salt.
Unfortunately, for something that is so prevalent in the diet, there is no good news. Refined sugars have no nutritional value to speak of. They contain zero vitamins, zero minerals, zero enzymes, and zero fiber. However, the shock to the system, and the damage done to the pancreas and liver is completely beyond the understanding of the average consumer, who would be literally sickened by the daily damage their dietary choices are doing to their bodies, and minds.
Luckily for us humans, there IS an alternative. You can’t do much about the refined sugars found in processed foods and drinks, other than to abstain from their consumption, but you CAN replace the sugars you have control over with coconut sugar. This amazingly healthy choice is about as natural as it gets, and hosts a litany of health benefits with no known dangers. It’s pretty much the exact opposite from the refined sugars you’ve probably been consuming up until now.
The glycemic index or G.I. of a sugar or substitute is the ranking from 0 to 100 of how much it raises the blood sugar level after consumption. Whereas refined white sugar, or sucrose, has a G.I. of 65, coconut sugar is at a comparatively low 35, yet its sweetness and taste is nearly equivalent to white sugar. As well, refined white sugar is quickly absorbed into the body and can shock the pancreas and liver to the point of damaging their delicate ecosystems, while coconut sugar is absorbed slowly and gradually, relieving the organs of unnecessary stress, improving their longevity and function.
It’s important to note that the G.I. of the diet has been directly linked to the risk of not only diabetes but also heart disease and cancer. As every cell in our bodies requires some glucose to function properly, it’s completely understandable that a constant overdosing of sugar would lead to eventual breakdown of the body’s functions on a cellular level.
As mentioned before, refined sugars hold no nutritional values whatsoever. Compare this to coconut sugar which boasts the considerable presence of vital minerals.
- Nitrogen (N) = help treat cardiovascular disease
- Phosphorus (P) = important for bone growth, kidney functions & cell growth
- Potassium (K) = reduces hypertension, helps regulate blood sugar, helps control cholesterol levels & weight
- Calcium (Ca) = vital for strong bones and teeth, as well as muscle growth
- Magnesium (Mg) = essential for metabolism, nerves and memory retention
- Sodium (Na) = important for proper function of nerves and muscles
- Chloride (Cl) = corrects the pressure of body fluids and balance of the nervous system
- Sulfur (S) = important for health of hair, skin and nails, and maintenance of oxygen balance for proper brain function.
- Boron (B) = essential for healthy bone and joint function, enhances absorption of calcium and magnesium
- Zinc (Zn) = necessary for mental development,
- Manganese (Mn) = important for proper food digestion, normal bone structure, and has antioxidant, free-radical properties
- Iron (Fe) = vital for good blood quality, mental development, and the immune system
- Copper (Cu) = helps in releasing energy, melanin production in the skin, the production of red blood cells and the absorption and transportation of iron
- Thiamine (vitamin B1) = normal nervous (including neural) system function and carbohydrate metabolism
- Vitamin C = help maintain strong connectivity between muscles, ligaments, & bones, and builds strong blood vessels and is needed for collagen production, which speeds healing and the manufacture of several hormones. Also, an essential antioxidant, fights free-radicals, boosts the immune system, and lowers blood pressure.
When compared to the normal diet of refined sugars your ‘loving’ government allows the big corps to push on you, there absolutely no contest about which you should be using. If you care about your health, and that of your loved ones, you will do everything you can to limit your refined sugar intake, and replace it when necessary with the life-giving benefits of coconut sugar. Your body will thank you for it (and for much longer than if you continued with the refined stuff!)