Spotlight on Sweeteners

While we don’t encourage the excessive consumption of sugar, there are smarter ways to enjoy this staple ingredient, and that’s by finding healthier alternatives. Our sweeteners are unrefined and gluten-free; and coconut sugar specifically, can be conveniently used as a 1:1 replacement for cane sugar!

The press has taken notice—and these snippets from the news show what they have to say:

Big Tree Farms Golden Coconut Sugar

1. Expect the arrival of alternative sweeteners

Following the National Products Expo held in California last March, Clean Plates made a list of “The 10 Biggest Healthy Food Trends You Need To Know Now” and highlighted that “More makers are ditching the refined and cane sugar for sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, and fruit.”

As we launch our new organic, golden coconut sugarFood Navigator talked to Big Tree Farms’ co-founder Ben Ripple on understanding coconut sugar and what to expect from its latest version. Here are some of the topics they discussed:

2. Calorie count results are in! Cane sugar vs. coconut sugar

“Coconut sugar has the same number of calories as table sugar (sucrose), and you’d have to eat a lot of it to get a meaningful amount of the nutrients it contains (inulin, potassium, zinc, magnesium, etc),” acknowledges Ripple. “However, consumers are embracing it because it is minimally processed and won’t cause their blood sugar to spike.”

3. We admit, we’re a little obsessed with accuracy

“We measure [coconut sugar’s] effects on blood sugar using third party labs on a quarterly basis. It has a lower glycemic index [a measure of how foods impact glucose levels in the blood] than regular white sugar. A lot of other companies in this space don’t [test] and you really don’t know what you’re getting as there are tremendous opportunities for adulteration. And we make our test results available to anyone that asks for them.”

4. About glycemic index (GI), how does Big Tree Farms rate on it?

“Our average is between high 30s and low to mid 40s depending on the season, the age of the tree, and what island we are pulling from,” explains Ripple. While Food Navigator notes: “Anything less than 55 is considered low glycemic.” “However, being low GI isn’t the only factor consumers should consider, noting that agave nectar has a lower glycemic index but is composed primarily of fructose, which is metabolized in the liver, with some studies suggesting it could contribute to fatty liver disease and raise triglycerides,” clarifies Food Navigator.

5. Now, what to expect next?

Ben exclaims, “We’ve launched what we think is going to be a truly disruptive sweetener. The result is [a] phenomenal product with a lighter flavor and color and finer crystals that is actually less refined than the traditional product.”

Now, let’s take a look at the somewhat less technical side of coconut sugar. Here’s an inspirational tidbit of co-founder Ben Ripple sharing how he went from a 10-year-old drawn to farming to traveling to Indonesia and discovering the potentials of sugar made from palm.

This was part of a past feature made by One Degree Organics. In the video Ripple shares, “Coconut palm sugar relative to any other sweetener that we've looked at is off the charts packed with nutrition. It is a whole sweetener, we’re not stripping minerals out. It’s balanced nutrition as a sweetener. Hippocrates is famous for ‘let food be thy medicine.’ Coconut sugar falls into that philosophy.”