In the winter edition of Eco Parent ~?Making Better Holiday Choices Happen, Dr. Heidi Lescanec was a featured contributor for questions asked by the Eco Parent network.

Dear Dr. Heidi, I’d like to use coconut sugar and oil to replace regular sugar and butter in my holiday baking, but there are nut allergies in my family. If you’re allergic to nuts, will you also likely be allergic to coconut oil and/or coconut sugar?

Coconut is the fruit of the palm tree. People who have tree nut allergies do not usually react to to coconut – – they are different plants. Health Canada states that coconut and nutmeg are not usually restricted in the diet of people who are allergic to tree nuts (see:?

In general, coconut allergies are relatively rare compared to tree nut allergies which are among the 9 most common food allergies.

Remember that these substitutions won’t work well with all recipes, though!

Experiment in small batches in order to save money and prevent food-waste.


From the Winter issue of Ecoparent Magazine 2012 ( available in hard copy at Chapters/Indigo, Nature?s Fare Markets, Whole Foods, and other independent newsstands and baby stores. Dr. Heidi is a regular food and health contributor to Ecoparent.

Click here to see ?a copy of the article from Eco Parent Magazine