Sugar, of any form, is highly contentious in the Paleo community. Both white table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) have become extremely prevalent in America’s processed foods, contaminating everything from pre-made pasta sauce to sausage. The result is a record high obesity rate and all the health problems that come with it.
Many people living a Paleo lifestyle choose to consume a no-sugar diet. They refuse to eat any and all forms of sugar and this approach works very well for many people. Others are more prone to moments of weakness, and in those moments, would a cookie made with coconut sugar really be so bad?
The Benefits of Coconut Sugar
Probably not. Coconut sugar is an ancient sweetener that has been used in Asia for millennia. Those of us in the west are just now catching on. It ranks fairly low on the glycemic index (usually in the 30s and 40s) and actually boasts a fairly impressive nutritional profile. It comes loaded with potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, various B vitamins, and amino acids.
When To Avoid It
All forms of sugar, regardless of their glycemic load or nutrient profile, can spark or exacerbate a sugar addiction. When your brain registers that it’s gotten something sweet, it wants more, so if you’re on a sugar detox, you should also avoid coconut sugar. On the other hand, if you know you can be trusted with a little sugar and you’re looking for a relatively guilt-free treat, coconut sugar just may be the answer to your prayers.
For more on which sweeteners to include in your Paleo lifestyle (should you choose to include any), check out Mark Sisson’s guide to sugar.