Coconut sugar or regular?
Since writing “Why Can’t I Stick To My Diet” I am often asked the same 10 or so Health and
Wellness questions. Taking into account we are at beginning of 2018, I wanted to take some time
to explain the answer to each of these. I can usually answer these with a quick sentence or two
in a pinch, but knowing the Science behind it often helps connect the dots as to the reason I am
being so mean to you.
Earlier today, my brother texted me “Coconut sugar or regular?”. I wrote back “neither”. This
started a length exchange ending with a crying emoji face from my brother because he thought I
was taking away his Coffee.
Here is a simple way to explain what sugar does to our body. (Remember, sugar includes flour
and artificial sweeteners.)
1. You eat or drink sugar.
2. Your blood sugar rises, dopamine (a feel good chemical) is released in the brain and
insulin has to be secreted to handle the blood sugar spike.
3. The high insulin causes immediate fat storage, and blood sugar dramatically plummets.
4. Low blood sugar levels cause increased appetite and cravings for sugar. The body craves
the lost sugar “high.”
I am always trying to avoid blood sugar spikes and the subsequent descents. We start looking for
more sugar, if we get more sugar, we stay on the sugar roller coaster longer. If we do not find the
sugar, then our blood sugar crashes and that is a different kind of misery. Either way we lose. The question of coconut sugar or traditional white comes from a wholehearted attempt at making
a better choice. However, the choice is still not great. Coconut Sugar is a little better for my
brother because it tends to not be as processed as the white sugar we find in a sugar bowl. In
addition, Coconut Sugar has some fiber. However, our bodies can’t tell much of a difference as
Coconut Sugar still rises our Blood Sugar.
I told my brother Coconut Sugar was the slightly better choice, but to use it with the intention of
tapering off of sugar in general. This is when the sad crying emoji came into play. The thought of
having black coffee each morning, versus a dose of sugar is sad. The idea of not having my
beloved sugar fix made me Sad for a very long time, that and I was addicted to Sugar and
Artificial Sweetener so I kept on ripping up tons of packages of Stevia into my coffee. Now, I do
not drink coffee at all. Not because I do not need the caffeine, but because I can not stomach it
black, and even if I add a ton of cream to it (which is dicey as I am lactose intolerant). I drink a
lot of tea, and that is the best solution I have been able to come up with.
If you’re going to use coconut sugar, then use it sparingly. It is slightly “less bad” than regular
sugar, but definitely not something you should eat every day. The same principle goes with
Honey, Agave or Maple Syrup. These are all better than white sugar, but only by a few degrees.
Tomorrow’s Topic- What about Bread???