The search for healthy, natural sweeteners sometimes seems to involve a whirlwind of information. I've been writing about stevia since 1997 -- back in the day when the FDA was actually seizing stevia products and threatening to arrest the owners of stevia companies. But today, stevia is now widely accepted as a safe, natural sweetener. That doesn't make it super popular, however: Many people complain about the aftertaste of stevia, and it doesn't melt or cook like sugar does.
So the search goes on. For several years, many people in the natural health community have been turning to agave nectar, a low-glycemic sugar made from the bulbous roots of agave plants. While agave has a wonderful taste and a relatively low glycemic index, it has also been embroiled in controversy about whether it is truly "natural" or even low glycemic. Some agave nectar providers have, in the past, even been accused of adulterating the product with high-fructose corn syrup (although my sources tell me this practice has ceased for mainstream U.S. suppliers).
Now a new choice for a natural, wholesome sweetener emerges, and it has tremendous promise. It's called palm sugar.
Palm sugar is a nutrient-rich, low-glycemic crystalline sweetener that looks, tastes, dissolves and melts almost exactly like sugar, but it's completely natural and unrefined. It's acquired from the flowers growing high on coconut trees, which are opened to collect their liquid flower nectar. This nectar is then air-dried to form a crystalline sugar that's naturally brown in color and naturally rich in a number of key vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6.
It is never refined or bleached like white sugar. So the nutrients it was made with are still there. That's rare for sweeteners, most of which are highly refined. Even stevia is highly refined in its white powder form (real stevia is a green herb).
Remarkably, even though palm sugar cooks, dissolves and melts just like regular sugar, it has a far superior taste.
Read more: http://www.NaturalNews.com/028996_palm_sugar_natural_sweetener.html