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Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is a sweetener that has become very popular in the past few years. Man, I get a million questions about this sweetener. This sugar is derived from the coconut palm tree and is hyped as being more nutritious and lower on the glycemic index than sugar. Coconut sugar is made in a two-step process:

1. A cut is made on the flower of the coconut palm, and the liquid sap is collected into containers.
2. The sap is placed under heat until most of the water in it has evaporated.

Coconut sugar does maintain some of the nutrients found in the coconut palm. It is difficult to find exact data on this, but according to the Philippine Department of Agriculture, coconut sugar contains several nutrients.[39] Most notable of these are the minerals iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium, along with some polyphenols and antioxidants that may also provide some health benefits. The reason it is lower on the glycemic index is because it also contains a fiber called inulin, which may slow glucose absorption.[40]

Even though coconut sugar does contain some nutrients, you’d have to eat a ridiculous amount of it to really get any benefits from these nutrients. You would get a lot more from non-sweet foods. Coconut sugar has the same amount of empty calories as table sugar.

One of the big contributors to the aging process and development and perpetuation of degenerative diseases is Advanced Glycation End Product (AGEs) glycation. Glycation is where a chemical reaction occurs between proteins and either sugars, lipid peroxidation products (free radicals from oxidative damage), or the breakdown products of sugar. So sugar plays a big role in glycation as does oxidative damage (think PUFA oils and sugar inflammation). Glycation is the forming of sort of a crust around our cells. Many different studies have shown that this crust contributes to a wide range of diseases including diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, asthma, stroke, cataracts, glaucoma, PCOS, autoimmune disease and much more. So what role does fructose play here? Studies have shown that fructose enables glycation reactions ten times more rapidly than glucose!

So again, you may be thinking, “OK Maria, if I want to sweeten something a little, I will use coconut sugar since it seems less harmless than honey.” No! Let me surprise you with a tidbit: even though I see claims all over the web that coconut sugar is commendably fructose-free, 70 to 80% of it is made of sucrose, which is half fructose (and half glucose)![41]  This essentially means that coconut sugar supplies the same amount of fructose as regular sugar, gram for gram.

Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver; glucose on the other hand can be metabolized by every cell in the body. Fructose raises triglycerides (blood fats) like no other food. Fructose bypasses the enzyme phosphofructokinase, which is the rate-limiting enzyme for glucose metabolism. Fructose is shunted past the sugar-regulating pathways and into the fat-formation pathway. The liver converts this fructose to fat, which, unfortunately, remains in the liver = FATTY LIVER DISEASE. Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat! This is why I see so many children with fatty liver disease…they aren’t drinking alcohol, they are drinking sodas, juices and consuming too much fructose!

As long as you understand just how detrimental fructose is not only to your waist line, but also to the overall health of your cells and liver, you see that coconut sugar should be avoided.

Apple Donuts

The liver governs how efficiently we lose weight as well as governs our moods. It can become congested from not only the fructose and sugar you eat, but all of the make-up and soaps you use on your skin! I had one client who had her liver enzymes go back to normal once she ditched all of the lotions and make-up products she was using! It is important to look at what you are putting on your skin too! It all gets absorbed by the liver. Instead of store bought lip balm, how about making this “healthified” lip balm for your Valentine?

Apple Donuts

Read more about fructose and liver health in my book Keto-Adapted.

If you would like to help out a small family, rather than large business, I am happy to announce that you can now get my books as a high quality ebook that works on any platform. Plus, most of the profits don’t go to Amazon or apple! Click HERE or select “My Books” above to get your copy now!

Thank you all for your love and support!

Apple Donuts
Fun with the boys at the apple orchards and pumpkin patch.

It may surprise you to find out that one of my favorite hobbies is to bow hunt with my dad. Ever since I was 12 years old, he would stick me in my deer stand and we would spend the evening with nature. My dad was a very busy man when I was a child, so taking up bow hunting was a way for me to spend time with him.

I have seen everything from big bears to fissures in my deer stand. A few years ago, my dad even had 2 bear crawl up the tree he was in and all he had was his bow and arrow! Yikes!
My mom always packed our dinner and she always included an apple dessert. She makes the best apple bundt cake! But I have to say for a sugar free, gluten free, dairy free cake, this one is pretty awesome!

Fun Fact!  Did you know that one granny smith apple has 29 net carbs with 26g of sugar. A KitKat Bar has 26g net carbs with 20g sugar! I am not saying an apple is the same as eating a KitKat, but I want to help open eyes up to the sugar in foods. In our paleo days, an apple was a dessert. Now we eat fruit and fruit juices in abundance. We NEEDto treat fruit as a dessert. 

FYI: For those of you who are nut-free or have kids in “nut-free” schools, coconut flour is technically a fruit, not a nut! Yahoo!

Apple Donuts

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Bread, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Nut Free, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 245



  • 3 cups blanched almond flour or 1 cup coconut flour for nut free
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Redmond Real salt
  • 2 cups Natural Sweetener
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted (or butter if not dairy free)
  • 4 large eggs 8 eggs if using coconut flour
  • 1 cup water for steeping tea
  • 4 apple tea bags
  • 2 teaspoons apple extract (or vanilla extract)


  • 1 teaspoon apple extract (or 1/2 cup brewed apple tea)-1 tea bag
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup Natural Sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon stevia glycerite


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Brew apple tea in boiling water and set aside.
  • Grease a 12-donut donut pan and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sweetener, oil, apple tea, eggs, and vanilla. Mix to combine. Then add the flour mixture and combine once again.
  • Pour into prepared donut pans and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cake clean.
  • While it bakes, prepare the glaze. In a medium-sized bowl, place the 1/2 cup brewed tea, 1/2 cup coconut oil (it will melt in the hot tea), and Natural Sweetener and mix well. Set aside to cool a bit before spreading over donuts.
  • Cool the donuts in the pan for 10 minutes, then place onto your serving platter. Top with glaze.


Calories: 245 | Fat: 22g | Protein: 5g | Carbohydrates: 6.7g | Fiber: 3.7g | P:E Ratio: 0.2

Testimony of the Day

“OK…I realize this might be a little premature but here goes…I laughed yesterday! That is one thing that I noticed and really missed…I never laughed! So sad! I don’t even have all my supplements yet…still waiting on one. Sleep is  better…about to try two patches of melatonin you suggested.

I’m pleased with the changes I’m seeing! Thank you! Kaye”

To get started on your path to health and healing, click HERE. I’d be honored to help you too!

Apple Donuts

Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


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