Stop Being Sweet

Television: Dr. Oz is High on Coconut Palm Sugar

Stop Being Sweet
Dr. Oz TV Show
Dr. Oz explains coconut palm sugar to a self-proclaimed sugar addict.

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:

  1. 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)
  2. People report that coconut palm sugar has a rich, caramel taste. (source)
  3. 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)
  4. Coconut palm sugar has been around for years and is currently enjoying the media’s focus on alternative sugars.
  5. Coconut palm sugar is not refined or bleached so it retains its nutrients. (source)
  6. Coconut palm sugar is not a raw food, which means it has been cooked and/or processed. (source)
  7. Coconut palm sugar supposedly has lower glycemic index, meaning it could be safer for diabetics. (source)
  8. Coconut palm sugar can be used in baking with a one-to-one ratio, making it an easy alternative for baking. (source)

Addiction Thinking

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.

Further Reading

How coconut palm sugar is made.

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Comments 8

Laurie Norris


Increasingly I think Dr. Oz is a self-promoting narcissistic dork.



I would almost have to agree, Laurie. I used to have very limited TV in one of my residences (I split time between two locations) and Dr. Oz would come on during the day when I had time to watch. I’m no longer impressed with much of what he says.
I have to agree, David, also that if you give an alcoholic “near beer,” it’s not helping the real issue of staying abstinent.
As an addict myself, all I know is that I need to pull AWAY from the sweet taste of anything, because it causes me great cravings. I’m using stevia in my morning yogurt, along with mashed bananas and let me tell you, it’s like eating dessert! For now, I’m still eating it, but I’m trying to have other things for breakfast at least 3 days a week.
You are absolutely right when you say that it is a process!

Laurie Norris


I just find Dr.Oz’s information to be often overgeneralized and inadequately based on research.  The man seems to be everywhere, and when one man is putting out that much media (books, TV etc…) there is only so much that can personally vouch for.  So much of what he says is based on the authority of being a practicing surgeon, but how much surgery could he perform currently with all the media obligations he has?



Lighten up, all of you. Take in the information he offers. Use it or discard it.



I find that coconut palm sugar does not spike my BG as high. So using the whole grain white flour with palm sugar in my baking has proven to me that the claims are valid. But still, if you are diabetic, you must portion size. 2 small cookies made with this sugar did not raise me nearly as high as when I make them with white sugar. Dr Oz’s claims are not unfounded but they are not his own conclusions either, some one else has already done all the research. Coconut palm sugar is not a free ticket to eating anything and everything you want but it does allow for the occasional baked sweet treat without the high spike that comes with refined sugar. Of course, this has been my experience with it and everybody is different.



Hi Kaye. What bugged me is the promotion/selling of a product as a quick fix solution, especially for compulsive/addictive behaviors.



I get that. smile Addictive behaviors should be addressed, resolved and never fed. LOL I think if we easily become addicted to a sugar or salt or have overwhelming cravings, we should find out the underlying cause and fix it. I was craving crushed ice like crazy, not a harmful substance I realize, but why the behavior? Found out that’s a symptom of iron deficiency and a test showed that I am indeed very low on iron. I still like crushed ice but don’t crave it. There is some good information on his show but it does seem he has become a celebrity first and a Dr. second. I wonder which one makes him the most money. LOL




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