A friend wrote this article and submitted it to the Weston A. Price Foundation (http://www.westonaprice.org/) in the hope that they would publish it in one of their future articles. It would be nice if I could get some feedback from this community. I have an underactive Thyroid Condition, for which coconut is said to help, but is contraindicated for a type AB like me. Maybe Dr A may have something to say about this. Anything on this would be off GREAT HELP to me
Coconut Sugar—An Enlightened Choice? By: Tess A. Young, MBA Coconut sugar is the new “natural” sweetener that is creating buzz and interest with many health minded people. Also known as coconut sap sweetener, coconut sugar touts many beneficial claims such as being low on the Glycemic Index (GI=35) and that it’s full of nutrients. On the other hand, some critics have claimed that coconut sugar is not sustainable—harvesting sap from the coconut flower that would have matured into coconuts, kills off future coconuts and all the wonderful coconut products we’ve come to love—Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), coconut water, desiccated coconut, coconut flour, and so on. Are coconut sugar’s health claims just too good to be true? Is there really a “dark side” to this sweetener? Let’s take a closer look at the information and let you be the judge. Coconut sugar comes from the sap of the coconut tree’s inflorescence or spadix. The spadix is a sheaf-like projection that contains the immature male and female coconut flower. By slicing the spadix 3-4 times a day, a sweet milky-white sap drips from the spadix, and the coconut farmer painstakingly collects the nutrient-rich sap. Harvesting coconut sap has been practiced for centuries in countries like the Philippines that, as of 2008, has over 324 million coconut trees planted in 3.1 million hectares of land1. Coconut sap is a polysaccharide composed mainly of 14%-19% sucrose and small amounts of glucose and fructose; 0.5% ash, 2% organic solids, and has a pH value range of 6 – 6.42. When the coconut sap is heated, the fructose content goes from approximately 1.5% to nearly 10%. Freshly harvested sap also contains 17 amino acids, several important B-complex vitamins and also Vitamin C3 (See Tables 1 and 2). Amino acids are the building blocks of protein but also play a key role as precursors to neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and so on. These neurotransmitters are also known as chemical messengers to the brain. Let’s take a look at several of the dominant amino acids found in coconut sap. Table 1: Amino Acid Content of Freshly Cut Sap AMINO ACID Value (g/10g) AMINO ACID Value (g/10g) Histidine 1.19 Arginine 0.35 Valine 2.11 Aspartic Acid* 11.2 Methionine Trace Threonine* 15.36 Isoleucine 0.38 Serine* 8.24 Leucine 0.48 Glutamic Acid* 34.2 Tyrosine 0.31 Proline 3.52 Tryptophan 1.27 Glycine 0.47 Lysine 0.32 Alanine 2.56 Phenylalanine 0.78 * Dominant amino acid Essential Amino Acids 1 Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Department of Agriculture, 2008, http://www.pca.da.gov.ph/n01xx08d.php 2 Villafuerte-Abonal, Lalaine. COCONUT PHILIPPINES. Apples of Gold Publishing, 2007, p. 140. 3 Kozaki, 1974 as cited in PCCARD, 1993/ Coconuts Today, Vol. XIX November 2004/October 2005 Although a non-essential amino acid, Glutamic acid is one of the dominant amino acids and is used by the body to make proteins, peptides like glutathione, amino acids like glutamine and GABA, and DNA4. Glutamic acid is also vital to mental activity and sustaining proper brain function as it functions as a neurotransmitter5. Threonine, a dominant and essential amino acid, is not as well known, yet it is essential for building tooth enamel, collagen and elastin, and is also known as an “immunity booster” because it supports the thymus gland which regulates our immune defense6. Lastly, Aspartic acid is known for its role in energy metabolism, functions as a neurotransmitter, and is also a precursor to Pyrimidines (essential DNA and RNA constituents) that enhance the production of antibodies and other immune system proteins7. Coconut sap also contains Tryptophan, which is a precursor to Serotonin, the “feel good” neurotransmitter that helps us deal with stress and helps promote sleep. In terms of vitamins, coconut sap is naturally rich in Inositol (see Table 2), a member of the B-complex vitamins that is needed for proper cell membrane formation. There have been several studies that show how Inositol has a calming or anti-anxiety effect on patients, and helps reduce total lipids and may be helpful for those with atherosclerosis8. Pyridoxine (also known as Vitamin B6) and Vitamin C are also present in significant amounts. This is important because Vitamin B6 is an essential cofactor in the proper metabolism of amino acids and, along with Vitamin C, both are needed for proper amino acid absorption and transport in our body9. Table 2: Vitamin Content of Freshly Cut Sap VITAMIN Value (mg/dL) VITAMIN Value (mg/dL) Thiamine (B1) 77.0 Biotin (B7) 0.17 Riboflavin (B2) 12.2 Folic Acid (B9) 0.24 Pyridoxine (B6) 38.4 Inositol 127.7 Para-aminobenzoic Acid 47.1 Choline 9 Pantothenic Acid (B5) 5.2 Vitamin B12 Trace Nicotinic Acid (B3) 40.6 Vitamin C 23.4 A
Here is the Rest of the Article. It was too long they said for one post
s for macro minerals, coconut sap is an excellent source of Potassium which is essential for treating high blood pressure, high in Nitrogen that is required for protein to build and repair tissue10, and rich in Phosphorous which is needed for bone growth, kidney function and cell growth. In addition, coconut sap contains significantly more Magnesium and Sulfur than either white or brown sugar (see Table 3)11. Magnesium is a cofactor for over 400 enzyme processes, and essential for Calcium and Potassium uptake. A deficiency in Magnesium has been linked to Type II diabetes12. Sulfur is essential for metabolic pathways and recently new research is shedding light on the role Sulfur deficiency plays in contributing to obesity, Type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and chronic fatigue syndrome13. Zinc and Iron dominate the micronutrients. Zinc is called the "intelligence mineral" and is required for mental development, important in maintaining the health of one’s reproductive organs such as the prostate gland, and essential 4 Braverman, Eric R. MD. The Healing Nutrients Within. Basic Health Publications, Inc., 2003, p. 181. 5 Ibid, p. 165. 6 Ibid, p. 201. 7 Ibid, p. 192. 8 Pfeiffer, Carl C., Ph. D., M.D. Mental and Elemental Nutrients, A Physician’s Guide to Nutrition and Health Care. Keats Publishing, Inc. 1975, pp. 144-145. 9 Braverman, p. 6. 10 Ibid, p. 4. 11 Philippine Coconut Authority, Plant and Tissue Analysis Laboratory, 2007 12 Sircus, Mark, M.D. New Paradigms in Diabetes Care. E-book. 13 Seneff, Stephanie T., Ph.D. “Could Sulfur Deficiency Be a Contributing Factor in Obesity, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?” http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/sulfur_obesity_alzheimers_muscle_wasting.html for wound healing. Iron is vital for healthy blood and as an important transporter of oxygen to the cells. Iron also plays an important role in several enzyme reactions in the cells. Table 3. Comparative Nutrient Analysis: 3 Types of Sugar Nutrient Content Coconut Sugar Brown Cane Sugar Refined (White) Micronutrients mg/L (ppm) in dry matter Manganese (Mn)** 1.3 2 0 Boron (B)** 0.3 0 0 Zinc (Zn)** 21.2 2 1.2 Iron (Fe)** 21.9 12.6 1.2 Copper (Cu)** 2.3 0.6 0.6 Macronutrients mg/L (ppm) in dry matter Nitrogen (N)* 2,020 100 0 Phosphorus (P)** 790 30 0.7 Potassium (K) 10,300 650 25 Calcium (Ca) 60 240 60 Magnesium (Mg) 290 70 10 Sodium (Na) 450 20 10 Chloride (Cl) 4,700 180 100 Sulfur (S) 260 130 20 * Determined through combustion method using Nitrogen Analyzer ** Determined using ICP-AES Given the overwhelming nutritional benefits found in coconut sap, it is not surprising coconut researcher Bruce Fife, Ph.D. in his book Coconut Water for Health and Healing describes how coconut water and coconut sap may have similar nutritional profiles, given that coconut sap is food for the growing coconut14. Dr. Fife states there are 150 mg of Inulin in 1 liter of coconut water15. Inulin is also known as a fructooligosaccharide (FOS) because it is composed of a string of fructose molecules with a glucose molecule at the end. FOS contributes to the sweetness in coconut water. However, Inulin is also a dietary fiber that our bodies lack the enzymes to digest, yet is food for our friendly probiotics in our gut or a prebiotic. Researchers at the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) in the Philippines have confirmed that coconut sap contains Inulin and that the amount of Inulin is higher in coconut sugar because of greater concentration when the sap is heated16. Inulin is what also contributes to coconut sugar’s low Glycemic Index (GI) of 35. For those struggling with keeping their blood sugar levels under control, coconut sugar’s low GI of 35 is truly a blessing. Back in 2008, the CDCP (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) maps projected that over 9% of the population in twelve states would have developed Type II diabetes17 (see Figure 1). Two years later, the CDC confirmed that one in ten Americans or 10% currently suffer from Type II diabetes, and if current trends continue, one in three will be diabetic by 205018. The obesity rates per state are not any better. Two years ago, the CDC projected that by 2010, 30% of the adult population in twelve states would be obese (See Figure 2) 19. Many health practitioners understand the positive correlation between obesity and the onset of Type II diabetes…and these maps dramatically illustrate this growing health epidemic. 14 Fife, Bruce, Ph.D. Coconut Water for health and healing. Piccadilly Books, Ltd. 2008, p. 106. 15 Ibid, p.106. 16 Telephone interview with Dr. Trinidad P. Trinidad, FNRI Institute, Philippines, January 2012. 17 CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, National Diabetes Surveillance System, http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics 18 http://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/394-1-in-3-americans-will-have-diabetes-by-2050.html. 19 http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html Figure 1. Diabetes Trends from 1994 – 2008 Figure 2. Obesity Trends among US Adults, BMI ≥ 30 or 30 lbs. overweight for 5’4”person
According to Nora T. Gedgaudas, CNS, CNT, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind, diabetes is caused by excess insulin rather than high blood sugar which is really a symptom of the disease20. Today at least 60 million Americans are pre-diabetic and most likely suffer from insulin resistance. Eating a high carbohydrate diet is a leading cause of insulin resistance. Our body metabolizes carbohydrates into glucose, and the pancreas respond by producing the hormone insulin to transport glucose into the cells. Over time, these cells become resistant to excess insulin while our body’s ability to produce insulin may also become impaired. Consequently, glucose floods our brain and cells, wreaking havoc known as glycation. Glycation causes cellular damage because excess glucose creates these cross-links with proteins such as collagen and causes them to deteriorate (e.g., wrinkles and sagging skin). Controlling one’s blood sugar is vital to preventing and limiting the effects of glycation. One helpful way is to limit carbohydrates in one’s diet. However, excessively high protein intake can also be converted into glucose in our body21. One helpful tool used by diabetics in making food choices is the Glycemic Index (GI). The GI is a measure of how much a certain food will raise one’s blood sugar compared to white bread (glucose). Based on a scale from 1-100, the higher the GI number, the greater that particular food’s impact will have on blood sugar. The GI is by no means perfect. Critics say the GI does not take into account the fiber content of food or the effect that other foods eaten with it may have on blood sugar. Despite its limitations, the GI provides a practical means of comparing other foods, especially if one is searching for an alternative sugar substitute. Unfortunately, the alternative sweeteners that are usually available at 20 Gedgaudas, Nora T. Primal Body, Primal Mind. Healing Arts Press, 2011, p. 140. 21 Ibid, p.121. restaurants and grocery stores are the low or no-calorie, low GI, artificial (and highly toxic) sweeteners like Splenda (Sucarlose) or Nutrasweet (Aspartame). Other “natural” sweeteners exist and using the GI is one method to use when comparing other “natural” options. A “natural” sweetener that claims to have a low Glycemic Index is Agave Nectar (syrup). Unfortunately, recent information has shattered the “Agave Myth”22. Agave nectar, which has a low GI, contains approximately 70% up to 97% pure fructose versus 55% for High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)23. Unlike glucose, fructose is metabolized in the liver and has been linked to fatty-acid liver disease, something most often associated with alcoholics. Fructose causes more glycation than glucose24, which can be metabolized by any cell in your body. HFCS is another problematic sweetener so prevalent in many of our processed foods and condiments. Not surprisingly, many chefs have begun to turn away from using HFCS and returned to sugar or other alternative, “natural” sweeteners25. In contrast, coconut sugar is approximately 10% fructose, is low on the Glycemic Index scale and has many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and inulin! The only other “natural” sweetener with a GI of less than 1 is the South American herb known as stevia. Available in both powder and liquid drops, stevia is approximately 300x sweeter than table sugar and a little goes a long way. However, most people have been turned-off by its licorice-like after-taste. In one grocery store in the Pacific Northwest, there’s a sign that says no stevia returns due to taste! And, it’s difficult to bake and cook with stevia as the only sugar substitute in a recipe. Aside from flavor, sugar provides structure, color and flavor to baked goods, which stevia fails to satisfy. In contrast, coconut sugar can be substituted at a 1:1 ratio with sugar. One caveat with buying regular coconut sugar is that the darker color will tend to overpower your recipe. So, your finished product will most likely have a darker tinge. Coconut sugar’s darker tinge is due to the way coconut sap is processed to transform it from sap into sugar. Almost all coconut sugar producers boil the coconut sap in large metallic vessels or “woks” (usually made of aluminum) until the water evaporates from the sap and forms into a “cake” or “brick” which is then pulverized manually or by machine. At boiling temperatures, the sugar “burns” or more technically, a Maillard reaction occurs. The Maillard reaction is a term to describe a complex chemical reaction when sugars react with amino acids and turns brown26. For example, at 230°F (120°C), fructose will caramelize and turn brown27. The Maillard reaction produces flavor and color, but in exchange, the amino acids and enzymes are denatured, damaged or worse, destroyed. There’s one product currently available in the market that touts that it is “raw” coconut sugar. However, when one opens the container, the crystals are still dark in color which indicates that some type of Maillard reaction still occurred. Fortunately, there’s a new coconut sugar product on the market that is raw, naturally blonde and is also available in liquid form called ‘coconut honey’ or ‘fermented coconut honey’. The product is called Mestiza™ Raw Blonde Coconut Sugar & Coconut Honey. The term ‘mestiza’ is a Spanish word that connotes a lighter color. To highlight the product’s Philippine origins and distinctive blonde color, the company’s logo is a portrait of a lady of Spanish-Filipino heritage often called a ‘mestiza’ because of her lighter complexion. That lady was my grandmother, Filomena, and the portrait was painted back in the 1920’s by a famous Filipino national artist, Fernando Amorsolo. Mestiza™ Raw Blonde Coconut Sugar & Coconut Honey utilizes a unique, propriety process that heats the coconut sap in food-grade stainless steel vessels at low temperatures so that the Maillard reaction does not occur. The result is a delicious sweetener full of flavor and still “alive” with enzymes. The low temperature also minimizes the denaturing of all the beneficial amino acids so important for our health. The naturally blonde color makes it versatile to use in any recipe that calls for sugar as it can replace sugar at a 1:1 ratio, and can be used for cold recipes like ice cream or gelato with scrumptious results! A serving size of Mestiza™ Raw Blonde Coconut Sugar or Coconut honey is one teaspoon (5g or 5mL) and has 20 calories, 5g of carbohydrates of which 4g is sugar. 22 Ibid, p.176. 23 Ibid, p. 176. 24 Gedgaudas, p. 172. 25 McLaughlin, Katy. “Sweet Revenge. Chefs Pour on Sugar.” WSJ. July 6, 2011, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304760604576427693903949786.html 26 http://kitchenscience.sci-toys.com/heating 27 Ibid Mestiza™ Raw, Blonde Coconut Sugar & Coconut Honey is produced from sap that is sustainably harvested. A coconut tree produces one new spadix each month, so in one year, there are 12 produced. By utilizing responsible resource management, only 2-3 spadices are tapped per tree and the remaining spadices are allowed to mature into coconuts! Ironically, what our coconut farmers have observed is that tapping the sap actually motivates the coconut tree to release more nutrients to the remaining spadices, thus yielding larger coconuts. It is certainly not a “zero-sum” game that some critics of coconut sugar have stated. Harvesting sap is a very labor intensive operation, requiring the coconut farmer to climb a coconut tree, sometimes as tall as 15 feet high, 3 to 4 times a day, to “tap” the sap. Copra farming may be easier because the farmer just waits for the coconut to mature and then harvests. Copra is the dried coconut meat from which coconut oil is derived. But for the copra farmer, harvesting coconut sap provides a better living wage. As copra farmers, they eked out a wage of approximately $30/month and thus lived impoverished lives. By switching to harvesting coconut sap, these farmers can now earn a living wage of 12x that amount or approximately $376/month and finally provide for and give hope to their children. Another unique aspect to Mestiza™ Raw Blonde Coconut Sugar & Coconut Honey is their belief in social responsibility. As social entrepreneurs, the manufacturers plan to give back to the community by pledging 20% of net profits to be given as scholarships to the children of these farmers, as well as investing in more research and development into maximizing coconut sap production. Currently, they have lifted 40 farmers and their families out of poverty. So the next time you visit your local food coop, health food market or grocery store, keep an eye out for this new raw, blonde coconut sugar & coconut honey…and give it a try. Mestiza™ Coconut Sugar & Coconut Honey will launch nationally this Spring 2012. Who knew something that tasted so delicious could also be nourishing for your body, mind and soul? Bon Appétit! ####### Tess A. Young is the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) Chapter Leader in Manila, Philippines. She conducts free seminars on topics that promote nutrient-dense nutrition and orthomolecular healing at local schools and for private groups. Tess is also the exclusive distributor of Mestiza™ Coconut Sugar & Coconut Honey. http://www.mestizacocosugar.com. She can be reached via Magic Jack at (480) 639-0652 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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it always depends onto the amounts..dearle..... always .... and sugar indeed is a true no-no for me- as honey is...equal of what palnt it was made ... if I remember it well, only la saccharine and/ or cyclamate leaves your body as it went into... coz of no-metabolization ...so far + - no side-effects....hope my memory didn't left me ....
If we get the money back from the SSA and the State, I might be able to buy some of those things on those protocols. I already take Silimarin so I wouldn't need Dandelion I looked at a "Pack" and nearly choked. Almost a $100 for one, and then I would have that every month, and it would not be tax deductible like prescriptions would be. I can't afford to spend $2400 a year in Supplements. After taxes we make $1100.60 a month for 208 hours of work. That would be almost 20% off his self-employment income a year. I don't feel that I am worth that much money. Maybe I should just be happy and thank my creator for the time I do have left.