Coconut palm sugar is the next big thing among natural sweeteners. It is made from the nectar, or the sap, of the coconut palm tree. Palm sugar is said to be rich in nutrients and is one of the lowest glycemic index sweeteners on the market. With its creamy, caramel taste, coconut palm sugar can be used as a substitute to sweeten desserts and sauces.

According to NaturalNews.com, palm sugar looks, tastes, dissolves and melts almost exactly like sugar, except that it is all natural and unrefined. When the nectar is obtained from the flowers that grow high on coconut trees, it is air-dried to form a crystalline sugar. The sugar is naturally brown in color and contains several key vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6, NaturalNews.com reported.

The coconut palm sugar Web site noted that coconut sugar has long been a staple in Southeast Asian cooking and used in herbal medicine.

Health Benefits

Here are the health benefits as described on the coconut palm sugar site:

-- Coconut sugar is a 100 percent organic and unbleached natural sweetener.

-- It contains no preservatives.

-- It is naturally low on the Glycemic Index, which is beneficial for controlling body weight and improving the glucose levels in type 1 and type 2 diabetics.

-- Coconut sugar produces a slow energy release that sustains the human body throughout its daily activities without regular sugar highs and lows.

-- Coconut sugar has a nutritional content that is said to be richer than all other commercially available sweeteners. For example, SweetTree Organic Coconut Sugar is said to be high in potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. It is also a natural source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C.