In addition to the abundance of coconut oil and shredded coconut, coconut sugar is growing in popularity. According to an article entitled “Coconut Sugar: A Healthier Alternative to Artificial Sweetener,” it’s made from the sap of the coconut tree, and because of its origins, it’s also called coconut palm sugar. To make it, a flower from the tree is cut, allowing the sap to drain into containers. Then the sap is heated, which removes the water from the liquid. The result is coarse brown granules similar to brown sugar. Though it’s always been popular in Asian countries, it seems to now be a staple in kitchens across this country. Scroll on to see why.

1. It’s not refined. Unlike white refined (or table) sugar, coconut sugar does not have any artificial ingredients like additives or preservatives. It’s also not chemically treated in any way. (via Healthy Diet Base)

2. It has a low glycemic index. You know how sometimes you crash after eating too many carbs? Well, that’s because the sugar in your foods spiked your blood sugar level. It’s directly linked to the food’s glycemic index, a number that shows the impacts of carbohydrates on a person’s blood sugar level. Coconut sugar has a low glycemic index mainly due to a fiber called inulin, which slows down how fast your body absorbs glucose. Coconut sugar has a glycemic index of 35. For comparison, table sugar’s glycemic index ranges from 60 to 75. (via Livestrong)

3. It gives you more consistent energy. An added bonus of consuming foods with a low glycemic index is that you’re more likely to have more energy throughout the day. We’ve all been there, fading in the afternoon and trying to get a second wind to crank out assignments. That has a lot to do with the peaks and dips of our blood sugar due to the foods we eat. When we ingest foods with a low glycemic index, our sugar levels stay balanced, which gives us more energy to power through our workload like a boss. (via Organic Facts)

4. It’s nutrient-dense. White sugar is essentially just calories with no reward, since it doesn’t add any nutritional value your meals. While coconut sugar has the same amount of calories as regular sugar, it also contains important nutrients like small traces of zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium. (via Healthline)

5. It can reduce weight gain. Coconut sugar also contains significantly less fructose than table sugar, so your body processes it differently. Typically, fructose turns into triglycerides, which are fat deposits. The low amount of fructose present means it will take a lot longer for that to happen. (via Greatist)

As you can see, coconut sugar has many nutritional benefits. That said, it’s still sugar and should always be used in moderation. If you do decide to make the switch, there’s a one-to-one ratio, meaning that for every one teaspoon of table sugar you’d use in your coffee (or baked goods), you can use one teaspoon of coconut sugar.

Have you tried coconut sugar? Let us know your thoughts @BritandCo.

(Photo via Thrive Market)