This generation’s diet is rife with sugar. Many of the “supposed healthy foods” we consume on daily bases contain an alarming amount of refined sugar.
Just imagine this. One glass of orange juice contains about 21 grams of sugar. A granola bar contains an impressive 12 grams of sugar. And a 12 ounce can of coke contains an astounding 38 grams of sugar.
According to the World Health Organization, the recommended daily sugar intake of an average adult is 25 grams. But clearly, this is not what is happening. The majority of us are taking a high sugar diet.
As a result, cases related to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease have rapidly grown for the past years. And as the health consequences become evident, more and more people are now beginning to worry about their health. Because of it, health-conscious individuals are now looking for healthier sweetener alternatives to white sugar.
Coconut Sugar vs Brown Sugar
There are several substitutes available; but today, we will be comparing coconut sugar vs brown sugar. Coconut sugar looks a lot like brown sugar. For many, both are considered to be similar. But are they?
Flavor and Texture
Both sugars come from a completely different source. But when it comes to taste, coconut sugar vs brown sugar does not have a huge difference. Coconut sugar tastes relatively similar to brown sugar. But because of the molasses applied in brown sugar, it is stickier and has a more moisture plus a bit of bitter taste than coconut sugar.
Brown sugar consists of 50 percent fructose and 50 percent sucrose. Coconut sugar, on the other hand, comprises of up to 10 percent fructose and 80 percent sucrose. Coconut sugar has a lower fructose content, but bear in mind that sucrose is half fructose. So in the end, both are relatively the same when in terms of fructose content.
The glycemic index (GI) is a scale that identifies how fast or slow a food affects the increase in the blood glucose levels. A low GI is good for the body. Foods with low glycemic index are digested and metabolized slowly thereby releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream.
While brown sugar has a high glycemic index of 65, coconut sugar has a low GI of 35. It is one of the lowest value among sweeteners. It is also the closest value there is to what is naturally found in fruits which is a GI of 25.
Truthfully, brown sugar is white sugar added with molasses for color. Because of the molasses content, certain minerals are found in it. These include iron, potassium calcium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium.
In comparison, coconut sugar is naturally rich in minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. It is rich in 17 amino acids, antioxidants, and polyphenols as well as vitamin C, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, and B6. It also contains calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, nitrogen, manganese, and sodium.
All in all, both sugars can be used as a substitute for each other. You just have to be mindful of the differences and similarities in terms of health benefits between coconut sugar vs brown sugar. They may be relatively the same when it comes to flavor and fructose composition but coconut sugar has an advantage in terms of glycemic index and nutritional value.