What is the secret new sugar alternative that Dr. Oz recommends?

There are quite a few alternatives to white refined table sugar on the market today. There's natural ones like Stevia and agave nectar and calorie-free options like Splenda or Equal. But there's one sugar alternative that's brand new and being raved about by Dr. Oz: coconut palm sugar.

I've never heard of coconut sugar, and with good reason: Dr. Oz says that it's a product that's new to the market but that may actually be a better option to all of the other sugar alternatives currently available. And, well, it's certainly better than white sugar, which contributes to diseases like obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease and has recently been proven to be as addicting as cocaine.

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Read more ¿Qué más? Just how bad is sugar? As addicting as cocaine!

The sugar comes from harvested from the nectar of the coconut tree, the coconut sap is dried and crystallized. It contains potassium, iron and vitamins and—the best part—it can help stabilize your blood sugar in the way that white sugar never has been able to. But truly the most impressive part is that it can be used in the exact same way as refined sugar in recipes.

Dr. Oz actually brings out a woman who says she's a sugar addict and has her taste test a cookie and cupcake that has been made only with coconut sugar.  I was impressed that everyone seemed to like the taste of these cupcakes and that it was really easy to make the simple substitution—and people can't tell the difference! That's definitely exciting news and it's got me wanting to try coconut palm sugar ASAP.

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There is a bit of a darker take to this story, though. After doing some more research on coconut palm sugar, I discovered that it's not exactly a sustainable ingredient since coconut palm trees cannot produce both coconuts and coconut palm sugar. So, basically, if they don't produce actual coconuts we cannot get coconut oil, coconut milk, dried coconut or coconut flour. Could you give up all of those things for coconut sugar? I'm not sure I could but I'm still really excited to try coconut palm sugar. It may not be the most eco-friendly ingredient, but I do love that it's a healthier one.

What do you think, are you willing to try coconut palm sugar on Dr. Oz's recommendation?

Image via tbSMITH/flickr