Palm sugar’s claim to fame is that it is a fairly pure form of sugar, unrefined, and low glycemic. It’s made from the flowers grown on coconut trees. Unlike other forms of sugar production, chemicals are not used either to modify or extract the sugar. It is naturally rich in several vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6.
It is mainly composed of sucrose (70-79%) followed by glucose and fructose (3-9%) each.
It is important to note that this is a new sweetener on the market. It is not a traditional product, and therefore no history of its use and effects exist to gauge its credibility. Furthermore, there are no industry standards for production and purity, and there aren’t many studies out there on it. (A search in PubMed for “coconut sugar” produces no results for peer-reviewed literature on the subject, because it is so new.) Although it is advertised as not raising blood sugar levels, this statement is supposedly based off of one Philippine study. While coconut palm sugar does have a lower glycemic index than sugar (GI 35 according to this one study), its low glycemic index (GI) claims are largely unknown and untested for.
Therefore, SweetShine says, “Proceed with caution, and pay attention to how your body responds to it.” It could very well be as great as they say…or it could simply be the next great marketing strategy.