Television: Dr. Oz is High on Coconut Palm Sugar
A while ago I totally lambasted Dr. Oz for his episode where he oversimplified getting off sweets by telling a sugar addict that it only takes 4 weeks to overcome sugar addiction.
In a new episode of Dr. Oz, he suggests that a sugar addict replace her regular sugar with coconut palm sugar.
In the opening segment of the episode, Dr. Oz says the following:
I’ve got something new today that will change everything you know about baking and sweetening coffee and tea.
This delicious simple switch could prevent the sugar crashes that make you hungry, and then cause you to gain weight.
Is your sweet tooth still sabotaging your diet? Now, there’s a new tropical sweetener to hit the market that’s all natural and doctors are taking notice.
It’s called coconut palm sugar. Harvested from the nectar of a coconut tree, coconut sap is dried and crystallized into a nutritious, natural sweetener. It contains potassium, iron, and vitamins. And can even help stabilize your blood sugar. The best part: it’s great for cooking. Could coconut palm sugar be the solution to your sweet tooth?
His website says:
Switching from regular sugar to coconut palm sugar could prevent the blood sugar crashes that make you hungry and then cause you to gain weight. See why coconut palm sugar could be the best sugar alternative.
Could is the key word.
Coconut Palm Sugar Info (from the Internet)
I have not tried coconut palm sugar but here’s what I could find or figure out about it from searching the World Wide Web:
- Coconut palm sugar is not considered a sustainable industry because when you take the sap from the tree, you remove its ability to produce coconuts. (source)
- People report that coconut palm sugar has a rich, caramel taste. (source)
- Some argue that there’s not enough infrastructure in place to supply the demand for coconut sugar, which translates into prices quickly going through the roof. (source)
- Coconut palm sugar has been around for years and is currently enjoying the media’s focus on alternative sugars.
- Coconut palm sugar is not refined or bleached so it retains its nutrients. (source)
- Coconut palm sugar is not a raw food, which means it has been cooked and/or processed. (source)
- Coconut palm sugar supposedly has lower glycemic index, meaning it could be safer for diabetics. (source)
- Coconut palm sugar can be used in baking with a one-to-one ratio, making it an easy alternative for baking. (source)
I’m trying to be positive: Dr. Oz is addressing alternatives to sugar. However, what I didn’t like about the episode is that the coconut palm sugar is a product that was presented as if it’s a possible solution to the problem rather than a tool in an ongoing battle.
Imagine if Dr. Oz had a self-professed alcohol addict (alcoholic) on the show who confessed that she loved all kinds of drinks—anything with alcohol in it. Then Dr. Oz responds by giving her “low alcohol” beer or whiskey. He tells her that this could help her stop getting so drunk because it will take longer to feel the effects of the alcohol. She sips a sample drink and says, “Hmmm, it’s not bad.”
Sound far fetched? That’s what Dr. Oz did—he brought on a sugar addict and fed her cupcakes. She’s not going to end up dancing around with a lamp shade on her head if she eats the whole tray, but she just might end up eating the whole tray.
Typical addict thinking will go something like, “This is good and it’s only half the hit of regular sugar so I can eat twice as much.”
Dr. Oz is a doctor with a television show. Why doesn’t he tell the audience that they’re going to take a year or more to sustainably get off sugar? Either he is trying to figure out how to help sugar addicts, but has no idea about what it’s like to be one himself, or he’s happy to peddle the latest miracle products on his show. Hopefully it’s the former rather than the latter.
To Eat or Not to Eat?
Artificial sweeteners and alternative sweeteners are gaining traction as more and more news reports spread the word about the dangers of chronic sugar consumption.
Coconut palm sugar might be a good way to wean yourself off sweets. It could be an alternative to using sugar in your baking and it’s potentially something to eat on your way to losing weight, provided you don’t have too much of it and you exercise. The possibility is there.
What I’d love to hear more about on television is the long term process of cutting back on eating sweets. “Light” sugar is like light beer, which I suppose works for some people…
So please, Dr. Oz, the next time you pitch something like coconut palm sugar, sell it as ‘step one’ in a long-term sustainable sugar abstinence plan instead of professing simply to exchange one form of sugar for another.
How coconut palm sugar is made.