Are Coconut Syrup and Coconut Sugar Better Than Agave Nectar? : The Renegade Health Show Episode #826

Friday May 20 | BY |
| Comments (27)

Everyone always wants to know which sweetener is best…

I’m not a fan of agave nectar, but some people ask about coconut syrup and if it’s just a bad as agave.

In this episode, Annmarie and I explain what we think as well as answer questions about spider eggs in bananas, and if there is any danger in using silicon baking pans.

Take a look…

Your question of the day: Have you tried coconut sugar or syrup before?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Anne says:

    I’ve had coconut sugar, but then stumbled upon info about how the collection of the coconut syrup destroys the coconut-producing ability of the trees I truly don’t know what to think. I’m just going to limit my family’s intake of sweeteners as I should anyway.

  2. LeAnn says:

    Can you explain the difference in processing coconut butter, coconut sugar, coconut syrup and coconut manna? How are they processed and what is the difference? Are they raw? Most of them seem to be just “coconut” as far as ingredients and yet they are so different in consistency and usage. Thanks so much!

  3. Interesting information again…
    Yes I have tried coconut sugar and bought a package at a show but have not used it yet.
    My preferred sweetener is a great quality raw honey.

    I got into agave syrup over a year ago like most people probably because of all the hype and publicity/marketing. (this similarly happened with can-ola oil aka RAPE-SEED oil, a hybrid and very unhealthy product that was heavily hyped and publicized and now used in sooo many prepared foods and snacks–ugh!).I met a woman at a raw potluck and she told me she knows its. unhealthy and totally avoids it. Up to that point I was questioning if it was good because I noticed consistently every single time I consumed it in tea or in a raw snack I felt funny afterwards.
    I also got addicted to the coconut ice cream sold in health food stores and was eating a lot of the agave sweetened one until I connected the unhealthy dots.
    I now avoid agave 95% of the time! sadly the
    raw food movement has embraced agave and drools it in sooo many prepared foods and snacks. namaste’, rachel

  4. Cindy says:

    I’ve never tried agave syrup or coconut syrup, but I have used coconut sugar. It does take a little bit more to make something sweet, but it has a very pleasant taste, similar to brown sugar.

  5. Velda says:

    Thanks for the information Kevn and Annmarie. I have never tried coconut syrup but have just recently ordered some, so when it gets here I’ll try it 🙂 When I make my protein shakes, I use your green-leaf stevia in it that I purchased from your store. At first it tasted strange to me, but I quickly got used to it and now really like it. Thanks for the great products.

  6. Cherie says:

    No, I have not. But I am wondering about Xylitol. It comes from trre bark. I enjoy using Steiva but there are some things it just does not taste very good in.

    What are your thoughts about Xylitol?

  7. Janet says:


    There is no proof of outgassing in silicon! You can’t assume like that!

    Yes I have tried coconut syrup. Yummy. Don’t know if it goes through the Liver like agave does or if it goes through the Pancreas like sugar does. Agave like HFCS(according to Dr. Mercola’s site) goes through the Liver to be metabolized because it is fructose and it causes a fatty liver (at least the non-enzymatically created agave).

  8. Nadia says:

    I have never liked agave nectar.. my body just doesn’t recognize it as food. To me it taste very unnaturally strange. I like the idea of coconut products since I resonate with all things tropical but I have not tried these products yet.
    One of the things I love using as a sweetener is dates. They are wonderfully sweet and you can make a paste or syrup out of them easily.

  9. I’ve never tried coconut sugar or syrup. I love using honey. I stopped using agave some time ago when you exposed it for what it really is. I would like to try stevia but not sure on the amounts used. I guess I’ll just have to experiment.

  10. Gnar says:

    I love a teaspoon of coconut sugar in my tulsi chai with almond milk.

    I’ve heard this about honey/raw-honey/unfiltered-honey: oney: “Compared to white sugar, honey is… not that great, actually. In fact, it sits higher on the glycemic index than white sugar does! And while people often cite the vitamins, minerals, pollen, and enzymes in honey, most honey is “pure” honey, with all those “impurities” removed! I do believe that a good, raw, un-filtered honey, is better than sugar. But if you sit there and eat it by the spoonful, it’s still going to hurt you.”

    And this about coconut sugar: “It’s very low-glycemic for a sweetener, scoring in the mid-30s on the Glycemic Index. It has a respectable mineral content. I want to reiterate: there’s no concentrated sweetness we can consume in vast amounts with impunity. Coconut sugar might be as close as we can get. And it is among the most delicious of the bunch. It’s just about the only sugar we use in our baked goods.”

    i go with coconut sugar. as far as agave, I’m confused.

  11. Tara Burner says:

    not a big fan of agave
    use coconut sugar on occasion
    dont really use a lot of sweeteners 🙂

  12. wayne rivali says:

    I have heard of the coconut sweeteners, but I tend to be slow about trying them right away. My tried and true sweetener is honey. But I must say, the only good advice I hear is to eat it only in raw form.

    I am about to tell you something of very great importance so please read carefully and do your best to pass this information on quickly.

    Wild bees collect nectar, and return to the hive to deposit their nectar. The bee then hooks up with other returning bees and they all groom one another before leaving again. The grooming proccess is time consuming and even raw honey farmers opt for a more productive type of bee that skips this step.

    At the end of the day the hive is loaded with bees that have contracted mites that can kill the hive, so the farmer applies some form of miticide to kill the mites on the bees. The miticides eventually kill the hive anyway because it weakens the queen and the drones.

    The problem of miticides continues to grow from there, however. The next day, the “dirty bees” leave the hide for more nectar and leave the miticide behind on every bloom they visit. Now, the apple that grows from that bloom could have miticides and a clean grooming type of bee could later visit that same bloom and return to the hive carrying the miticide. Please click on the following brand new study from the University of Georgia:

    If you are convinced that my allegations carry some merit, then I urge you to become proactive by grilling you honey supplier about miticides and schooling them on the devastation being created by their actions.

    I am fortunate to have my honey supplied by a very concious beekeeper with very hygenic bees. No miticides here…yet. So far his survival rate is 97% on his bees. That is way above normal even with a healthy hive. I have more, so you can contact me at Much love, Wayne

  13. jackie says:

    I’m not a big fan of agave either; I like coconut syrup and sugar but haven’t used them much.

  14. Denise says:

    Anne… I’m with you. I’ve also read about how the coconuts are sacrificed for the sap. If it’s not sustainable, I’d rather not get in the habit of consuming it. For any of you who are walking the talk, you might want to consider this (clipped from Tropical Traditions website)……. “Most people do not realize that the harvest of coconut palm sugar is not a sustainable practice. The best coconut palm sugars are produced from the sap of the coconut tree by cutting off the coconut flower, which would normally form into a coconut. By sacrificing the coconut flower that would normally become a coconut, one is preventing the coconut palm from reproducing and is sacrificing coconut products in favor of the sap/sugar. Since the popularity of this kind of sugar is rising, it is now also being produced from collecting sap from the trunk of the coconut tree (tuba). This practice also prevents the tree from producing coconuts, and the quality can vary greatly depend on the age of the tree. Coconut trees in the Philippines have already been on the decline for decades, and the coconut oil from coconuts is also now valued as a fuel source in bio-diesel production, resulting in less coconut oil availability as a food source each year. The increase in demand for coconut palm sugar could further result in fewer coconut products, including coconut oil, being available as a food source in the future. Also, since current palm sugar production often comes from older coconut trees that are beyond their prime and no longer able to effectively produce coconuts, fertilizers are commonly used to increase the sugar production.”

    We are all in this together. What we choose to sell and/or eat makes a difference.

    Does anyone have an opinion on Whey Low?

    • Mary says:

      If you can tolerate dairy, I think it’s an okay substitution; I tried it years ago and it was fine but pricey. 🙁 I wish you the best on your search. I’m still looking.

  15. Fontrella says:

    Yes have tried coconut syrup as well as agave. The syrup is so thick and it does take a lot use. I will use it in something that does not require a great amount to sweeten now.

  16. hyesun says:

    to anne (#1) and denise (14)

    i talked to someone at tropical traditions and they said that’s why they don’t sell (coconut) palm sugar – because it’s not sustainable. i used to use agave until i found out that it’s pretty refined and has more fructose than high fructose corn syrup. i wish companies would stop using it in their raw bars. has anyone tried organic erythritol?

  17. Virginia Harwood says:

    why do you keep refering to these naturally occuring things in food as “dirt”….seems a bit neurotic and sterile to use this label…dirt is natural but you say it like it’s something repulsive…very sterile attitude!!!!

  18. Christina Mallory-Munk says:

    Coconut sugar adds a wonderful flavor to tea or coffee .It does not affect my blood sugar level as much as honey .Honey seems to cause a crash in energy a few hours after ingesting it .

  19. Denise – I echo your concerns for the sustainability of coconut syrup & sugar. Thank you for the info. on the process.

    Wayne – thanks for the article & info as well. Bees are seriously in trouble in so many ways because of manmade unnatural processes.

    It is just really tough in today’s world to find something truly healthy & eco-friendly. If anything becomes the new norm, the it is overexploited. By the time a product appears in a store, it is already being mass produced. sadness.

    It is tough to get through certain recipes w/o some kind of sweetener. I live by the motto that variety is the spice of life, so I try not to stay devoted to any one thing. I am also looking up some small-space urban homesteading & indoor gardening stuff to see if I can eventually grow some of my own, like stevia.

    best of luck to everyone! namaste~

  20. shine says:

    ive used coconut suger and syrup – i just used it as i used to use agave or yacon – didnt find i needed any more but i think my sweet tastes has lowered – the syrup was very thick and difficult to get out the bottle though..i am now using yacon flour or syrup for any sweetener thats easy and works fine for me.

  21. Veronika says:

    Your brief comment about teflon led me down a google path of finding out why teflon (PTFE) is unhealthy, which led me to find out that my dental floss is made out of teflon!! Glide brand floss is literally made out of stretched PTFE, or teflon. Yuck! I guess I’ll be purchasing the natural wax floss from the health food store from now on…

  22. Anna21 says:

    I really like coconut sugar. It reminds me of caramel. I like the fact thats its not as cloyingly sweet as agave or sugar, and unlike stevia, there is no weird after taste.

  23. Shannon says:

    This is just a quick response for the folks interested in reading the *other side* of the coconut sap tapping industry. It comes from the Coconut Secret website. They make raw coconut syrup, aminos, vinegar etc…

    I guess like everything, it’s important to read both sides. Hopefully the farms/farmers/industry can achieve a balance of both products…

  24. Rachael H says:

    I love agave nectar but I have recently stopped using it because of the health risks I have read about. I tried stevia and can’t stand that “aspartame” flavor that it gives everything. I just bought some coconut syrup and used it this morning in my chai. I did have to use a lot and my chai still isn’t very sweet. I don’t eat very many sweets but I would like a good sweetener to use in tea and chai. I don’t really like the flavor that honey adds to my chai. Any other options out there? Thanks, Rachael

  25. Mary says:

    I’ve been using coconut sugar for baking over the past several months after cutting out as much processed food as practicable in an effort to control my blood glucose as well as to lose fat. With the elimination of foodstuffs containing white sugar from my eating regimen, the items I’ve made with the coconut sugar are gently tasteful, and sufficiently sweet. [Unsweetened applesauce has also enhanced the taste experience (NOT obviously for mixed drinks, lol).] The coconut syrup I’ve tried to use (Coconut Secret) is very hard to “control” and likes to ooze out of the bottle for some reason, and then sticks to the measuring vessel so I feel like some of it is wasted. Stevia so far is not an option for me because of a bitter aftertaste and no perceived sweetness whatsoever. Thanks for the video!

  26. Kayla says:

    Just discovered coconut sugar and I LOVE IT. I really can’t stand Stevia because of the after taste. The same is true with Just Like Sugar. Coconut sugar is supposed to be low-glycemic with tons of minerals, and it tastes great! I can happily replace my organic cane sugar with this product!

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