You may have come across information about coconut sugar and its superiority in comparison to cane sugar or certain other “healthier” substitutes, for example agave syrup. Can consuming coconut sugar be part of a ketogenic diet, and is it beneficial for our health? What about other sugar substitutes?
The consumption of sugar is linked to a variety of health issues, including coronary heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Sadly, it’s becoming more difficult to stay away from sugar, as it is hidden in many pre-packaged foods, such as peanut butter, canned soups, and marinara sauce.
For people who follow the keto diet and have a craving for something sweet, it can be intimidating to have to say goodbye to all types of sugar. Fortunately, there are a number of sugar substitutes that are both lower in carbohydrates and calories, making them a much healthier option than sugar.
When you have a craving for something sugary and are searching for a dessert, you want something that won’t disrupt your ketosis or cause any digestive issues. Various sweeteners boast of being beneficial to one’s health, however, they can come with adverse effects.
This is the definitive handbook to the finest sugar alternatives that you can incorporate into your ketogenic diet. You will get to know the greatest keto sweeteners accessible and some sugar alternatives to stay away from.
An increasing number of individuals are becoming aware of the detrimental effects of regular white sugar. People are opting for natural sugar substitutes due to the outcome.
In recent years, coconut sugar has become more and more popular as an artificial sweetener because of its health advantages. This sweetener is derived from coconuts and is thought to be more beneficial and have a lower glycemic index than regular sugar.
Coco sugar is created using the sap of the coconut palm tree and looks like brown, granular sugar. In general, the flavor is similar to that of brown sugar—it’s sweet but with a caramel taste instead of a coconut one.
The dark color of coconut sugar indicates that it is in its natural, unrefined form, unlike white cane sugar. Research indicates that coconut sugar may be more beneficial nutritionally than other sweeteners, and some people think it might be suitable for certain diet plans.
Is Coconut Sugar Better than White Sugar
What is the benefit of choosing one or the other if their nutritional content is nearly the same?
During refining, all the vitamins and minerals are removed from white sugar. Coconut sugar contains small amounts of minerals since it is not processed as much as other sugars.
It should be noted that coconut sugar contains trace amounts of iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, and small chain fatty acids.
Remember that you would need to consume a large quantity of sugar in order to experience any noticeable advantages from the minerals it contains.
Did you know that coconut sugar is the same as regular white sugar and it has 15 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of sugar in each teaspoon?
Let’s take a closer look at these two sweeties…
White cane sugar
- 15 calories
- 4 g carbohydrates
- 4 g sugar
- 0 g total fat
- 0 mg sodium
- 0 g fiber
- 0 g protein
- 15 calories
- 4 g carbohydrates
- 4 g sugar
- 0 g total fat
- 0 mg sodium
- 0 g fiber
- 0 g protein
A two teaspoon helping of coconut sugar has 8 grams of total carbohydrates, which is the same amount as white table sugar. It is not possible to make coconut palm sugar conform to a keto diet plan just by tallying up the net carbs. Despite the absence of any natural fiber, the net carbs in coconut sugar still measure 8 grams.
Is there any evidence to suggest that coconut sugar offers any additional health benefits compared to regular cane sugar, despite the nutritional figures being similar?
Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than either cane sugar or maple syrup, which means that it will be absorbed at a slower rate in the body, thus minimizing the negative impact on the body caused by sudden insulin spikes.
Research has shown that coconut sugar has a glycemic index of 35, whereas white cane sugar (sucrose) has a GI value of 65.
It is thought that those with diabetes or those who want a sweetener that does not drastically change their blood sugar may be more likely to choose coconut sugar due to its reduced price.
Apart from the health advantages, coconut sugar may be a preferable selection for certain individuals for other causes. Coconut sugar is a better choice than regular cane sugar because it is not altered genetically and it has not been whitened.
Coconut sugar is a better choice for the environment than either palm sugar or cane sugar.
What Is Sugar and Why Isn’t It Low-Carb
Carbohydrates such as sugars supply the body with energy.
There are both man-made and natural sugars. Foods that are high in carbohydrates, like fruit and starchy vegetables, contain natural sugars, while processed items like granulated cane sugar are taken from other sources to be used for culinary purposes, like baking and cooking.
Consuming sugar from any source will cause your body to exit ketosis due to an increase in your blood sugar levels, which will force your cells to operate with glucose.
If you’re seeking a sugar substitute with a low carbohydrate content, double-check the label for any concealed carbs. Be aware that items labeled as sugar-free still may have an effect on your insulin levels.
The Difference Between Sugars in Food and Sugars in Your Cupboard
The most common kinds of sugars are:
Table sugar, also known as sucrose, is a combination of glucose and fructose. Sugar can be obtained from either sugar cane or sugar beet. Honey, fruits, and vegetables contain both fructose and glucose.
Lactose is often described as a “milk sugar” because it is found in large quantities in dairy products. Beer and malted beverages contain maltose as the sugar.
You should pay special attention to the sugars stored in your kitchen cupboard. These encompass granular sugar, superfine sugar, powdered sugar, and processed sugar.
A single cup (or 200 grams) of sugar contains an astonishing 773 calories, with a considerable 200 grams of carbohydrates. Remember that this does not have any fiber, so the entire 200 grams of carbs is the net amount.
Natural Sugar Substitutes Not Allowed on Keto
Many so-called “good for you” sweeteners are not allowed on a keto diet. The main reason for this is the overall amount of carbs.
Even though artificial sweeteners are more beneficial to your wellbeing than regular sugar, they still can lead to a sudden increase in blood sugar levels which is not desired when following the ketogenic diet.
Uncooked honey is packed with micronutrients, including vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
However, unfiltered honey is not allowed on the ketogenic diet due to its carbohydrate content. A single tablespoon of uncooked honey has 17 grams of total carbs, 16 of which are from sugar. It has no fat, no fiber, and only a very small amount of protein.
Unaltered maple syrup is a naturally-derived sweetener made by boiling down sap from maple trees and turning it into a syrup. The antioxidant levels are usually higher in darker syrup.
Despite its popularity, maple syrup is composed mostly of carbohydrates, making it unsuitable for the ketogenic diet. One tablespoon has a total of 50 calories and 13.4 grams of carbohydrates.
It is not advised to eat maple syrup, as it would not use up all of your carbohydrate intake for the day. It is preferable to consume carbohydrates from healthier food sources.
Did you know that agave and tequila both come from the same type of plant? It is promoted as a healthier option than sugar, but it is a highly processed item and should be avoided no matter what.
Agave has compounds known as fructans that are converted to fructose during the processing period. Although fructose has a low impact on blood sugar levels, research has revealed that consuming it in the long run can lead to weight gain and a decrease in how well the body responds to insulin.
Coconut Palm Sugar
The sweetener known as coconut sugar is derived from the sap of the blossoms of the coconut palm tree. It has a very similar look to brown sugar, but it is coarser to the touch. It has a similar low ranking on the glycemic index as agave, however it contains less fructose.
So, is coconut sugar keto? Coconut palm sugar isn’t overly processed, but it has too many carbs to be considered suitable for the keto diet. It has 15 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates for every teaspoon, all of which are from sugar.
Sugar Substitutes and Sugar Alcohols to Avoid
Now that you know the answer to the query “Is coconut sugar keto?”, it’s time to explore other sugar substitutes. It is recommended to stay away from these sugar substitutes, no matter if you are following the keto diet or not, because of the potential health issues.
Sucralose, which is known by its brand name Splenda, is the most commonly consumed artificial sweetener in the United States. It has been determined that consumption of sucralose can lead to inflammation and a decrease in beneficial bacteria in the digestive system.
Sweet’N Low contains saccharin, which is an incredibly intense sweetener, 200 times more potent than sugar. The FDA oversees saccharin, as it does with other artificial sweeteners.
The Food and Drug Administration has marked saccharin as “generally accepted as secure,” even though earlier experiments displayed a link between the sugar substitute and cancer.
Lab rat experiments in the 1970s showed a potential correlation between saccharin consumption and bladder cancer. No comparable connection has been discovered in humans yet.
Xylitol can be found in its natural form in certain types of fruits and vegetables that contain fiber.
Xylitol is a type of carbohydrate that is not easily broken down by the body, and it is derived from xylose, which is a form of indigestible crystalline sugar. Xylitol is not suitable for a ketogenic diet because it can increase your blood sugar levels, unlike erythritol.
Xylitol contains around 10 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates in each portion (or a single teaspoon), which is a bit higher than other sugar substitutes that offer a low-carbohydrate content. Xylitol may prove to be advantageous in terms of oral health and possibly even ward off cavities.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Liquid sweetener created from fructose and glucose that is known as high fructose corn syrup. A tablespoon of high fructose corn syrup has 53.4 calories and 14.4 grams of carbohydrates, yet it doesn’t provide more health benefits than ordinary sugar and is more hazardous.
Research suggests that consumption of high fructose corn syrup can lead to metabolic disturbances as well as changes in dopamine functioning.
It is widely believed that brown sugar is more beneficial than white sugar, however this is not necessarily the case. Essentially, brown sugar is just plain sugar with molasses added in.
Unrefined white sugar, known as brown sugar, generally contains 5-10% molasses.
When considering alternatives to sugar, pick a low-calorie, low-carb option that won’t have any negative impacts on your health.
Pick a sugar substitute that has a small glycemic index, and is organic and not overly processed. Remember that raw honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar are too high in carbohydrates to be part of the keto diet.
There’s no shortage of recipes incorporating keto-friendly sweeteners. To find out some creative ways to incorporate these healthier sugar substitutes into your low-carb diet, take a look at these keto desserts.
When searching for something to eat that is suitable for a ketogenic diet, it is best to choose something that is either calorie-free or low in calories, and also either has no carbohydrates or a very low amount of them. It is also important to make sure that this dietary option does not have any negative effects on your health.
Pick something with a GI rating that is not high, preferably a food that is unrefined and not overly processed. The use of plant-based substitutes such as Stevia and Monk Fruit is increasing in demand and they are known to not create any negative effects.
The only time when coconut sugar is not used as is for keto recipes is when proofing yeast. Yeast is able to ferment the sugar, resulting in a finished product that does not contain any additional sugar.
Keto soft pretzels are a good example! It is possible to break the rules and have a sweetener with molasses; however, it can be challenging.
Molasses can be acceptable on a ketogenic diet in controlled portions, and combining it with another no-carb sweetener can provide a flavor similar to that of coconut sugar.
Proceed with care when using sugar substitutes since they can cause your carb intake to increase rapidly. It is important to speak to a doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding a health-related matter.
When all is said and done, coco sugar is not our savior! Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic rating and contains small amounts of minerals that are not present in white cane sugar after it has been processed.
Regretfully, for those of us on the keto diet, coconut sugar contains too many carbohydrates to be used as a sugar substitute with a low carb content.