MANILA, Philippines - The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has discovered the anti-diabetic properties of coconut sugar.
FNRI said coconut sugar does not induce hyperglycemia or high blood sugar because it has a low glycemic index (GI).
The GI measures how fast carboÃ‚Âhydrates convert to glucose in the blood and how rapidly a carbohydrate turns into sugar.
FNRI said blood samples from 10 non-diabetics were collected before and after eating the coco sugar. Results showed that coconut sap sugar did not drastically increase blood glucose levels.
FNRI said foods that have GI of 70 or greater are classified as high GI; 56-69, medium GI; and 0-55, low GI.
Dr. Trinidad Trinidad, scientist II of the DOST, said coconut sugar has a GI of 35 plus/minus 5.
However, effect of harvest time and different process procedures may result in different GI of coconut sugar, she said.
The Philippine Coconut Authority has said that the country is producing better quality coconut sugar than its neighboring countries in Asia.
It said major coco sugar-producing areas in the country are General Santos City, North Cotabato and Zamboanga.
Local traders, according to the PCA, have been exporting coco sugar to various countries, including the United States, after the productÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s potential became a hit especially for diabetics.
Studies showed that coco sugar also helps in lowering cholesterol. Likewise, it is rich in nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, calÃ‚Âcium, and vitamin C.
source: Philippine Star