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Food trend for 2014 - coconut sugar

Some argue coconut sugar is healthier than refined white sugar.

Coconut sugar comes from the sap of flower buds from the coconut palm tree. This kind of sugar has been a staple item in South-East Asian countries for centuries. The Philippines and Indonesia are the two biggest exporters of coconut sugar. Americans are only recently beginning to use coconut sugar because if its health benefits, as well as the fact that it is less processed than white cane sugar.

One of the health benefits of coconut sugar is its nutritional value. Processed white sugar and high-fructose corn syrup have zero nutritional value and are empty calories. Coconut sugar contains iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium as well as some anti-oxidants. Keep in mind that coconut sugar is still sugar, and it not considered a health food.

Coconut sugar also has a lower glycemic index than refined white sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. According to the Philippine Department of Agriculture, coconut sugar has a GI of 35, whereas refined white sugar has a GI of 60. The lower glycemic index is considered by many as a health benefit.

Amazon shows 441 listings for coconut sugar, with 119 or 26% of the offers eligible for Prime customers. (This is an opportunity for third-party FBA sellers.) Major brands include Wholesome Sweetners, Madhava Organic, Pure Palm, Nutiva, Big Tree Farms, Coconut Secret, and Trader Joes. Offers include single serve packages, 4 pound bags, and table shakers. Coconut sugar is often seen in the Movers and Shakers in grocery - the top 100 gainers in sales rank in the last 24 hours.

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