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Coconut Sugar vs Sugar/Honey/Agave: What's best for weight loss?

I wanted to start this blog post with 3 positive affirmations because I believe we all need positive affirmations on the daily, so we don't get sucked into the vortex of our hard-wired negative minds!

Say these out lout to yourself while looking in the mirror and smiling or closing your eyes and taking deep breaths:

❤️‍ I’m taking small steps towards success.

💜 I’m making the right choices with my health in mind.

💛 I accept my body and recognize its beauty. let's find out the truth about coconut sugar and weight loss...

Do you remember when coconut sugar first became hyped up in the media? Many of us rushed out and stocked our shelves with it (yup, I did - before completing my nutrition certification), thinking we were making a better choice.

But were we?

Coconut sugar is NOT better for weight loss.

As an added sugar, it’s not better than any other calorie sweetener when you’re trying to lose weight. It’s got more calories per teaspoon and it’s less sweet so you may need more. I’d put it back on the shelf for that reason and because it costs waaaayyyyyy more than regular table least here in Toronto(one of my local grocery stores sells it for $1.60/100 g vs white sugar at $0.16/100 g).


Now, does it have these amazing health benefits that should make us spend the extra $$ and use it as our primary natural sweetener, even though it has more calories? Again,

triple nope

Coconut sugar is not better due to its health benefits

As far as weight loss is concerned (not looking at nutrition at all, just calories):

  • Coconut sugar is NOT better for weight loss. It has more calories per teaspoon and it’s less sweet (I thought so a few years ago, when I was sucked into the marketing BS, and used more of it than white sugar in my coffee).

As far as health is concerned:

  • There are claims that coconut sugar has higher levels of iron, zinc, and calcium, as well as trace amounts of phytonutrients and antioxidants, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanidin; and it contains a fiber called inulin, which may slow glucose absorption and explain why coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular table sugar. You’d have to eat a ridiculous amount of it to satisfy your need for the above nutrients so as far as I’m concerned these health claims are bogus. I would NOT choose it as a sweetener based on it being a “healthy” alternative to any other calorie sweetener.

  • Similar to agave syrup, coconut sugar became something to talk about because it claimed to have a low glycemic index* (GI of 35) compared with regular sugar (GI of 68) or even honey (GI between 60-74 depending on variety). But the original report was questionable as it was a study conducted with only 10 people and by a government who is one of the largest producers of coconut sugar in the world. Mmmmmm, maybe we skip that report.

  • But same as agave, it doesn’t matter what its GI number is because coconut sugar contains high levels of fructose and although fructose is thought of as a low GI food because the body cannot convert it immediately to energy, this does not make fructose a better sugar because consuming too much fructose, particularly from non real whole foods, may still put a person at risk for health disorders including diabetes, obesity and and cardiovascular disease.

Soooooooo...bottom line...

Coconut sugar, agave, honey (both raw and pasteurized); and white and brown sugar, are all added sugars, so as per the recommended guidelines, you should limit them to 6 teaspoons max a day (9 teaspoons for men). None of them are going to aid with your weight loss, because they all have empty calories.

Take Action:

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or want to make a healthier choice, focus on getting your nutrients and antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eating natural sugars in these healthy foods is not linked to negative health effects, since the amount of sugar tends to be modest and is “packaged” with fibre and other healthful nutrients. On the other hand, our bodies do not need, or benefit from, eating added sugar.

Try to buy the plain version of foods and sweeten them by using fresh or frozen fruit. You could add it to things like yogourt, smoothies, pancakes, oatmeal, or waffles. I mash up fresh raspberries or bananas, as well as frozen pre-cut squash cubes(for my veggie portion), and add them to my oatmeal. Some other natural flavourings can also help such as vanilla extract and cinnamon.

That’s what I did this morning to add a little somethin’ yummy to my coffee...I sprinkled some cinnamon and added some vanilla. And since I’m at my goal weight, I did add a tsp of white sugar to sweeten it. Sometimes I add honey, but it depends on my mood and what my taste buds want!

If you've tried repeatedly to lose weight on your own without accountability and support and have found it hard to stay motivated and keep the weight off, you're probably ready to get off the dieting roller coaster by getting the right type of support. Click here to learn about my 12 Week 1:1 LIKE A BOSS Weight Loss, Health & Fitness program. I can help you get over the overwhelm and tell you exactly what to do every step of the way. I even offer a 30-day or your money back guarantee because I'm so certain I can motivate you to stay consistent in order to reach your goals! *The Glycemic index is a number. It gives you an idea about how fast your body converts the carbs in a food into glucose. Two foods with the same amount of carbohydrates can have different glycemic index numbers. The smaller the number, the less impact the food has on your blood sugar, which is appealing to diabetics.

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