A Newer, Better Sugar?

various types of sugar(BlackDoctor.org) — If you’re dieting, have diabetes or simply are
trying to control your sugar-intake, you’ve probably heard about the
growing trend of using more “natural” sugars such as agave nectar. But
one of the newest buzzwords in the sugar world is coconut sugar…even
though it’s actually been around for quite some time.

Should you try it? Why’s it suddenly so popular?

What is coconut sugar?

Coconut sugar has been the staple sweetener in South East Asian cultures
for thousands of years. The abundance of coconut trees in this area
provided easy access to this natural sweetener. Today, most coconut
sugar on local shelves is produced in the Philippines, where they refer
to the coconut tree as the “tree of life.”

How is coconut sugar made?

The flowers of the coconut tree produce a sweet sap that is “tapped” from the tree and boiled down to create the sugar. Similar to maple sugar collection, a slit is made in the flowering area and sap flows into collector buckets below. The collected sap is placed over low heat for a long period of time, and as the water content evaporates, the sap becomes a thick, soft, honey-like syrup. The syrup can be further dried and reduced into large blocks of crystalline sugar, or a granular form.

What’s so great about coconut sugar?

One of the best attributes of coconut sugar is its low Glycemic impact (meaning it creates less of a blood sugar spike when consumed). Where traditional processed sugars are stripped of their nutrients and enter your body as pure sugar that travels immediately into your bloodstream, coconut sugar keeps blood sugar steady. Its nutrient values require your body to spend more time digesting, absorbing and utilizing available nutrients, increasing the health benefits and prolonging the energy availability. This makes it a good sugar alternative for diabetics, blood sugar sensitive consumers, and anyone looking to avoid that not-so-great-feeling crash.

Is coconut sugar more nutritious?

Coconut sugar contains significant amounts of potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, B vitamins and inositol. The vitamin inositol, the most abundant in coconut sugar, is known for its impact on the central nervous system and the development of healthy cells. It can help manage pain, moderate mood disorders and quell anxiety. A sweet treat that leaves you nourished, calm, pain-free and happy?

Where can I find coconut sugar?

Check your local health food store or co-op market. If they don’t carry it, check an Asian foods market or ask your grocer if they can special order it for you. It is important to note, true coconut sugar should contain coconut tree sugar flowers, as it is often mistaken for, and labeled as palm sugar.

How do I incorporate coconut sugar in my recipes?

Use coconut sugar in the same proportions you would use regular sugar. A recipe that calls for one half-cup white or brown sugar should work just fine with one half-cup of coconut sugar. Check back tomorrow for recipes with coconut sugar in homemade granola and wholesome banana bread.


Ladies only: Have you ever cheated on a significant other?

Tyrese Gibson: “My #1 Relationship Rule”

Tyrese GibsonIt’s been five years since Tyrese Gibson released his fourth CD Alter Ego, and since then his film profile has exploded with seven more films including the three “Transformers” blockbusters and the latest in the “Fast & The Furious” franchise. He also made the NY Times bestsellers list with his debut self-help book “How To Get Out of Your Own Way” and even created a series of comic books.

From breaking onto the scene thanks to a well-sung Coca-Cola commercial at the age of sixteen, to winning the American Music Award for Best New R&B Artist, to his film debut in “Baby Boy,” Tyrese has excelled in a variety of forums: music, acting, modeling, and now publishing.

Tyrese, 32, sat down with Loop 21 to discuss his latest LP Open Invitation set to release on Nov. 1, the connection between some of the songs’ lyrics and his personal recipe for relationship success, and the motivational new book he’s working on.

Loop 21: You are about to release Open Invitation, your first CD in five years.  How has your music career evolved since you began?

Tyrese Gibson: When I began my music career at 19 I didn’t know who I was. I wrote and sang “Lately” on my first CD, but I was too young to be singing those words: “Have I told you I love you lately.” The record company A&R people were dictating what I should write and sing about so I followed what they told me. I was just happy to be out of the hood so I wrote it. “Lately” is a mature song I should be singing now. Open Invitation is my first CD on my own independent label Voltron Recordz. I recorded it in my home studio and paid for it myself. I had the freedom to write and record what I wanted. I had five different work stations set up in my home; thirteen people sleeping in my house for three weeks working on the CD. It was R&B boot camp. We laughed and prayed together. We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner together. It was the most fun I’ve ever had recording music.

Loop 21: Explain why the single “Stay” is so personal.

Gibson: “Stay” is inspired by my life. I was in a relationship years ago, but I did not make it a priority.  I was focusing on my career and not my woman and she wanted to leave. So I had to beg her to stay. In the song I sing, “I messed up a 1000 times. I just can’t let you go. I’ll go the extra mile to make you smile. I’ll do whatever it takes.”

Loop 21:
Did she stay?

Gibson: Almost.

Loop 21: What are the keys to maintaining a relationship?

Gibson: We all have to be specific about your comfort zone. You have to make compromises for the people you share your life with. That is the number one rule in maintaining relationships. I learned the hard way.

Loop 21: Why is the song “The Best Of Our Lives” featuring Brandy on Open Invitation so special to you?

Gibson: I wanted to record a song for that first dance at a wedding declaring the love between the husband and wife in which they speak their blessings to each other. Brandy is one of the greatest female vocalists. I don’t know anybody who can bring it like her. It was rumored that we were dating, but we’re just friends. We grew up together.

Loop 21: You became a successful author this year with your inspirational book “How To Get Out of Your Own Way.” Tell us about the book you are writing with Reverend Run Joseph Simmons?

I am blessed to know great family men like Will Smith and Reverend Run. They are sharp guys who keep me on point. We are writing a book called “Manology.” We are dissecting man’s thoughts. The first chapter I wrote is about, are you responsible for your child’s reaction to his unknown father? Some women decide the father of their child is unworthy of being in the child’s life so they exclude him from the child. The child grows up bitter and hateful toward a father they never knew or got a chance to know. So I am letting the ladies who do that know they have to deal with the negative consequences of raising a child and deliberately turning him against a father who was denied the chance to get to know and support the child.

To read the complete article, visit Loop.21. For more on your favorite celebrities, visit BlackDoctor.org’s Celebrity Health Channel.