Coconut Sugar Superfood Assignment
Have you ever been to a convenience store or a supermarket before, and noticed a food with the label superfood on it, thinking that it is much better than any other regular foods that you would normally buy, but truly not knowing what the term superfood means? Well while you may have noticed the food with a superfood label on it, did you notice the price tag itself, as often they provide high levels of certain nutrients, therefore technically being better for your health, and can be used as great marketing vocabulary to boost sales.
Coconut sugar is a natural sugar made from sap from the coconut palm, unlike regular table sugar which requires a longer process, coconut sugar requires two simple steps to harvest and be edible. These steps are:
A cut is made on the flower of the coconut palm and the liquid sap is collected into containers.
The sap is placed under heat until most of the water has evaporated.
This means that it is less processed providing your body with 73.9 grams of carbohydrates, 26.10 grams less of carbohydrates than regular table sugar for every 100 grams which you consume. This can be considered as both positive and/or negative as when you consume carbohydrates, they provide your body with starches and sugars which act as energy sources to your body and keep you moving every day, although if you over consume these carbohydrates, it turns to fat which your body only needs in small portions. This means that when you consume fats from other places in your daily eating routine, it may cause you to over-consume fats if you consume too much coconut sugar as well as other foods such as fatty fish causing exercise to be more difficult because the fat is worked off after the carbohydrates when exercising meaning that it takes a lot more exercise to burn off a substantial amount of fat than it does when trying to burn off carbohydrates.
Also, many products of coconut sugar have traces of both calcium and potassium which are vitamins which do certain jobs in small amounts, and in order for them to assist in the function of your body, you would need to consume an awful lot of coconut sugar. Calcium is extremely useful in your body, as it helps build bones and teeth. Almost all the calcium which you consume is stored in your bones and teeth for later use, as that is the place where it will be used as mentioned before. Also, coconut sugar provides potassium which is crucial for the function of a heart and plays a key role in skeletal and muscle contraction, making it important for digestive function and movement in your daily routine.
What other foods have these nutrients? (How much?)
Another food with similar type nutrients to coconut sugar is baked potatoes, as they provide your body with 18 mg of calcium, and 550 mg of potassium per 100 grams, and yet although they do provide substantial amounts of the vitamins and minerals above, baked potatoes only provide your body with 21.44 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams as opposed to the coconut sugar which provides 100 grams per 100 grams. Although potatoes do provide your body with other useful nutrients such as fibres and proteins which coconut sugar doesn’t, and although potatoes do provide a range of more nutrients, they come in very small portions and would be needed in large amounts for it to make a substantial difference to your body.
One more food with similar nutrients to coconut sugar is white beans, as they provide your body with 62.25 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, as well as 173mg of calcium, and 1542mg of potassium per 100grams. Although as you may have noticed, the white beans provide much larger amounts of the vitamins/minerals than coconut sugar, as coconut sugar only has traces of these vitamins/minerals, as opposed to white beans which are a nutrient rich food, and have substantial amounts of these vitamins and minerals which can easily be used and can contribute to the function of your body. Also, white beans provide your body with 24.9 grams of fibre, 1.18 grams of fat, 21.11 grams of protein, per 100 grams, as well as other vitamins and minerals which both your digestive system and body can benefit from in certain ways for example: the protein helps build and rebuild muscle.
Issues with the term superfood
The term superfood, in this case, is inaccurate, as coconut sugar is in no way super, as it is made up partially of fructose which can cause a build up of fat in the liver, which is, in fact, a dangerous disease which can harm both your heart and liver permanently if too much fructose is absorbed. The meaning behind superfood is a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being, and although coconut sugar does provide 100 grams of carbohydrates and sugar per 100 grams, it provides your body with very little other nutrients, and can actually harm you seriously because carbohydrates turn to fat if you consume too much, and the fructose in the coconut sugar builds up fat in your liver causing a disease called fatty liver which is extremely dangerous, and can cause pain in the heart and liver.
Also, there is an issue with money, and the term superfood with coconut sugar because coconut sugar is not much better for you than regular table sugar, as it still has fructose which is what makes it makes regular sugar bad for you as it damages both the liver and heart, and can affect the process of digestion increasingly. The issue with the term superfood, and money, is that supermarkets are selling coconut sugar for a higher price than regular table sugar because it has the label “superfood” on it, which makes people think that it is better for them than regular table sugar, making them more likely to pay the extra money that supermarkets are charging for a product such as coconut sugar. This also tricks people who do not know what the word superfood actually means, as when they hear the name, it reminds them of superheroes, and superheroes are good, therefore they think that superfoods are always better for you, and will benefit the function of both your digestive system and body. This means that it could cause financial issues with less fortunate people, as they think that in order to receive the correct nutrients for their body to work strong and healthy, they need to buy these superfoods like coconut sugar when really they are almost a scam as they only provide a few more grams of carbohydrates which are not necessarily needed, as it runs the risk of overconsumption of carbohydrates which is actually bad for you. Therefore the less fortunate families could have saved the money for other non-superfoods, and receive more nutrients from regular foods which they can buy more of with the extra money saved from not buying superfoods.
Analysing eating ‘superfoods’ compared to regular foods
All in all, in my opinion, superfoods are in no way super when analysing coconut sugar because it is effectively table sugar, just more natural, therefore giving people the mindset that it will provide more nutrients, which is partly true, as it does provide more of certain nutrients, but not a range of nutrients in the case of coconut sugar. Also, the problem with superfoods is that sometimes the term can be misleading, causing economic and health issues for consumers who maybe don’t have the funds to purchase as much food as they need all the time in order to receive the correct nutrient amounts. Also often regular foods will provide a variety of nutrients as opposed to a high level in just one nutrient like superfoods, which means that regular foods are more worthwhile, as they require you to eat a lower quantity of the food in order to receive all the nutrients your body needs to function both healthily and correctly. Finally, I would suggest sticking to eating regular foods, but spreading out the amount of nutrients you consume so that you receive the correct amounts, as opposed to eating several more expensive superfoods, as they can cause overconsumption, and issues with digestion and the function of your body because it is much more difficult to track the amount of nutrients you are consuming, when eating several separate superfoods, all providing your body with a different amount of a certain nutrient each.
Finally, normal foods are better than superfoods because the term superfood just means that a food has a high level of one nutrient at the minimum, which means that when you are consuming these foods, you could believe that you are receiving the correct amounts of each and every nutrient, when really you may only be consuming one nutrient, especially in the case of coconut sugar, as you are really only consuming a considerable amount of one nutrient, carbohydrates, whereas white beans provide your body with a high level of multiple nutrients, as well as noticeable amounts of vitamins/minerals as opposed to only traces, making them better for a healthy and balanced diet. All in all, I would say normal foods are better because they provide a larger range of nutrients, as opposed to a single one, this makes regular foods better for a balanced diet, as there is less of a possibility of overconsuming a single nutrient, instead, you consume correct amounts of each individual nutrient, therefore them being better for you.
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“Basic Report: 11356, Potatoes, Russet, Flesh and Skin, Baked.” National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, May 2016. Web. 20 Apr. 2017. <https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3084?manu=&fgcd=&ds=>.Bsc, Kris Gunnars. “Coconut Sugar – Healthy Sugar Alternative or a Big, Fat Lie?”
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“Basic Report: 16045, Beans, Small White, Mature Seeds, Raw.” United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28, May 2016. Web. 22 Apr. 2017. <https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4784?manu=&fgcd=&ds=>.