i am sometimes asked about various sweeteners that seem to be in some of the various diets making the rounds. I figured the best way to answer questions about coconut syrup/sugar was to go to one of my best sources on such matters, GI NEWS. The following is taken directly from a newletter I received from them:
Coconut syrup/sugar, a traditional sweetener from South-East Asia comes from the nectar of coconut palm flower buds (which means those buds won’t grow into coconuts). It is about 75% sucrose and the rest is glucose and fructose which could make it a useful substitute for cane sugar if you are looking for one and cost doesn’t count. These days it’s widely promoted as a ‘great tasting, mineral rich, low GI (35) cane sugar alternative’. Dr Oz recommends it as a replacement for table sugar saying that: ‘Switching from regular sugar to coconut palm sugar could prevent the blood sugar crashes that make you hungry and then cause you to gain weight.’
We asked SUGiRS Manager Fiona Atkinson about the GI35 for coconut sugar that Dr Oz quoted, as this figure is all over the internet but failed the peer review process to make it into the official international GI database. ‘That’s an old value from the Philippines and it was not tested according to the ISO method,’ she said. ‘We have recently tested coconut sugar for a company, but the results must remain confidential until they give us permission to publish them. I can say that although the GI was certainly not 35, it was low for what is essentially a sucrose-based sugar.’ Because of the high sucrose content, we are guessing it is more likely to be similar to CSR LoGiCane, the low GI sugar which has a GI of 50. Coconut syrup is ‘fab’ on pancakes or drizzled over coconut cake according to food writer Kate McGhie who also uses coconut sugar in Thai cooking and general baking such as muffins and has coconut vinegar in her pantry.
Note: What is sucrose? Here is a brief of the definition from Wikipedia:
Sucrose is the organic compound commonly known as table sugar and sometimes called saccharose. Did you notice above that coconut syrup is about 75% sucrose? Diabetics beware if you switch to this.