NUTRITION CORNER: Coconut sugar, a sweet choice for diabetics

A study conducted by FNRI-DOST researchers on the glycemic index (GI) of coconut sugar among ten healthy, male and female non-diabetics showed that coconut sap sugar did not drastically increase blood glucose levels but was slowly released into the blood stream.

According to Dr. Jennie Brand-Miller of the University of Sydney, GI is a ranking of carbohydrate foods according to their glucose response relative to a standard glucose solution.

Carbohydrate foods that breakdown quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic index value while foods that breakdown slowly, release glucose gradually into the bloodstream, have a low glycemic index value. Foods that have GI of 70 or greater are classified as high GI; 56-69 medium GI; while 0-55 low GI.

According to Dr. Trinidad P. Trinidad, Scientist II of DOST, coconut sugar has a GI of 35 +5. However, effect of harvest time and different process procedures may result in different GI of coconut sugar. GI value of coconut sugar is less than 55. Researchers classify coconut sugar as low glycemic index food.#